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Old 04-02-2013, 03:01 AM   #1
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Whale watching - many pics included

A couple weeks ago, I went on two whale watching trips.

First trip was out of Long Beach with Harbor Breeze Cruises. Bought the tix through Aquarium of the Pacific (member discount). We were on the Kristina, an 85 foot, double-deck boat. One of the Aquarium staff was on board to narrate for us and she did a good job.

It was cold and very overcast, which made for some incredibly grey pictures.

Queen Mary and Carnival Inspiration:


Queen Mary and Scorpion, a Cold-War-era Soviet submarine:


We saw 2 grey whales who were kind enough to show us their flukes:


We were also lucky enough to see a blue whale, which the naturalist said was rare to see this early in the year (San Pedro/Palos Verdes in the background):





Other random pics:




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Old 04-02-2013, 03:01 AM   #2
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The second trip was with Captain Dave's out of Dana Point. We were on the Manute'a, a catamaran that has been modified with windows at and below the waterline near the bow of each hull to allow underwater viewing. The smaller boat, closer to the water provided a terrific viewing experience.

The weather was better, bright sunshine and blue skies.

On the way out, we crossed paths with a megapod of dolphin. The boat crew estimated the pod to be 1,000+ individuals. It was amazing, just an awesome experience.














We then saw some grey whales:






And a couple of fin whales:






And the ubiquitous sea lions competing for spots on the navigation buoys:
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Old 04-02-2013, 03:14 AM   #3
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Old 04-02-2013, 03:22 AM   #4
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thx for sharing...I went whale watching in Gaspe, Quebec one of the eastern points of Canada, on the Gulf of St. Lawrence, which opens to the Atlantic. Fun stuff.
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Old 04-02-2013, 03:40 AM   #5
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Nice pics man. Looks like a fun trip.
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Old 04-02-2013, 05:50 AM   #6
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cool story
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Old 04-02-2013, 06:42 AM   #7
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Old 04-02-2013, 07:10 AM   #8
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Looks like fun!
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Old 04-02-2013, 09:15 AM   #9
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I honestly thought this thread was going to be about fat chicks.

Good to see that I was wrong.
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Old 04-02-2013, 09:29 AM   #10
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Old 04-02-2013, 03:27 PM   #11
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Old 04-02-2013, 03:37 PM   #12
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Old 04-02-2013, 03:49 PM   #13
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Came in expecting overly nourished womenz, left admiring large ocean bound mammals. Everything went better than expected.
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Old 04-02-2013, 05:56 PM   #14
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I was kayaking a few months back when this guy popped up a few feet away. There were two and they headed my way after surfacing which is why i put my phone down. I looked under my kayak and all I saw was whale, pretty scary!

http://i579.photobucket.com/albums/s...psfe875a64.mp4

This was from a fishing trip to Catalina

http://i579.photobucket.com/albums/s...psfc4bfe4f.mp4
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Old 04-02-2013, 11:42 PM   #15
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Thanks for the kind words, guys. Glad you enjoyed. Fat chicks thread next week.

Solly, that post is hilarious and so true. Took a lot of processing to get them the way they are, and they would not make Talbot jealous.


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Originally Posted by CRZY BMW View Post
I was kayaking a few months back when this guy popped up a few feet away. There were two and they headed my way after surfacing which is why i put my phone down. I looked under my kayak and all I saw was whale, pretty scary!

http://i579.photobucket.com/albums/s...psfe875a64.mp4

This was from a fishing trip to Catalina

http://i579.photobucket.com/albums/s...psfc4bfe4f.mp4
That whale clip is awesome. I can't imagine seeing that from a kayak. Would be exhilarating.

Short cell phone vid of the dolphins, not sure why it's pixelated so much, maybe cuz of Photobucket:
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Old 04-03-2013, 12:33 AM   #16
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That's super cool, I love whales. I was in Dana Point a few days ago but no whale watching for me.
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Old 10-14-2013, 04:59 PM   #17
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Bumpity.

Back in August, I took a friend whale watching for her b-day. We again went with Harbor Breeze Cruises out of Long Beach. It was blue whale season, and we got incredibly lucky because we saw several blue whales. The captain did a great job of parking the boat right in the middle of the krill the whales were after, so 2 or 3 of them spent quite a bit of time lunge feeding right at the surface, only yards from the boat at some points.









The water was relatively clear (by our local standards ) so in some cases, we could see the whales when they got close to the surface. In the next 2 pics, note the body of the whale visible below the surface:




Just for perspective, the sailboat is about 40' long. The naturalist with us on the boat was estimating the whales at about 80' long and about 140 tons.




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Old 10-14-2013, 05:00 PM   #18
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A few other random pics from the day.





Ocean sunfish (mola mola):


We again saw dolphin pods on the way in and on the way out:


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Old 10-14-2013, 05:18 PM   #19
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so no one gave a **** about state or federal law about boats and distance from whales?

The National Marine Fisheries Service is the federal agency responsible for protecting gray whales under the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972. In order to protect the gray whale from harassment and to promote a better understanding of the need to avoid harassment, the National Marine Fisheries Service is providing these guidelines for safe, non-disruptive whalewatching.

Vessels should not be operated at speeds faster than a whale or group of whales while paralleling them within 100 yards.


Vessels should be operated at a constant speed while paralleling or following whales within 100 yards.


Vessels should do nothing to cause a whale to change direction.


Aircraft should not fly lower than 1,000 feet while within a horizontal distance of 100 yards from a whale.


Generally, a whale's normal behavior should not be interrupted. Such annoyance may cause a whale to change its direction rapidly, swim faster, or swim in an erratic pattern. To interrupt a whale's normal activity constitutes harassment and is against the law!





National Marine Fisheries Service
Southwest Region
501 West Ocean Boulevard
Suite 4200
Long Beach, CA 90802-4213
(562) 980-4017/4023


sitting in the middle of all that krill is obstruction of normal behavior
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Old 10-14-2013, 05:38 PM   #20
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#1 These are blue whales, not grey whales.

#2 The vessels picked their spots, shut down their engines and the whales approached the vessels. Frankly, it was dumb luck. This is the 5th time I've been whale watching and these whales approached us MUCH closer than any of the other times I'd been out. The whale watching vessel we were on actually kinda got stuck because when the captain decided it was time to go, he had to wait for a time when the whales weren't nearby before engaging the props and moving away from the area in order to minimize the disturbance to the animals.

Thanks for your concern, though. I'm glad people know about and respect the MMPA.
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