September 17th, 2022
A big Thank You to LA County Lifeguard Carter Baldwin for spotting what turned out to be a humpback whale migrating past Point Dume today! This humpback traveled through, much the way the gray whales migrate near shore, coming in close, passing the point and then heading out to deeper waters at 500 yards off shore. I was able to relocate the whale just north of Nicholas Canyon Beach, first appearing like a pod of dolphins leaping and porpoising just outside the kelp line moving very quickly splashing with flashes of dark bodies, only to realize it was the whale when it breached out of the water! This behavior continued for just over an hour, and had reportedly been breaching for a good 30 minutes prior to my sighting. Wow! Each breach requires and enormous amount of energy and a speed of up to 28 kph. The humpback whale breached every 30-90 seconds as it slowly traveled north (west). 42 total breaches, alternating with at least 8 episodes of pectoral flipper slapping sessions lasting up to 90 seconds each and at least 9 incidents of fluking. The whale finally slowed down as it was nearing county line and then that was it…it migrated on low profile, leaving footprints a mile or more away.
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Amazing pictures of the breaching humpback!!!