Happy St Patricks Day 32 Gray Whales in 18 Sightings

32 Northbound 0 Southbound 10 hrs 1 EW 

 18 sightings on St Patricks Day, the 17th of March 2018!  Whale counting and observations started with a Great Egret perched on the fence along the walk in, hunting from above.

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Three gray whales traveling through so fast the blow mist is still on the surface of the water as one is sounding for a deep dive, with the other two keeping pace. The center whale has a distinct identification mark on the right side.

2018-03-17-three-gray-whales-pod-pt-dume-7208Four gray whales on the northern migration, one at the surface exhalation blowing, one under water glowing and two behind. This quad pod is traveling through the Point Dume Preserve Marine Sanctuary  migrating to Alaska.

2018-03-17-four gray-whales-pod-pt-dume-7131One gray whale changed directions in the underwater canyon area in the middle of a larger group of 4-5 whales in a mating courtship before heading northbound with the group above.  The lighter color of this whale is due to scaring from when the barnacles and whale lice fall off  leaving white marks behind. This whale was trackable from a few miles away as it crossed the Santa Monica Bay and reached the transect area.

2018-03-17-gray-whale-glow-underwater-pt-dume-7262One gray whale  spyhopped as another whale continued on and traveled through.

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Here is the outstretched fluke of one whale with the blow of another whale right before these two switched places being submerged and above the water in a very active courting group.2018-03-17-gray-whales-fluke-blow-mating-pt-dume-7364

Every day there are plane flyovers and this day there was four at once in a vintage air show exercise passing over the point in the late afternoon as whales continued the courting and mating behaviors without interruption this time.

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Gray whale blow glowing in the soon to be setting sun in gusty winds and choppy seas.

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What do you see in this cloud as the sun was setting? A rabbit, a heart or a seated teddy bear with button limbs? or all of the above? I see a seated bunny rabbit looking west, holding a heart with a hearts shaped tail, legs, wings and ears 🙂

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