“It was bigger than this ship,” yelled five-year-old Nicholas Carrozza. “It was bigger than this ship! Oh my God!”

 

 

Nicholas was a fellow passenger on the “Voyager” on Saturday morning, September 10, 20111, and we had just been surprised by a blue whale that surfaced from a feeding dive not more than a boat length on our starboard side.  We could hear the explosive exhalation that sent a plume of water mist into the air high above our heads and we could see the giant animal’s impressive rostrum, mottled gray blue skin and tiny dorsal fin right next to us. At 75 to 80 feet in length, the whale was indeed longer than our 65-foot boat. The whale surfaced several times right there next to us and then showed its mighty flukes as it glided into the depths of the Redondo Canyon to resume feeding on krill. Feeding on dense swarms of the tiny shrimp-like animals is what blue whales during the summer and fall and that is what brings them to the waters off California.

 

 

It can take a while to find the first whale on any given trip, but on Saturday we spotted out first blue while the “Voyager” was still tied to the dock in the Redondo Beach Marina. We could clearly see one animal’s 30-foot tall blow and then its giant flukes through binoculars, just over a half mile from shore. So there wasn’t much guessing as we made our way past the pelicans, gulls and cormorants on the jetty and the California sea lions on the harbor entrance buoy and headed straight to where the first whale was. It sounded just as we got there and Captain Brad decided to leave this animal to the many kayakers and paddleboarders in the area and we continued further offshore.

 

 

 

We were soon surrounded by a pod of approximately 600 long-beaked common dolphins who were feeding on bait fish just below the surface. We could see them zipping around and even swimming belly up as they caught their meal. And then we reached an area full of blue whales. They were spread out in ones and twos and were staying down relatively long which can make it challenging to hook up with them. But Captain Brad knows his whales and he is a patient man, so he positioned the “Voyager” where the whales were likely to surface and it sure paid off.

 

 

Right after we had the close encounter that prompted Nicholas’ outburst, another blue whale surfaced about 100 yards away and then turned towards us. It kept coming closer and closer until it dove just off our port bow and then surfaced right on the other side of the “Voyager.” It was clearly having fun with us.

 

 

Blue whales don’t always show their flukes when they dive but today we had two or three animals that did, including one large female that threw her tail high in the air as if to wave goodbye to us just as it was time to return to port. In all we saw between eight and 12 different blue whales; it is hard to keep track when there are animals all around. We had several more pods of common dolphins come through the area, and we also saw a few ocean sunfish or mola mola, one of which jumped out of the water right next to a surfacing blue whale.

 

We are extremely lucky to have such easy access to largest animal ever to live on this planet, but there is no telling how long the show will last and the whales move on following their prey. In 2010 it lasted pretty much exactly through the month of September. The “Voyager” will continue running daily trips out of the Redondo Beach Marina as long as the blue whales are around; on the day after Christmas they will begin running gray whale trips and the rest of the time they offer nature cruises. Trips leave at noon on weekdays and 9 a.m. on weekends, call (310) 944-1219 for reservations.

Views: 643

Comment

You need to be a member of San Pedro News Pilot to add comments!

Join San Pedro News Pilot

Comment by Bernardo Alps on September 15, 2011 at 10:28am
Thank you, Kathy. These animals are magnificent and we are lucky to have them so close.
Comment by Kathy Michaelis on September 14, 2011 at 8:39pm
what beautiful animals!! *& great photos, thank you!!
Comment by Bernardo Alps on September 14, 2011 at 3:27pm
Thanks, Branimir.
Comment by Branimir Kvartuc on September 14, 2011 at 1:39pm
this was a great read Bernardo!

Call (323) 200-9052 to learn more or click here to send an email.

San Pedro Weather

San Pedro News Pilot by email - sign up!

Delivered by FeedBurner

What is the SanPedroNewsPilot.com?

The SanPedroNewsPilot.com is the social network and information outlet for San Pedro.

Want to keep up with the news in San Pedro, become a member.


 

Membership has its privileges!

• Got news you think everyone should know? Blog it.
• Have a show or attending a benefit? Put it on the calendar.
• Got video of the big game? Embed it.
• Photos of the new storefront or the school play? Upload them.

Latest Activity


Sports Editor
Jamaal Kellen Street promoted Jamaal Kellen Street's blog post The 2016 Schedule Is Set For Mary Star High Football
7 hours ago

Sports Editor
Jamaal Kellen Street posted blog posts
7 hours ago

Sports Editor
Jamaal Kellen Street promoted Jamaal Kellen Street's blog post The 2016 Schedule Is Set For San Pedro High Football
8 hours ago
Larry Richardson's 2 events were featured
Friday
Dawn Clark-Johnson's event was featured
Thumbnail

"The Tall Tale Man" at Institute of Musical Arts

May 21, 2016 from 2pm to 4pm
"It's magic! Linda spins magic!" So exclaimed a woman as she listened to the mistress of Tall Tales spin her web around a spellbound audience. Well we located that "teller of tales" and lured her here. Yeah!!!In our next show, The Tall Tale Man, Linda King Pruitt shares family stories that have been told by her grandfather and retold to her by her father..... stories about a father who had the gift of storytelling…but not communicating...about a girl who grew up listening, but not…See More
Friday
Karen Cristy's blog post was featured

Tired of hot, marathon, power or gym yoga? We've got Yoga for YOU!

Considering trying yoga? Looking for something that fits your age, shape and health? WELCOME to the Garden of Grace, Intention & Wellness....GGIW Yoga!We're located just 6 miles from San Pedro City Hall, near the southeast corner of Narbonne & Lomita Bl. We host 20 class a week. No hot, power, marathon, gym or DJ pumping yoga here! Just authentic, slower paced yoga to stretch the muscles, relax the mind and build balance both physically and mentally!We provide all supplies for your yoga…See More
Friday

Sports Editor
Jamaal Kellen Street's 2 blog posts were featured
Friday
Profile IconSan Pedro News Pilot via Facebook
Thumbnail

Live Music by Markus Thursday June 11th at Beach City Grill

sanpedronewspilot.com

Come down and enjoy live music by Markus. One man band - electric guitar playing blues, smooth jazz, classic rock and originals Not too loud, not too quiet but…

FacebookMay 18 · Reply

© 2016   Created by San Pedro News Pilot.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service