12 Gray Whales and Injured Sea Lion

10 North bound 2 South bound 4.75 hours

Sunny day with mild 3-5mph wind, later wind picked up 15-18 mph with 25+mph gusts.

Two of the six sightings today came in close to shore delighting beachgoers with lots of rolling, back floating and head lifts as they slowly traveled along the transect.

One whale had a gash mark scar on its dorsal back area and another whale was “sharking”- a behavior where the whale is foraging under water and just the tip of the fluke peeks out and appears to be a shark when seen from a distance. This whale fluke has rake mark scars from several orca bites seen both ventral and dorsal side of the fluke.

The coast guard did a low flyer with doors open, getting good looks at the changed shore line. The scarp remains deeply carved into the beach berm. It will take a couple of days and several tide cycles for the sand to wash back on land that was pulled out to the sand bar before being dumped into the near shore underwater canyon by the California current or new sand is carried to the area from the same current from the beaches further north. Fancy beach picnic sets ups are still popular this year and today one was set up with with colorful vintage goblets.

Several emaciated (severely underweight) sea lions hauled out resting at 4:38 pm today in sea lion cove. One injured sea lion has a large wound around the neck , most likely from an entanglement, unfortunately they were all sent back into the water by beach goers trying to interact with them, which is considered harassment and risk of steep fines if caught. It also prohibit marine mammal rescue attempts which are virtually impossible until they come back on land and can be relocated. California Wildlife Center does wellness checks of the sea lion colony on a regular basis so good chance the injured and emaciated sea lions will be resighted and helped.

To Report a sick or injured Marine Mammal or Injured Shore Bird please call the California Wildlife Center: Marine Mammal Rescue Hotline….

Please take photo of the animal and injury without disturbing the animal.

DO NOT TOUCH THE ANIMAL Be Prepared to STAY until you speak to the center and KEEP OTHERS AWAY at least 100 ft if possible to protect the wildlife and yourself. You can also speak to the lifegaurd on duty to provide help if possible. The Wildlife Center may ask you to text the photo to them to assess the situation.

Call (310)-458-WILD

Golden pink heart shaped gray whale blows and an interesting knuckle pattern on same whale, seen as the sun was setting and one young man and his friends set up this elaborate display of roses, candles and picnic dinner scene with letters that light up and read MARRY ME? so sweet! Lots of beachgoers stopping by to take selphies, congratulating the hopeful future-groom-to-be wishing it was all for them 🙂

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