Offshore Report (January 6th)

The winds died down and the small craft advisories expired, so I was out on the Voyager out of Redondo Sportfishing this afternoon. The morning trip reported one Gray Whale and a super-pod of Common Dolphins.

dolphinicon.gifWithin ten minutes of leaving the harbor we were on a small pod of Common Dolphins (about 10 individuals). They were probably scouting some new food sources and weren’t interested in playing in the boat’s bow wake.

dolphinicon.gifWe caught up with the same meandering Gray Whale as the morning boat, but it was a “two blows and six minutes down” whale which was also not traveling in a straight line. We saw it three times, including a distant fluke.

dolphinicon.gifWe headed further out of Santa Monica Bay to catch up with some Risso’s Dolphins. The group of about 12 individuals was actively feeding. They’d come up and breathe at the surface for two or three minutes, then dive together for about two or three minutes. (See video after the jump)

dolphinicon.gifWhile on the way back into Santa Monica Bay hugging the coast by Whale Rock, we caught up with a lovely and slow Gray Whale who would blow six to eight times and only stay down three to four minutes. What a great whale! We stayed with him for four cycles and got a great look at the chin (with barnacles) and wide back. It only fluked once.

dolphinicon.gifThe final and most exciting part was as we turned back to make a bee line for the harbor (we’d stayed out a little late) and there was a breaching whale far ahead. Sadly it was too far ahead. It threw itself out of the water four times, with spectacular but distant splashes. When we got to its position it was long gone and not feelin’ like throwin’ itself in the air.

Here’s my first attempt at posting a video of a trip. These are Risso’s Dolphins. The voice on the video is Captain Gary narrating while took a short break to take some photos of them. (He’s a great naturalist too, the captains on most whale watching boats have an amazing ability to spot and of course observe natural behavior.)

Yeah, the water was a little choppy towards the end of the trip. But it was an awesome trip.

Previous Offshore Reports: 12/13/2006, 12/6/2006 & 1/3/2007 plus more photos here.