Offshore Report (March 28)

dolphinicon.gifThe Ultimate Whale Watch trip sponsored by ACS-LA on Saturday saw a plethora of creatures: Gray Whales, Dall’s Porpoise, Long-Beaked Common Dolphin, Short-Beaked Common Dolphin, Risso’s Dolphins and even some far off Fin Whales and Humpback Whale. Let that be a lesson to me to always go on the local all-day trips!

dolphinicon.gifThe current tally of Gray Whales from the ACS-LA Census is 554 northbound whales. The census has even started seeing northbound cow-calf pairs (they migrate north much later than the rest of the whales) and can be seen locally well into May.

dolphinicon.gifThere was a cool article in the LA Times about Humboldt Squid, which were once rare off SoCal. It may be that they’ve moved into a niche in our local ecosystem since other larger predators like sharks are proving scarce. Pete Thomas’ previous article from ’04 Are Squid Viscious also provides more info about them. Thomas will also have another article later this week about his experience on the Ultimate Whale Watch trip Saturday the 24th mentioned above.

dolphinicon.gifThe Cabrillo Marine Aquarium is holding a fundraising trip on Sunday morning to benefit the whale watch program. The Special Whale Watch is only $20 per person and you get a slide show at the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium to introduce you to the sights of the sea, then a full 3 hour guided tour from the 22nd Street Landing on the Pacific Monarch. 9:30 AM to 2:00PM. Call 310-548-7562 for more info.

dolphinicon.gifI asked at class last night about the bubble-blasting behavior observed off of Pt. Dume on Sunday. There’s no definitive answer about why Gray Whales will bubble-blast. They may use it to communicate or scare predators (especially if there is a calf among them). Before you go suggesting it’s a burp, whales can’t burp through their blowhole … their breathing system is completely separate from their mouths and stomachs. (I suppose they could still let lose a burp through their mouth, but I don’t think it’d look the same on the surface).