Thursday, September 03, 2009
“Why are the blue whales here?” is a common question I get while working on the boat. The answer I most often reply with is “They’re here because they’re feeding on krill which is a small, shrimp-like animal.” Typically the krill they eat are pretty deep, around 500 feet or so, but I always mention how on rare occasions the krill are at the surface and the blue whales will lunge feed at the surface. I’ve never seen it done … until now!
Thursday, August 20, 2009
The past few weeks, we’ve been seeing a decent number of cow/calf pairs of blue whales. Just recently I got word that a calf was seen nursing! Now even though I haven’t witnessed this with blue whales myself, I did recently get to see beluga whales nursing!
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Just the other day I was talking to Alicia, my whale watching partner, and we were discussing how I haven’t seen any Risso’s dolphins this summer. Risso’s dolphins are usually here all summer long, and it’s not uncommon to see them on a trip when we’re looking for blue whales. Well I guess the Risso’s dolphins heard me because that’s all I’ve seen the last couple of days. More than I’ve EVER seen, and even better, they were mingling with bottlenose dolphins!!!
Thursday, July 09, 2009
Although the blue whales aren’t here every day yet, I’ve already seen a pretty rare sighting for this season…a mother and baby blue whale, also called a cow/calf pair. Last September, which is the end of our typical blue whale watching season, I got a call from one of the captains from the boats we tour with and he told me he saw a cow/calf pair of blues. I was so excited! I’d been out so many times all summer and never heard of any reports for a cow/calf pair! How amazing! I got out on the boat and spent two days with them before they continued on their way. That had to be one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen. And now here we are at the very beginning of the season, and I’m seeing a cow/calf pair already. How exciting!!
Thursday, June 25, 2009
It’s coming up on that time again…blue whales! For the last two summers, there have been more blue whales here than there ever have been in previous years. Normally the first whale is spotted sometime in June, and then by mid July, there are so many here that’s it almost a guaranteed sighting daily on the boats. Last year the first sighting was on June 11. In 2007 the first sighting was June 12. This year we had our first sightings in APRIL! I wonder if this is a foreshadowing for what the summer is going to look like…
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
One of the most common questions I get while on the boats is “How do you find the whales and dolphins? Does that Captain use radar?” Unfortunately, no. I wish it were that easy! We rely on our eyes to do the searching. There are a couple of things we look for to get us in the right direction and as I like to say, “Follow the birds!”
Thursday, May 14, 2009
The gray whales are pretty much done passing through, and the next true season for whales is in the summer from around June to September when the blues are here. So for now, we go in search of some VERY acrobatic animals…the dolphins! And there’s more than one type of dolphin that likes to put on a show!
Thursday, April 30, 2009
About a year ago, I was out on the boat as usual and was super excited to see all of the animals in the area. At this time, the gray whales had pretty much finished up migrating through our waters. We’d still see a few stragglers here and there. This was also the time that humpbacks poked their heads into our waters. Around this time every year we get humpback whales that also pass through here. Their migration is a little different and the majority of the humpback whales we see are coming from Central America and Mexico. I’d recently seen my first two humpback whales, and couldn’t wait to hopefully find more. And boy was I in for a surprise! On May 1, 2008, I got a very nice showing. I saw flippers, fins, and flukes, oh my!
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Every year the gray whale makes a migration that is longer than pretty much any other animal in the world. They start from way up in the northern waters of Alaska and the Bering Sea, and in October head south on a 6,000+ mile trip to the lagoons in Mexico. After spending a couple of months down there, they then head 6,000+ miles back up the coast, passing by us, just as if they were traveling back and forth on the 405 freeway. Who would have thought that whales would have to commute???
Thursday, April 02, 2009
Welcome fellow whale lovers! My name is Kera Mathes, and along with Alicia Archer, we will be blogging on all of our amazing adventures on our daily whale watching trips on a 65ft. catamaran with Harbor Breeze Tours! Hopefully you’ve had a chance to get on the water with some aquarium staff and volunteers, but if not, check here to see what’s been happening on the water.