News Home Video Gallery Newsletters Photo Gallery Cruising Int

 

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 ...

Cruising USA



Flags at Sea, an infographic by John Tissott by Anna Parker and the Sail-World Team,














Our new Cruising Editor editor remembers his first offshore adventure by David Schmidt, Sail-World Cruising Editor, Seattle, WA




World ARC 2014 reaches Australia by World Cruising Club,


Venezuelan Port Control lift recent port restrictions. by Caribbean Safety and Security Net,


Seismic survey ship operating north of Aruba and Curacao by Caribbean Safety and Security Net,


Predictwind helps you pick the best time to depart by Richard Gladwell Sail-World.com/nz,


















4.8 million Legos all at sea by Adam Clark Estes,






Dredging activity near corals can increase frequency of diseases by ARC Centre of Excellence Coral Reef Studies,




Understanding the Ocean's role in Greenland Glacier melt by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI),




Three Defensive Docking Strategies for Sailors by Captain John Jamieson, Florida


Revealing report on Search for American yacht Nina released *Feature by Rob Kothe and the Sail-World team,






Book review: Weather - you like it or not
Vaavud launches generation 2 wind meter
The drama begins - North West Passage sailors rescued from ice
Entering an unfamiliar bay - decision time
Baby Nemos finding their way home
High Latitude Sailing - Book of the Week
Will the Olympics make a difference to Rio pollution? *Feature
Blue Planet Odyssey, around world rally, begins
Africa Europe Cruising Challenge now open for entries
The real ‘Supermoon’ story
Warm and noisy welcome for Oceans of Hope in La Rochelle
Sailor rescued after Facebook call for rescue
Solo sailing star's passion = busy environmental schedule
El Niño (Part 2). Effects on the Pacific Ocean
Northern Scotland: Voyage to Orkney and Shetland Isles (Part 1)
Northern Scotland: Voyage to Orkney and Shetland Isles, photos
The Galley Guys' favourite shrimp recipe
Vestas Sailrocket 3 - Over the Horizon
BoatUS speaks out about 'Ethanol-at-all-cost Agenda'
Tidal current installations will increase boating hazards
Eco-Sailboat of the future - Catherine Chabaud at work   
Calling yachts in the South Pacific - rally to New Zealand   
The final touch - which wax should I use on my boat?   
ARC Baltic sets sail to discover Europe's 'east sea'   
Another boom death. Australian sailor dies, hit by swinging boom   
Galley Guru vital to the life of the cruising sailor   
'Boat Handling in Marinas' by Rob Gibson - and how to get it reliably   
Heart-stopping moment as whale capsizes Zodiac   
If we stop killing parrotfish we can bring back Caribbean coral reefs   
Climate change could stop fish finding their friends   
Vanuatu ups their welcome to cruising sailors with new approach   
Criminal charges mooted for owners of sunk HMS Bounty   
Red faces after authorities inadvertently aid boat thief to get away   
Mobiles drive traffic - 72% increase in Sail-World.com page view *Feature   
Sail Estonia: a VERY new idea   
Tie This 'Lifesaving' Bowline in Seconds - the easy way!   
A Beer Bummel on the Thames River   
Online weather routing - possible? Predict Wind says yes   
Why Boats Sink: Ten best tips on prevention   
The North West Passage calls: Who will answer this year?   


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  

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 Cru USA
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT