Gray whale and dolphin watching

Common dolphin porpoising

Gray whale watching is in full-swing off Southern California’s coast. I went on my first whale watching trip as a naturalist for the 2011 season yesterday on the Voyager and we had a great time.

The trip included a chance to spend some time with about 500 common dolphins. A few swam towards the boat and took turns bowriding. And I finally got a good photo of a common dolphin, they are so fast most of my photos are just blurry flashes or dolphins half in and out of the frame. But this time I captured the whole dolphin on an above the surface leap and it’s in focus!

We also saw California sea lions, lots of birds and at the very end of the trip Captain Brad spotted a gray whale. After watching the gray whale for awhile we realized it was a cow-calf pair because once in awhile a tiny head popped up. Instead of doing the standard exhales at the surface, the mom was snorkeling, which is when a whale exhales on the way to the surface and then breathes at the surface. This makes it much harder to spot the whale, which is the point because whales tend to do this when they don’t want to be spotted. But thanks to Captain Brad’s keen eyes we still got to see her and the calf.

If you live in Southern California or are in the Los Angeles area visiting, definitely go whale watching. You never know what you might see. For more information visit the Voyager’s website.

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