Just Another Day at the Office
What a day, beautiful sky, little wind, flat seas, wonderful temperature and Whales!
I love the southern coast of California. In fact, we have the privilege to live next to one of the most diverse whale populations on the planet.
In fact, numerous whales, can be seen traveling up and down the coast. These include;
- Gray Whale – Eschrichtius robustus;
- Blue Whale – Balaenoptera musculus;
- Humpback Whale – Megaptera novaeangliae;
- Minke Whale – Balaenoptera acutorostrata ;
- Sperm Whale – Physeter macrocephalus;
- Pygmy Sperm Whale – Kogia breviceps;
- Brydes Whale – Balaenoptera cf. brydei;
- Sei Whale – Balaenoptera borealis;
- Baird’s beaked whale – Berardius bairdii;
- Blainville’s beaked whale – Mesoplodon densirostris;
- Ginkgo-toothed beaked whale – Mesoplodon ginkgodens;
- Perrin’s beaked whale – Mesoplodon perrini;
- Stejneger’s beaked whale – Mesoplodon stejnegeri;
- Cuvier’s beaked whale – Ziphius cavirostris; and
- Fin Whale – Balaenoptera physalus.
In addition, these giants can be seen at different times during the year along the coast of Southern California.
Amazingly, several of these animals have multiple thousand mile journeys every year. Typically, traveling between rich feeding grounds in Alaska to warm waters in Mexico.
Gray Whales Migration
Specifically, Grays can be seen beginning in November. At that time, they are heading south to the warm-water lagoons of the Baja peninsula. Then beginning in February and March they head north to the feeding grounds of the Bering sea.
Consequently, by late December to early January Grays begin to arrive in the calving lagoons of Baja. Moreover, the first to arrive, pregnant mothers, look to the lagoons for protection. While, the pregnant whales; give birth to their calves, single females seeking out male companions in order to mate.
Morover, the three primary lagoons that the whales seek in Baja California are Scamnon’s , San Ignacio and Magdalena. Scamnon’s were named after a notorious whale hunter. While he discovered the lagoons in the 1850’s, he later became one of the first protectors of the Grays.
The California Grays were called the devil fish until the early 1970’s. At that time a fisherman in Laguna San Ignacio named Pachico Mayoral reached out and touched a Gray mother that kept approaching his boat. The fisherman have been interacting with the whales ever since. Today the whales in Laguna San Ignacio are protected. Moreover, it is possible to visit a whale camp and have the same experience that Pachico had.
Throughout February and March, the first Gray Whales to leave the lagoons are the males and single females. The other whales start leaving the lagoons once they have mated. The beautiful creatures then begin the long trek back north. There they will enjoy the summer feeding grounds in the Bering seas. Pregnant females and nursing mothers with their newborn calves are the last to leave the lagoons. They leave only when their calves are ready for the journey, which is usually from late March to mid-April.
Accordingly, Grays appear most prominently in wintertime. While, Humpbacks and Blues migrate during the summer months, from early June to late September.
The Pool is Open……