sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery

 

Sail-World.com : Whales, whales and more whales in Southern California

Whales, whales and more whales in Southern California

'Family Gathering -- A pod of orcas known as CA51 has made a habit of traversing farther south than most killer whales, being spotted multiple times over the years hunting and playing along Southern Californias coastline. The group was seen traveling with another orca family (CA140) Jan. 2 off Palos Verdes, and again Jan. 10 off Dana Point. -- Alisa Schulman-Janiger photo'    .

Sailors in Southern California are being treated to the magnificent sight of hundreds of whales off the coastline this year,quoted as the best sightings in 10 years. Gray whales are migrating south in record numbers and killer whales -- or orcas -- are also making sporadic showings.

Whale-watching charter vessels from San Diego to Santa Barbara have reported to The Log that multiple gray and finback whale sightings, and large pods of orcas have been appearing right alongside boats, in some cases.

'There haven’t been many days lately where we haven’t seen a whale,' said Dan Johnson of Dana Wharf whale watching tours. Johnson, who spent 16 years as a deckhand on charter boats operating out of Dana Point Harbor, said that the past year has been stellar for whale watchers.

'Last year, we had all of those blue whale sightings from May through October, and then the gray whales came along a little earlier in their migration than usual,' Johnson said.

Not only did the whales arrive earlier, but they came in much higher numbers than usual, according to Alisa Schulman-Janiger of the American Cetacean Society.

'We’re seeing about double what we saw at this point last year,' Janiger said in an interview with The Log?nid=93534 on Jan. 10. 'We were even getting reports of grays showing in October -- and these reports are coming in from up and down the coast, from Monterey to San Diego.'

Janiger oversees the gray whale census and behavior project at the Los Angeles branch of the American Cetacean Society, where -- since 1979 -- designated spotters have located and recorded whale activity off Palos Verdes Peninsula from their deck at the Point Vicente Interpretive Center.

Each winter, gray whales migrate south along the coast from the frigid waters of Alaska to nursery grounds off Baja California, where pregnant females give birth to a new generation of whales.

In December, when southbound whale sightings usually start picking up, 198 gray whales were spotted -- nearly triple the normal sightings, according to the survey’s 10-year average. While the increase in whale activity has whale lovers overjoyed, scientists are wondering what, exactly, is causing the influx in numbers.

'It does fluctuate, depending on the year,' said Jessica Crawford, a marine biologist at San Diego’s Birch Aquarium told The Log. 'On average, we tend to see most going southward at the end of January into early February, but were pleasantly surprised to see them earlier than usual and in greater numbers. We were seeing upward of 15 to 20 grays a day.'

Biologist Wayne Perryman of the National Marine Fisheries Service has a hunch about why the numbers are increasing: Two good feeding seasons in a row in Arctic waters could be resulting in a larger number of pregnant whales coming south to give birth, along with an increase in fattened-up females coming south, ready to get pregnant for next year (as gray whales often breed on the southward migration).

Starting early this month, the gray whales will begin heading back north to the feeding grounds with their newborn calves, giving boaters and other whale watchers another opportunity to point and marvel. However, the migration also gives orcas a chance to feed on some of those calves.

Orcas, which have rightfully earned the name 'killer whales,' have been known to prey on newborn calves as they begin the long migration north. While usually remaining north of Monterey, some families of orcas have begun moving south along the Los Angeles County and Orange County coast.

One orca family known as CA51 (the whale groups are numbered from 1 to more than 200), was first seen off California in 1991 and has become known as the 'transient' pod, ranging up and down the coast.

The seven-member family -- which consists of the mother, four offspring and two calves belonging to one of the daughters -- usually stays around Monterey Bay, but it has been known to take detours south. It was spotted off Malibu in 2007 and 2008, and it was sighted multiple times in 2010.

This season, the CA51 group has made many appearances in Southern California since December -- showing up off Ventura, Newport Beach, Dana Point and Palos Verdes, sometimes with other orca family groups.

