2 Northbound Gray Whales 0 Southbound (3.75 hrs)
Pelicans in full breeding colors gathered at the Little Point today taking turns hunting for fish and mates. The low tide revealed starfish not normal seen and very much welcomed. The cool 60 degree windy weather was more tolerable finally spotting one whale heading towards Anacapa Island after 3 hours and a second whale a few min later closer to shore.
Early morning launch of the SpaceX Falcon 9 PAZ Mission seen along the coast as the Gray Whales continue their migration north to Alaska and south to the lagoons in Mexico.
10 Northbound 3 Southbound Whales Today 7 hours
The 1st sighting included an interesting identification mark on the right dorsal hump of one whale in a group of three traveling north bound low profile. Sighting #6 traveled north slowly for over an hour, also group of three whales interacting, feeding, back floating and gliding thru the waves.
4-22-17 A beautiful rainbow heart shaped whale blow also known as a “RAINBLOW” was seen as the early morning sun was burning off the heavy low lying marine layer and lit up the whales expiration breath not once but three times as the gray whale continued on its northern migration.
Wildflowers remain in abundance with new varieties coming in to bloom as other ones fade. Sunlife Organics is a local fresh juice and smoothie shop on the way in to Pt. Dume. My current favorite is the Vanilla protein smoothie with blueberries. This shake gives me enough energy and stamina to spot and count the sometimes elusive gray whales that migrate along the coast of Pt Dume. Today was a good day with calm waters and blue skies. I counted 22 whales and one cow/ calf pair in 7.5 hrs . All of the whales today were in close and stayed for 20 minutes or more at various stops along the viewing area. One pair of whales were small (yearlings), they rolled and swam over each other playfully for 30 min or more before moving on. Another sighting was a very active trio which stayed 175 yrs off shore for over an hour. One smaller juvenile whale stayed for over two hours changing directions heading north then south, resting several times completely layed flat out on top of the water floating quietly and gliding through the area slowly using its flippers to propel itself rather than the fluke. Several groups of bottlenose dolphins came through northbound and southbound at different times today. The water so clear you could see them moving through under the water. At times they swam with the whales and interacted then moved on quickly.
Migrating Gray Whale along California Coast 2017
After a long morning of heavy thick fog and 5-10% visibility, the marine layer lifted just enough to see 17 whales pass along the coast in the afternoon. At one point there was a total of 7 whales in 3 different groups displaying nearly every whale behavior including, bubble blasts, spyhopping, fluke swishing, rolling, pectoral fins, audible blows and direction changes with mingling in different groups plus at times there was feeding behaviors with watery sand spilling out of mouths. Towards late afternoon,in less than 25 yards of on shore visibilty , three scuba divers came out of the water saying they had zero visibility under water and only saw the whales from the surface above water while under the fog layer themselves.
Scuba Divers in Heavy Marine Layer with Low Visibility
Spotting Gray Whales in heavy fog is difficult but not impossible as I learned today. In six hours I observed four migrating gray whales in three separate sightings. Listening for the audible blows in 5 % visabilty helped me identify one whale along with a very excited group of unsuspecting beach goers visiting from Echo Park.
After several days of choppy, rough white capped water making it nearly impossible to spot gray whales let alone the blow spouts, today the sky was blue, the ocean was calmer, the hills and mountains along the PCH are alive and carpeted with lush bright green mixed with bursts of bright orange and yellow wild sun flowers in full bloom. At the ocean along the shore you can see from nearly any viewing site the gray whales are migrating in both directions,north and south. It was a busy day counting and observing with 90% visability mild temperature of 64 degrees and strong winds as the day went on. The whale behavior today was varied from the whale photographed above with its head and fluke both out of the water to the complete opposite back floaters with the tip of the chin sticking out and tips of pectoral fins sticking out. In the 5.2 hrs I observed a dozen gray whales, a few sightings were far out along the horizon and several closer to shore merged with north and south bounders making it a busy observation counting day.