03.20.21 Weekly Wrap Up
The past week of whale watching aboard the Legacy brought us some familiar faces and some new experiences!
Gray Whales were spotted further offshore, when they tend to make their northbound migration back to the Arctic Ocean around Alaska. This past week we got super lucky and witnessed a trio of whales in the middle of a mating session. On our approach, we saw splashing, rolling and pectoral fins. When we arrived on the scene, we confirmed that these whales were indeed in the process of making more Gray Whales. Gray Whales usually mate in threes or more, with one individual propping the mating pair up to the surface, so that they can focus on the task at hand without worrying about sinking. Gray Whales gestation period is roughly 12 months, which means this trio was right on schedule. The baby created, hopefully, should be due right around the time they are arriving in Mexico during next year’s migration. Baby Gray Whales grow inside mama with their tails rolled up like cinnamon rolls and can be born at very large size and weights. The max recorded size of a Gray Whale at birth is roughly 15 feet long and 1,500 pounds! That’s a large baby!
Offshore Bottlenose Dolphin have made a reappearance this past week and en masse. “Offshore” and “Inshore” Bottlenose Dolphin refer to the same species, though the offshore variant are much larger on average. Seeing offshore Bottlenose in the area once more brings us great joy. These super intelligent marine mammals can get to just over 10 feet long and weigh 1,100 pounds! Comparatively, Common Dolphin are 8 feet 4 inches at the max and weigh 330 pounds. Seeing offshore Bottlenose is a special treat, as these larger dolphin are social and curious. This past week we have seen some sizable pods, sometimes numbering 30 or more individuals. We hope they stick around through spring!
Pacific White-Sided Dolphin were spotted this past week, but not in as many number as weeks before. Pacific White-Sided Dolphin are a seasonal dolphin here in San Diego, and we suspect their pods may be beginning to travel to colder waters as the ocean warms. These are a beautiful, unique looking dolphin that we will miss in late spring/summer. We hope they stick around a little longer!
Common Dolphin were spotted on a few trips this past week, with one trip getting to witness a super pod feeding on bait fish. It is surreal to drive across an ocean lacking signs of marine mammal activity for an hour, only to suddenly see the ocean churning with thousands of dolphin and hundreds of birds. The dolphin will attempt to force the bait fish to the surface using sound, movements, and/or bubbles, while the birds wait for their opportunity to dive head fish from on high, into the fray. Very cool to see dolphin feeding, and even cooler seeings thousands feeding at a time.
Spring has sprung and with it, new species are expected to start showing up in the waters around San Diego. We can’t wait to see what the warmer weather will bring!
As always, you can book your trip here on our website or by calling us at 619-309-1680.
We hope to see you soon!