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

ISAF Sailing World Championships - Watch medal races live here by Dan Ibsen, Sail-World Europe & UK editor,
























470 Men and Women Worlds - Vadlau and Ogar into pole position by 470 International Association Class,




ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Strong competition for RS:X fleets by Olga Maslivets, International RS:X Class Assoc.,






































470 Men and Women Worlds - Game on for Olympic Qualification
ISAF Sailing World Championships: Finns off to slow start in Santander
ISAF Sailing World Championships - Seesaw Day 5 in Santander + Video
ISAF Sailing World Championships - 470 sailors shine in Santander
Royal Cup Marina Ibiza - Kiwi Ray Davies returns to TP52 fleet
Starboard Hatteras Wave Jam - No windsurfing action on day 1
A complete recap of the most successful Melges 20 World Championship
Rolex Big Boat Series - Prizegiving images by Chuck Lantz
ISAF Santander - Upwards path for Austrian women's 470 crew + video
18ft skiffs: Carnage compilation from the glory days of the Grand Prix
ISAF Worlds: Video from the British Sailing Team
Bart's Bash expected to set new records this weekend
PWA Cold Hawaii World Cup - Marcilio Browne wins Super Session
470 Men and Women World Championships - Racing abandoned on day 2
ISAF Sailing World Championships - Day 4 images from Santander
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander: Emerging Nations Program sailors shine
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Teasing winds play havoc on day 4
ISAF Sailing World Championships: Hot conditions in Santander on day 4
Santander ISAF Sailing World Championships joins Bart’s Bash
PWA Cold Hawaii World Cup - Grounded fishing boat creates problems
Marseille One Design - GC32 Armin Strom Sailing Team emerge victorious   
Rolex Big Boat Series 2014 - Ready for another 50 years   
2014 Rolex Big Boat Series - Farr 40 Day 4   
2014 Rolex Swan Cup - Eleventh-hour victories   
Extreme Sailing Series - Kiwis clinch Act win in Istanbul + Video   
2014 Rolex Big Boat Series - Two long races today for the J70 fleet   
2014 Rolex Big Boat Series - Impressive to sail out of the Golden Gate   
Extreme Sailing Series - Istanbul delivers four days of great racing   
ISAF Sailing Worlds Santander - Day 3 images by Sail-World.com   
Extreme Sailing Series: Emirates Team NZ bounces back for series win   
Santander 2014 ISAF Worlds - Light winds and current test six classes   
ISAF Sailing World Championships - Solid Day 3 for US Sailing Team   
ISAF Sailing World Championships - Day 3 images by Jesus Renedo   
Marseille One Design 2014 - GC32 Armin Strom blitzes final day   
Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 - Una Etapa 0 complicada para todos   
Santander 49ers: Olympic Gold Medallist says two into 90 does not go!! *Feature   
GBR aiming for first ever Nacra 17 Games berth at Santander Worlds   
Volvo Ocean Race: Man and sail overboard as Leg 0 serves up drama   
ISAF Sailing World Championships Santander 2014 – Images by Dan Ibsen   
Santander Worlds – already a spectator success   


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