Hi! Welcome to Spyhop Lane!

My name is Alison,  I am a retired nurse with a deep passion for watching the Pacific Gray Whales on their Northern Migration to Alaska. I am using a culmination of my education and registered nursing (RN) skills to observe and document my findings. Michael Smith of the Gray Whale Count in Goleta encouraged me to “unofficially” count the whales at Pt Dume in 2013 since there was no official count currently going on. He was my inspiration for starting this journey. On my blog Spyhop Lane you will  find  images and details of whale behavior, images of birds and other wildlife  plus a list of my favorite places and things to do in the area.

My mission is to  contribute  photo identification photos and behavior data I collect to the broader cetacean community for the purpose of increased knowledge  about the gray whale behaviors along  the migration route.

My goal is to photograph the whales as they pass along the Pt. Dume Marine Sanctuary and other areas along the California coast documenting each whales unique markings along the dorsal hump ridge and the ventral side of the fluke.

In the future, souvenir items featuring my photographs and graphic designs will be for sale with a percentage donated back to a charity (to be determined) which focuses on research and education about the gray whales.

Why the name Spyhop Lane? In 2013 when I began to count the whales I noticed a many of the whales displayed a behavior called spyhopping which is when the whale emerges from the ocean vertically poking its head straight out of the water, sometimes just past the eyes then sinking back into the ocean. The whales also seem to stay in a particular lane like the cars do along the freeway or swimmers in a race. There are specific sections along the coast where  the whales spyhop the most often and specific paths or lanes the whales take along the migration path across the bays and inlets all up and down the coast.  The part of Pt Dume where I observe and take this survey is one of those lanes where the whales spyhop thus the name Spyhop Lane.

For any additional information please contact me at spyhoplane@gmail.com




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