Whale Watch, um, no Dolphin Watch!

Today was my first whale watch as a docent for the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium. As a rookie I didn’t lead the trip as I’m still in training, but I did my best to help spot the buggers out there at sea.

The weather was perfect. The only thing missing today out on the Voyager from Redondo Sportfishing were the whales. We did spot one but it was acting rather strange by swimming just below the surface and not showing his back at all when he came up to breathe. Our captain (John) was amazing, he spotted the whale from its flukeprint and navigated us into a position to see it without interfering.

But the highlight was when we caught a pod of Bottlenose Dolphins about halfway between Redondo and Catalina. About three hundred of them heading north frolicked around the boat, riding the bow wave, jumping fully out of the water and just looking like the amazing creatures that they are.

The whales are definitely out there. We spotted one off the beach at Laguna on Saturday, and at any time you can check up on the American Cetacean Society’s local census. I’m really looking forward to this season and getting to know the local birds better (I can’t tell my gulls apart). Classroom education is great, but the dolphins never look like those little drawings in the guidebooks. And of course understanding the scale of a whale is never quite as clear until your realize that they are actually bigger than a bus.

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