Whales along the Mendocino Coast

Wife Sarah and I took our dodgy canines for a walk about sixish today, We went to the west end of Ward Avenue in Cleone where it intersects with the Haul Road. The Haul Road used to be where the tracks were between the Union Lumber Company’s Mill in Fort Bragg and the Ten Mile River Basin. We pass by a car and a guy yells at Sarah from the window, “Didja see the whales? – Straight out just beyond where the surf starts,” We stop, Sure ’nuff there were whales spouting!!!!!

Of course I didn’t have a camera or bins (binoculars) so I couldn’t record what we were seeing. However I did have whale pics “in the bag”. Have a butchers below ……

Whales spouting

Whales spouting

Wanna scrub my back?

Wanna scrub my back?

Play time

Play time

Bye people

Bye people

Now suppose you live inland and you don’t get to see whales to often – well, all you need is a lunch bad and some blue ribbon ……….

Whale made from a lunch bag and some blue ribbon

Whale made from a lunch bag and some blue ribbon

 

Blue Whale off of the Mendocino Coast

This picture popped up om Lynn Catlett;s great Facebook page, “You know if you’re from Mendocino if……..”

Blue whale washed dead off of the Mendocino Coast

Blue whale washed dead off of the Mendocino Coast

Grey whales and Humpback whales are frequently seen off of the Mendocino Coast as they pass to and from their feeding grounds off of Alaska. But Blue whales? I’ve never seen one.

According to the Monterey Bay Aquarium site:

“Blue whales are the largest animals on Earth. They have astounding body parts—tongues that weigh two tons, a heart as large as a small car and skin-folds that extend from beneath the tips of their lower jaws to their navels. When expanded, these folds increase the interior of a blue whale’s mouth to the size of a train’s box car. Blue whales can grow to 100 feet (30 m) in length and weigh as much as 150 tons—the weight of 30 elephants.

Instead of teeth, blue whales have 300 to 400 fringed baleen plates that hang from their upper jaws and strain their food. Blue whales strain and eat krill, a tiny, shrimplike invertebrate. A whale gulps a mouthful of water and krill, closes its mouth, pushes out the water with its tongue and then swallows its catch of krill.

Blue whales visit Monterey Bay during the summer and fall. They come to eat, gulping tons of shrimplike krill. Finicky eaters, they eat only krill and can travel up to 30 miles a day in search of this prized food. In winter, blue whales return to the warmer waters off Central America to give birth and mate. Since krill is scarce or nonexistent in warm waters, the whales live off reserves of body fat until they can feed again.

Scientists estimate the present population worldwide to be 15,000 whales, with 2,000 of these living in California coastal waters, including Monterey Bay. This is the largest concentration of blue whales in the world. In the summer, whale watchers often see blue whales near the canyon that crosses Monterey Bay.”

So if you want to see one ……. Monterey Bay on your summer hols is the place to go.

S

Rainbow Breathing Whales

This is another “bit” I got off of the Space Weather site.

“….. “Rainbow breathing whale” sounds like a mythical creature. On June 18th, Mila Zinkova of San Francisco saw one … for real. “Humpback whales are back in San Francisco Bay, and they are breathing out rainbows.”

Rainbow breathing whales

Rainbow breathing whales

“This is not mythology. It’s physics. When Zinkova took the picture, the sun was behind her back shining down into the droplet-filled exhaust of the whale’s spout. Sunbeams reflecting from the water droplets produced a prismatic spray of color just like an ordinary rainbow.

Of course it didn’t look ordinary. “The full video,” says Zinkova, “may be found here. At 2:10 into the video there are anchovies jumping out of the water trying to escape a feeding whale.”

Whale Watching off of Noyo River, Fort Bragg, CA

Believe me  – this blog is awesome.

Migrating whales pass by the Mendocino Coast beginning in December and end in May.  The only place along the Mendocino Coast that you can go out to sea to see the whales “up close” is on a boat whose home port is Noyo Harbour, Fort Bragg. Last week the “buzz” in town was that there were “lots” of whales to be seen. So, our emeinent Club member/website guru Roger Thornburn and his lovely wife, Nancy, took to the briny. As you’ll see in a mo’ Roger is also a very accomplished photographer ‘cos his pics are just AWESOME.

Breach

Breach

Seals

Seals

Fluke

Fluke

Fluke

Fluke

Mother and calf

Mother and calf

Fluke sequence

Fluke sequence

Breach sequence

Breach sequence

Thanks Roger.

If you want more info on whale watching near Fort Bragg check out the bottom of this page.