It's important to keep a safe distance from whales -- at least 100 feet. Boats should never cut in front of -- or separate -- groups of whales.




by The Log/Sail-World Cruising

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=93534

1:44 AM Fri 3 Feb 2012 GMT






Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.

Click for further information on
Environment and the ocean

Related News Stories:

27 Nov 2013  World Oceans Day appeals for funds
16 Nov 2013  Gigantic iceberg sails north from the Antarctic
09 Nov 2013  Sailing and swimming with manatees - Oceans Watch Essay
01 Nov 2013  OceansWatch: cruising sailors give something back in the South Pacific
23 Oct 2013  'The Ocean is Broken' - without fish, there can be no birds
13 Oct 2013  PlanetSolar reaches Paris after successful ocean study
02 Oct 2013  Monaco Yacht Show goes Green
07 Sep 2013  Great Pacific Garbage Patch - the real story
03 Sep 2013  World's largest solar yacht drops anchor after marine science quest
25 Aug 2013  Boat owners: cover vessels to deter seagulls
MORE STORIES ...

News - USA and the World











































International Moth Worlds: Rashley ahead as Aussies close in by Mark Jardine / YachtsandYachting.com,




















International Moth Worlds - Mothballed on day 4 + Video by Mark Jardine / YachtsandYachting.com,




Gladwell's Line: A change of direction needed in the America's Cup *Feature
29er North American Championship - Day 1 in Kingston
Red Bull 49erFX: First look at the Olympic sailing venue at Rio
Fuerteventura Kiteboarding Grand Slam - Classic conditions on day 3
NYYC Race Week Part II images by Rolex/Daniel Forster
Drowning or electric shock? What you need to know to help save a life
BIC Techno 293 Worlds 2014 - Day 1
Six Metre European Championship - Blazing sunshine on opening day
National Sailing Hall of Fame to present Lifetime Achievement Award
International Moth Worlds: Greenhalgh and Rashley tied at the top
PWA Pozo World Cup - Fantastic finale determines winners
Six Metre Class British Open Championship - Llanoria and Valhalla win
Anna Tunnicliffe set to compete at the CrossFit Games
America's Cup: Oracle Team USA holds foiling camp at Wangi SC
Volvo Ocean Race: Abu Dhabi OR completes double Atlantic crossing
Volvo Ocean Race: Team SCA has a 'pull through day' off the Canaries
No tiller sailing - how to steer using just the sails + Video
International Moth Worlds: Three bullets in a row for Greenhalgh
U.S. Junior Women’s Singlehanded Championship - Sophia Reineke wins
BIC Techno 293 Worlds 2014 - Day 0 Opening
Fuerteventura World Cup - Slalom action highlights day 2   
2014 Governor's Cup - Sam Gilmour of RFBYC victorious again   
Farr 40 West Coast Champ - Skipper Alberto Rossi leads Enfant Terrible   
Flying Dutchman World Championships - Magyars are the Masters   
Final day shakes up standings at Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek   
2014 -15 Volvo Ocean Race: Team Alvimedica pushing towards Southampton   
NYYC Race Week - Saving the best for last   
VX One North American Championship - Chris Alexander commands   
2014 Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek - Waiting game on Day 3   
International Moth Worlds: Thunderstorms delay racing on Day 1   
Fuerteventura World Cup - Impressive tricks on day 1   
2014 Governor's Cup - Two former winners in the finals   
America's Cup: Iain Murray explains reasons for Australian withdrawal *Feature   
Wilson and Roble remain number one match racers in U.S.   
2014 ISAF Youth Match Racing World Championship - Set to start   
PWA Pozo World Cup - Moreno twins dominate home spot   
ISAF Youth Worlds - Record breaking regatta in Tavira + Video   
Melges 32 European Championship - Robertissima remains out front   
Farr 40 West Coast Championship - Italians take one-point lead   
Melges 32 European Championship - Day 3 images by Carlo Borlenghi   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT