I finally had the chance to go blue whale watching! After seeing tons of blue whale pictures on Facebook, I said enough is enough already, I’ve got to get out there and see blue whales. Then Harbor Breeze Cruises in Long Beach offered a great deal (for a limited time only), 10 bucks to go whale watching if you mention Captain Carl’s Facebook special! (I’m not sure if this deal is still going on, but it doesn’t hurt to ask.) So on August 21st, I headed out to sea.
It was a beautiful day, but pretty rocky…lots of white caps and white knuckling the railing, but that’s all part of the adventure. (Thankfully I had taken my motion sickness medicine or I might be singing a different tune about the whole journey.) We had the chance to see two fabulous blue whales surface several times. The above photo is my favorite shot from the trip, with sunlight sparkling on the water’s surface and reflecting off the water on the blue whale.
The blue whales were busy diving and eating their favorite meal, krill, tiny shrimp-like crustaceans. This was verified by a large patch of blue whale poop (see above photo). Don’t worry, bright red poop is normal for blue whales, nothing to be alarmed by. If it’s red going in, it’s red coming out. And boy does that stuff smell bad, I was very glad to be on the top deck when we got close.
Alas, a great whale watching trip ended on a bummer note. On our way back to the dock in Long Beach Harbor, we came across a fishing boat with a huge animal dragging behind it (see above photo). Captain Carl Mayhugh turned the boat around so everyone could see, but no one could figure out what it was, most likely some type of shark. Then one of the fishermen yelled that it was a dolphin, hardy, har, har.
Later, I told several whale watching friends what happened and they saw pictures on Facebook of a very large mako shark being hauled in at Long Beach. Even though it doesn’t look quite the same as the flipper I captured in the photo, it must be the shark because the guy in the red shirt looks like the same guy in the red shirt on the boat. Catching a mako shark is legal, but it’s another big loss for the ocean.