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

Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 CEO Knut Frostad talks (Part I) *Feature by Rob Kothe and the Sail-World team,


Fisher's View: Sailing perfection at Hamilton Island- Day 3 by Bob Fisher, Hamilton Island, Queensland








America's Cup: Team NZ wish Davis well with new team by Richard Gladwell, Sail-world.com/nz,


2014 Formula Kite World Championship Day 1 by Markus Schwendtner, Istanbul
























Opera House Cup - Images by Ingrid Abery by Ingrid Abery/Sail-World.com,


Teams descend upon Cowes for inaugural J/111 World Championships by Stuart Johnstone, Cowes, Isle of Wight, England




























2014 Nanjing Youth Olympic Games trailer
2014 Chicago Grand Slam - Canfield wins
Round Britain and Ireland Race - Varuna takes overall lead
Audi Hamilton Island Race Week; Crosbie Lorimer Day 1 Images
Fisher's View: Hamilton Island Race Week - Day 1 - Stayin' Alive
CORK Olympic Classes Regatta 2014 - Day one
Youth Olympics: practice over, athletes welcomed, time for YOG sailing
Round Britain and Ireland Race - Record for Artemis-Team Endeavour
2014 Melges 32 U.S. National Championship - Day 2
Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland: Artemis sets fourth course record
2014 Chicago Grand Slam - Top seeds survive as semi-finalists
420 and 470 Junior Europeans - Breezy day 4 in Gdynia
RC44 World Championship - Dramatic improvement for Artemis Racing
18' Skiff International Regatta - Action begins August 25th
Round Britain and Ireland Race - Challenging conditions arise
Round Britain and Ireland Race - Record-breaking monohull victory
Round Britain and Ireland Race - Dongfeng Race Team finishes third
RC44 Marstrand World Championship - Bronenosec the star performer
Bahamian Olympic Sailor to carry flag in honour of Sir Durward Knowles
Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race: Records continue to tumble
Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race: Course Record for Team SCA   
Round Britain and Ireland Race - Team Alvimedica completes the race   
2014 Melges 32 U.S. National Championship - Day 1   
420 and 470 Junior European Championships - A crazy race day 3   
2014 Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race: Monohull record smashed   
2014 Chicago Grand Slam - Top seeds take the early lead   
Frostad proud to have seven Volvo Ocean Race boats with seven sponsors *Feature   
RC44 World Championship - Bronenosec Sailing Team on form   
Round Britain and Ireland Race - Dongfeng defends third position   
Volvo Ocean Race: Team Vestas Wind emerges into the sunlight   
Volvo Ocean Race: Round Britain on board Team SCA with the   
Volvo Ocean Race: Round Britain on board Azzam and Team Campos   
Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race - Twist of fate on day 5   
Mallorca’s Puerto Portals to host the 2015 TP52 World Championship   
Volvo Ocean Race: Round Britain on board with Team Alvimedica   
Volvo Ocean Race: Round Britain with on board with Team Dongfeng   
Melges 32 U.S. National Championship 2014 - Teams ready for action   
USA Match Racing Grand Slam Series - Kicks off in Chicago   
U.S. Youth Championships - Climactic finish on Lake St. Clair   
Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games - Lake Jinniu action on the horizon   


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 WAS US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT