WILDCOAST: A voice for coast and the ocean 🌊 We are an international team working to conserve more than 31.9 million acres of globally significant wild coastlines, islands, lagoons and ocean.
Click the link in our bio to learn more about us, what we do, and how you can help 🐳🐢🌎
Every year over 20,000 gray whales migrate from the summer feeding grounds in the Bering Sea, to the winter grounds of the Baja California lagoons, and back again, along the Southern California coast. Felt so honored to watch these guys make their way south from the beach! Just after I recorded this, one of them jumped up and breached as if they knew we were there watching! #graywhale#sandiego#delmar#whalewatchingsandiego
Happy #WhaleWednesday! Meet the gray whale: the ocean's ultimate comeback story. In the 17th-20th centuries, gray whales were hunted extensively to make oil. But they always put up a fight with sailors and were given the nickname "devil-fish." By the early 20th century, gray whales were practically extinct. Thanks to international efforts, the whales are no longer endangered. They are protected by international law and it is illegal to come within 300 feet of one (although that can be tricky because these whales often approach whale-watching boats like the one pictured here). We haven't seen the last of these giants! ⠀ ⠀
Our shy guy was swimming just below the surface. He was a juvenile grey whale. You could see his lighter color under the surface and at one point I saw him from nose to tail tip. He was a handsome dude!!!
Gray whale mom on left, with a calf so new it has no barnacles, no whale lice, plus still has its embryonic folds - meaning just a few days old at most! Mom had this one before getting all the way to Mexico. They were still headed south regardless. Imagine making a 6,000 mile swim while pregnant, with no snacks on the way. Talk about grumpy.
Whale watching yesterday turned out to be more exciting than I had anticipated!
Video 1. Tiny baby whale playing had separated from momma and was rubbing on other boats thinking it was her. Just as we were about to sneak away so as not to interrupt their reconnection, momma pops up! 😍 🐳
Stormy conditions have kept me on land and prevented magical January encounters like this from happening! Normally prego gray whales make it to the lagoons in Mexico to birth their babies but the last several years lots of babies are being born right here. I guess Laguna is a pretty cool first place to see. This shot is from the greatest encounter I’ve ever had on my SUP board as this mom guided her newborn - I’m guessing the baby was just 1-3 days old! - over to see me over and over and over for 3 unforgettable hours. This was about 3-4 miles off the coast of north Laguna. Hoping this storm passes and the ocean calms down soon! 🐳🐳
Two Grey Whales near Alert Bay on Monday - photographed from land at sunset (~6 pm) by colleagues @TasliShaw and Gary Sutton. It's likely they were also near Port McNeill and Sointula earlier in the day at around 10:45 am but, despite best efforts and good sighting conditions, we could not relocate them then. Great thanks to all who reported seeing the two whales including Alan and Kathy Martin and Don and Barb Anderson. Gary and Tasli's photos have been relayed to our Grey Whale research colleagues and the BC Cetacean Sightings Network. We do not often have Grey Whales around NE Vancouver Island. @gary_j27 #greywhale#whale#graywhale @mynvi