sail-world.com -- Farley the fin whale is staying put
Farley the fin whale is staying put
Wed, 2 Jan 2013
Something strange and special is going on off the coast of California and the locals are mystified. A fin whale of nearly 100 tons seems to have taken up residence in the waters off Dana Point in southern Los Angeles, and instead of moving on with his friends, is playfully approaching boats as never seen before. He's even been given a name. Erica I. Ritchie reported for Orange County Register:
In 12 years as captain of a whale-watching boat, Tom Southern has seen nothing like it.
For the past four days, a fin whale has been 'mugging' sightseers on several Captain Dave's Dolphin and Whale Safari boats.
The nearly 100-ton whale has been swimming with and around the bows of several of the catamarans used for daily sightseeing trips out of Dana Point Harbor. It's stayed with the boats for nearly an hour. He's also sought out nearby vessels to make an appearance.
'This whale is like nothing I've ever seen before,' Southern, of San Clemente, said. 'I've been calling him Farley. He's the friendliest fin whale I've ever seen. Most are here for a day and then move on. When we pull up to him he'll turn and come over to the boat. We shut down and he comes up right alongside. Then he turns on his side and looks at everyone on deck. He puts his nose under the bow.'
Farley has been spotted about 2 miles of the Dana Point Headlands since Friday. On Monday the whale was playing with passengers on the boat right off the shore of Thousand Steps Beach in South Laguna.
Fin whales, second only in size to blue whales, are not frequently found during the winter, said Dave Anderson, owner of the whale-watching company. The playful behavior with the boats is entirely unusual. The frequent appearances and returns to the boats are even more special, he added.
Likely scenarios for the whale's presence could be the abundance of krill, a shrimp-like crustacean highly appealing to the whale palate. In a day a fin whale can consume nearly three to four tons of krill a day. Anderson and Southern have seen whale poop floating around, evidence that the whale is eating lots of krill, they say.
In the last few years Anderson said he's seen more krill-eating whales in the area. The migratory paths of the fin whale are not clearly defined like that of the gray whale. They say it's a possibility that the whale has selected the South County beaches for a more permanent stay.
'I've never seen a fin whale do this with a boat,' Southern said. 'It could be an adolescent that's just separated from its mother, looking for some company.'
On Monday Stacy Sims, of Long Beach, took her coveted spot at the boat's bow. She and her husband, Kevin, had taken the whale-watching trip a few weeks ago and sighted one of the first gray whales of the season. Now they were back for a second trip.
'The entire whale crossed just at the bow, right under me, it was amazing!' she said. 'It was at least 40 feet long and was just beautiful. We could see everything from tip to tail. It was just such a blessing to start the New Year.'
Burke Marine, suppliers of international quality marine clothing and equipment, was founded by Martin Burke on the shores of Sydney Harbour in 1971. Visit our website for your nearest stockist. [More info]
Ensign Ship Brokers
Ensign Ship Brokers was established in 1980 and has spent the last 28 years expanding our marine knowledge and developing our reputation! We strive to provide the very best service! [More info]
GME Standard Communications Pty Ltd
Leaders in communications and navigation. Their goal has always been to make products whose innovation, convenience and peace of mind can help improve the lives of their customers. [More info]
Hamilton Island Luxury Accommodation
Full range of private apartments, villas and houses on Hamilton Island. 1, 2, 3, 4, and 6 bedroom options available. All include buggy and island airport or marina transfers. [More info]
Multihull Solutions is Australia and New Zealand’s premier offshore and cruising catamaran and trimaran specialist, offering sales and servicing of the world’s finest multihull brands.
Navionics is proud of its superb cartographic database comprising more than 25,000 charts and port plans; the largest privately owned database of its kind, the only one using full seamless technology [More info]
OziOpti is all about 'getting kids in boats' and the Australian company supporting the introduction to of the world’s most popular junior sailing yacht, the 'International Optimist Dinghy' [More info]
Performance Sailcraft Australia (Asia Pacific)
Laser builder Performance Sailcraft Australia has taken on the successful RS Sailboat range from Britain, and is now licensed to build and distribute all of the RS range in the Asia Pacific region. [More info]
Sealink Magnetic Island Race Week
Entries for the fourth annual Sealink Magnetic Island Race Week have opened! 4 days of racing, 5 days of fun – that is what you can look forward to from 3-7 September at Magnetic Island. [More info]
Vicsail Sydney Pty Ltd, launched into the Australian sailing fraternity in 1983 and has been sailing strong ever since. At Vicsail, “We Sail the Boats We Sell”. [More info]