5 Gray Whales and Giant Coreopsis in Full Bloom

5 North 0 South 1 THIN 5 hours

Today’s wind: 12-15 mph with gusts makes a sunny 68 degrees day feel chilly. Clear view across the Santa Monica Bay with the downtown LA skyline in sight. One barking sea lion could be seen and heard on Sea Lion Rock and 10-15 were hauled out in Sea Lion Cove.

The first gray whale sighting was 1500 yards out with two sets of footprints and quick blow followed by dorsal hump. The pair alternated surfacing appearing to be one whale, until further inspection of photos were reviewed. The pair traveled through FAST and out to deeper water. The second sighting was a solo fast moving, smaller, juvenile whale with cervical neck dip and dimpled rostrum. A careful Baywatch Malibu boat slowed down over the whales path but the juvenile went for a deep dive as the boat approached giving us a chance to see a waterfall as the fluke arched and went under. The third sighting was another smaller solo whale at low tide in the surf, spyhopping, rolling, back floating with fins up in the air, sharking, with tip of fluke poking out and my favorite behavior -heads up flukes up- and out of the water in the waves. It happens in a split second and not always at the same speed as the camera can catch it 🙂

The hiking trails in Point Dume Natural Preserve are lined with ancient Giant Coreopsis( Coreopsis gigantea) plants. The woody stemmed plants bloomed early this year thanks to heavy rainfall in December. Giant Coreopsis is a native woody perennial plant, that can be seen in abundance starting in Santa Monica along the PCH1 (Pacific Coast Highway 1) through Malibu and into Ventura County up to San Luis Obispo of Central California and out on the Channel Islands. Please be careful in the off season visiting the Point Dume Nature Preserve not to break the woody looking stumps!

The new Big Dume Cove staircase is still not open due storm damage and erosion incurred December 2021 and continuing supply chain issues for remediation. A rock-landslide occurred nearby at Little Dume Cove in November of 2021. Officials are keeping a close watch on the safety of the area and construction for the stairs.

Update: On the Harbor Seal rescue by The California Wildlife Center – Marine Mammal Rescue from Suzanne, a local gal who called to report and stayed with the seal until the rescue took place ….sadly it did not survive. No cause of death was shared. Please call the California Wildlife Rescue if you see a sick or injured marine mammal or shore bird.  310.458.WILD, Press Option 1

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