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To: Journey North
From: Laura Gorodezky
May 2, 1998
We should now begin to see the gray whale sightings taper off a bit, as the bulk
of the population has now passed Santa Barbara on their journey north to the cold
waters off Alaska. However, we recently had a busy few weeks of whale sightings,
as you will read below.
To begin, a gray whale mother/calf pair was observed on 4/30 from the sanctuary's
airplane. We also had our first blue whale sighting of the year also off the east
end of Santa Rosa (there were phalarope sea birds and pelagic red crabs in the area
as well).This is a couple of weeks earlier than we usually see them. Typically, we
start to see blue whales in mid-May. We are excited that they are back again this
year and hope that we see them throughout the summer!
We also have these sightings from the Whale
Corps on the M/V Condor for the period between 4/18/98 and 5/01/98:
- Gray whales heading North, 46 cow/calf pairs were observed as well as 11 single
- We have had our first humpback sightings from the water (as you may recall, last
report's sighting was from the plane). Three (3) humpbacks were observed on 4/26/98,
1/8 of a mile off Santa Barbara Point. It is unusual for us to see humpbacks so close
to the mainland coast. Typically, we see them out closer to the islands. Four (4)
humpbacks were also observed off the east end of Santa Rosa Island.
- There were 11 sightings of bottlenose dolphins with a maximum pod of 20 animals
seen during the 4/18-5/01 timeframe.
Finally, we also have these sightings from Island
- 4/20--200 common dolphins, 10 bottlenose dolphins
- 4/23--1 humpback, 500 common dolphins
- 4/24--2 humpback whales, 1000 common dolphins
That's all for now--until next time...
Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary
Santa Barbara, CA 93109
Copyright 1998 Journey North. All Rights Reserved.