Why do (Gray)Whales Breach? There are several theories including, communication tool between the whales socially or as a warning, loosen parasites from the skin or for pure playful fun and enjoyment. However, research done in 2016 by Rachel Cartwright PhD. who studied humpback whales, determined that the exertion required to leap out of the ocean increases the level of myoglobin levels in young whales. Similar to hemoglobin in humans, myoglobin carries oxygen in the muscles of whales which allows the whales to be able to dive for longer periods of time.
Today, the first of sixteen sightings began with one of three gray whales breaching along the northern migration route. It is not the best technical photograph or clear what the whales intention was but it is of value showing a large prominent identification mark just above the right pectoral fin. If you see this whale in the future please take a photo and post a comment or send an email.
The rest of the day had many whale-human interactions, close encounters, and observations from paddle boarders, boats, drones and planes flying over.
30 Northbound 3 Southbound 3 EW 9 hours
Paddle boarders over the canyon where the whales stop along the migration route for mating behaviors, feeding behaviors and resting behaviors.
A Gray whale’s eye can be seen just under the water just before surfacing for a full exhalation.
Studying the whales behavior as fast moving yachts, power boats and fishing vessels transect the whale migration paths. Similar research and documentation has helped to move the cargo shipping lanes further off shore and prevent whale injuries or death from shipping collisions.