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May of Grays

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Animal Updates | Mammals | Conservation | Education | Whale Watching

Friday, May 30, 2014

Julien

May of Grays
One of the many breaching gray whales we had this record breaking season!  | Erik Combs

We have officially said goodbye to the grays as we transition into blue whale season, though we are still seeing a few cow/calf pairs heading north. The American Cetacean Society census has wrapped up as well and calculated final numbers for this record-breaking gray whale migration year! Since the first of December, there were a total of 2,955 that passed by Point Vicente on their way to Baja and on their way back to Alaska! The number of calves who passed by with their mothers, who were most likely born around Baja, also broke records with a whopping 286! Though the census has more time looking at the water, our whale watch tours had a great month as we had many grays and some surprises as well!

We also had some spectacular sightings of humpback whales! Though we saw quite a few gray whale calves, at the beginning of the month our guests were treated by a cow/calf pair of humpback whale visitors who really put on a show! The calf AND the mother were breaching and exhibiting tons of typical humpback whale high energy behavior. We were lucky to get some amazing photos! The brown boobies also returned and excited bird enthusiasts on-board, and we saw one of our first mola molas (pacific sun fish ) of the season. The mola mola is the largest of all the bony fish and they are so prehistoric looking as they ‘sun’ themselves at the surface of the water. Their bodies are massive, round and the largest one ever recorded weighed in at over 4,000 lbs.!

We have had many days filled with acrobatic and energetic dolphins as well! A few Risso’s and Pacific white sided sightings, but mostly the show has been stolen by the bottlenose and common dolphins! We love to see guests delighted by these dolphins presence and listening for the dolphins to vocalize out of the water or even look up to check out the kids on the bow. Feedings frenzies with sea lions, dolphins, elegant terns, and other marine birds have also made our trips super exciting and have made it perfect for great photo and even video memories!

Now that we are in blue whale season, we will be keeping our eyes and ears open for the arrival of these massive marine mammals and hope to start sighting them soon! Come on out and help us find dolphins, whales, and other marine life as Summer approaches and the weather warms up!

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