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Gray Whales, Blue Whales, and Even Sperm Whales!

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Whale Watching | Mammals

Thursday, March 10, 2011


All within 2 weeks!

What an exciting few weeks these has been! About 10 days ago the first blue whale of the season was spotted, we’ve had numerous sightings of gray whales, and then yesterday we saw 14 sperm whales hanging out at the surface! I don’t think there could be a better week of whale watching!

We’re well into the gray whale season as we watch the whales pass by the Long Beach coast for the second time this year. We’re at the point in the migration where the gray whales are starting to head north and we’ll probably be seeing the cow/calf gray whales passing by at any time.

As for the blue whale, wow this is early! The last few years we’ve had a blue whale pop up for a couple days in April. It could be that the blue whales have a couple blues go scout out the area and then make the call for the rest to join in if the food is good. It would be really amazing if they’re here six weeks early! I can only hope that means more are on the way and it’s going to be a blue whale filled summer.

Yesterday, however, has got to be one of the rarest whale watching days here off of Long Beach. Our whale watch cruise saw 14 sperm whales hanging out at the surface yesterday for almost an hour! Sperm whales are extremely deep diving whales that are known for hunting giant squid. They can hold their breath for over an hour and dive down as far as two miles! We VERY rarely see sperm whales here, the last one being two years ago for just a few minutes. To see a pod of about 14 sperm whales hang out for as long as they did is incredible.

Because there were so many, this is probably a pod full of females and juveniles. Usually the males are in smaller pods. They were spotted about half way to Catalina Island in roughly 3,000 feet of water. Now even though there are sperm whales that live off the coast of California, to have them come so close to shore is what made it possible for us to witness how spectacular they are!

I really hope that the sperm whales decide to stick around. More than likely the reason we had them in the area is because they’re hunting for squid. So I guess that also means I hope the squid stick around. If you want to join us on one of the daily whale watching cruises, this is been some of the best whale watching ever!

Gray Whales, Blue Whales, and Even Sperm Whales!
Four of the 14 sperm whales photographed close together  | Chelsea Berrgren
Gray Whales, Blue Whales, and Even Sperm Whales!
The blow of the sperm whale shoots forward and to the left.  | Chelsea Berggren
Gray Whales, Blue Whales, and Even Sperm Whales!
A gray whale breaches on the second trip of the day. WOW!  | Chelsea Berggren

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terry hernandez

Monday, March 28, 2011 05:20 PM

I work for a non profit agency, and i would like more information regarding the whale watching trips. I would like to take a group of youth ages 13 to 17 on a filed trip. Please send me more information in regards to the trips

Thank you
Terry Ann Hernandez
2900 S.Crenshaw Blvd
Los Angeles Ca, 90011

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Darren Wong

Friday, April 22, 2011 05:15 PM

When does the grey whale season end and is now a good time to catch humpbacks and fin whales? I know blue whale season does not start till July. I went on a whale watch with you guys in Jan but did not see any grey’s. Really anxious to see them.I moved from down under about a year ago and have been to whale watches every year to see the humpbacks from Brisbane in Moreton Bay so it would be nice to see some northern humpbacks ;)

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Monday, April 25, 2011 07:06 PM

Terry, I sent your information to some people that might be able to help you.

Darren, the gray whale season officially ends on May 1, however the gray whales have been a little behind their normal schedule this year and although we’ll be switching to Dolphin and Sea Life cruises, we’ll still probably see gray whales for the next few weeks.  We don’t have an official humpback whale season like other places in the world, however, we do see some here and there around this time. We’ve had a handful of sightings so far and will probably see a few more in the next month or so. For the fin whales, they come and go all year long! We seem them with the blues in summer quite a bit, but they can be found off and on all year. Scientists think that there is a population that moves between here and Mexico all year long!

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