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Fin Whales, Gray Whales, and Orca!

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Animal Updates | Mammals | Whale Watching

Thursday, February 01, 2018

James S.

Male orca at the surface - popup
Male orca at the surface Aquarium of the Pacific

Hello everyone! Sorry for the brief hiatus of the blog, but we’re back and with new interns! Our interns have started and are off and running. If you see them on the boat say hi and feel free to ask them about the work they’re doing for the Aquarium. Since our last blog, we’ve had a lot of great sightings on the water. Not only have we had great fin whale and gray whale sightings, breaching grays, dolphins, but another visit from the transient orca! The whale watch was also able to view the orca in the middle of a hunt.

One of the amazing experiences we had on the boat was while I was out with our new interns to train them on our methods of data collection. We were watching a couple of fin whales who started to lunge feed, very active with short dives and then dashing across the surface of the water, mouth agape, feeding on all the small fish in the area. Both fin whales were down and the guests were all fairly quiet waiting for one of them to surface when suddenly a fin whale just breaks the surface of the water in front of the boat to lunge feed! It was amazing to see lunge feeding so close to the boat and to hear the excitement in the guests and staff alike.

We also had another sighting of a fluking fin whale! Very rare behavior to observe and it wasn’t Fluky according to Alisa Shulman-Janiger from ACS who was on board celebrating her birthday. What a great birthday present for a whale researcher to receive. We also had Aquarium alumni Eric Yee who is currently working with Discovery Whale Watch up in Monterrey Bay on this trip.

Well if you would like to join in on the amazing whale watches we’ve been having come on down to Long Beach and get your combo ticket to the Aquarium of the Pacific and Harbor Breeze Cruises. Whale watches board daily at 12 and 3 p.m. and the Aquarium is open 9-6 daily. Visit the Aquarium and learn all about our 12,000 animals on display and then venture out into the ocean to see some of the largest animals on the planet in their native habitat.

See you on the water!