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Old 01-31-2013
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Whales!

Its whale migration season here in SoCal. On the news they spotted 26 whales in a single pod a week or so ago off the coast. They said it may have been a record as thats a huge number...

Today was a nice clear day…I decided it would be nice to take the boat out and open up the sails for a bit. It has been on the news that its whale migrating season and quite a few whales have been seen off the coast. In the back of my mind I thought it would be nice to see a few but you never know. I have seen lots of Dolphin, a few Killer Whales and of course the local Sea Lions. The wind was very light maybe 5 knots. I shut the motor off and let the light breeze slowly glide the boat through the calm water when I heard something…Not sure what it was, I turned my music all the way down..I had some jazz playing lightly in the background. Then I heard it again. Yup thats a whale! I scanned the horizon and about a mile away I say the whale breaching! I started the motor and headed that way. I got to about the area I saw the whale and nothing…completely calm. Stapped the motor and again let the gentle breeze fill the sails. A few minutes later…WHOOSH right next to the boat! Scared the S___ out of me! It literally was 20 yards away. I saw the whale submerge and swim away from the boat…I grabbed my iPhone and recorded the rest…just a whale swimming and blowing his spout. To some that may be old hat, to me its just the coolest thing to be that close to nature.

video of whale spotting
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Old 01-31-2013
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Re: Whales!

Nice, just be careful of them, give them plenty of room, and leave them to it. You can get into a fair bit of trouble if you go motoring (or sailing) across to see them and end up harassing them. The definition of harassing is fairly grey, it can mean as little as making them change direction.
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Old 01-31-2013
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Re: Whales!

Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulinVictoria View Post
Nice, just be careful of them, give them plenty of room, and leave them to it.
Another reason to keep your distance is that if you upset them in any way one may decide to perform a halyard inspection and drop 36 tons on your deck.
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Old 01-31-2013
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Re: Whales!

Very cool. We've seen a Right Whale around here as well. Cool to see but it does conjure up images of the whale getting too close, or are we too close? Only in America could I be accused of harassing a whale that is bigger than me and the boat combined.

It's a big deal to protect them around here. There are flights squadrons that go looking for them, ocean monitors, etc. Must be all the guilt from the significant industry in New England that essentially wiped them out in the 1800s.
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Old 01-31-2013
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Re: Whales!

Way cool
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Old 01-31-2013
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Re: Whales!

That would indeed be exciting. I imagine those are grey whales headed north to BC and Alaska? Haven't seen them yet from our sailboat but planning on getting out in March with eyes peeled. Traditionally that's when they go through our waters.
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Old 01-31-2013
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Re: Whales!

Quote:
Originally Posted by NewportNewbie View Post
Its whale migration season here in SoCal. On the news they spotted 26 whales in a single pod a week or so ago off the coast. They said it may have been a record as thats a huge number...

Today was a nice clear day…I decided it would be nice to take the boat out and open up the sails for a bit. It has been on the news that its whale migrating season and quite a few whales have been seen off the coast. In the back of my mind I thought it would be nice to see a few but you never know. I have seen lots of Dolphin, a few Killer Whales and of course the local Sea Lions. The wind was very light maybe 5 knots. I shut the motor off and let the light breeze slowly glide the boat through the calm water when I heard something…Not sure what it was, I turned my music all the way down..I had some jazz playing lightly in the background. Then I heard it again. Yup thats a whale! I scanned the horizon and about a mile away I say the whale breaching! I started the motor and headed that way. I got to about the area I saw the whale and nothing…completely calm. Stapped the motor and again let the gentle breeze fill the sails. A few minutes later…WHOOSH right next to the boat! Scared the S___ out of me! It literally was 20 yards away. I saw the whale submerge and swim away from the boat…I grabbed my iPhone and recorded the rest…just a whale swimming and blowing his spout. To some that may be old hat, to me its just the coolest thing to be that close to nature.

video of whale spotting
You are fortunate that no one from the DEP observed your actions. One must be very circumspect when observing/coming upon whales incluidng shutting down motors and electronic noise generators (fathometers, stereos, etc.) that pump sound into the water when within 100 yards of a whale. For more infomation on requirements/limits see (click on) Guidelines | Pacific Whale Watch Association . These guidelines are important for the safety of the whales and your own.

FWIW...
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Old 01-31-2013
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Re: Whales!

Wow, that must have been neat!
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Old 01-31-2013
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Re: Whales!

Cool stuff!
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Old 01-31-2013
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Re: Whales!

How do I get the whales to quit harassing me ? When they decide to swim under the boat for a while there's nothing to do but hold your breath.
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