Whale Watching at the Farallons

Went for a second try at an Oceanic Society whale watching trip to the Farallons and had pretty much the best whale watching experience of my life to date. Whales. Lots and lots of whales, doing crazy things.

This was my second attempt to go whale watching with the Oceanic Society, the first being thwarted by high seas. The first also ended unhappily because no one from the Society showed up at the launch site to let us know about the cancellation. There was a number we were supposed to call to check the status, but my crew and about 8 other people didn't notice this little addendum to our receipts. I was very sour.

This time the ocean was flat, we called the number, and everything was good to go. Launched from Sausalito, picked up the rest in SF, then headed out under the Golden Gate Bridge. Harbor porpoise and tons of grebes around the Gate, and we started seeing murres just outside.

The humpbacks were very active around the islands. The first group we found were breaching like no one's business, and the last swam right up to the boat and played with us for about an hour. Pretty amazing stuff.

Saw some new-for-me sea birds too. The shearwaters were especially hard to pick out from a distance. They look a lot like gulls, and IDing them was sort of a process of elimination based on range, amount of whiteness on the underside, and beak color.

Anotado por kueda kueda, 12 de octubre de 2009 a las 05:57 AM

Observaciones

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Ballena Jorobada (Megaptera novaeangliae)

Autor

kueda

Fecha

Octubre 11, 2009 10:25 AM PDT

Descripción

Inspired by Sonja and Valerio's plan to go whale watching last weekend, I decided to make up for this summer's fiasco by trying again, and I persuaded Sarah to join in my folly. The resulting adventure consisted of far less folly than expected. Breaching whales? Check. Playful boat-loving whales? Check. Learning more about whale anatomy than expected or necessary? Check and check.

Fotos / Sonidos

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Ballena Jorobada (Megaptera novaeangliae)

Autor

kueda

Fecha

Octubre 11, 2009 01:10 PM PDT

Descripción

Whales! Big hearted on so many levels! Well, two. The physical and the metaphoric, you see. I need to stop using that joke. Allow me to distract you by drawing your attention to those awful barnacles! Inside that stead, rock-like exterior they hide all manner of of revoltingness!

Fotos / Sonidos

Autor

kueda

Fecha

Octubre 11, 2009 01:10 PM PDT

Descripción

This a close-up of the chin of a humpback whale. Conchoderma auritum are the elongate creatures that don't look like barnacles (but are). They actually grow on the other barnacle, Coronula diadema.

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Arao Común (Uria aalge)

Autor

kueda

Fecha

Octubre 11, 2009 01:27 PM PDT

Descripción

Geez, talk about an unpronounceable scientific name. These were also everywhere.

Fotos / Sonidos

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Alquita Oscura (Ptychoramphus aleuticus)

Autor

kueda

Fecha

Octubre 2009

Descripción

These were ubiquitous little things, usually in groups of 2-5. They were constantly fleeing before the boat, seemingly unable to decide whether diving or flying would be best.

Etiquetas

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Pardela Patas Rosadas (Ardenna creatopus)

Autor

kueda

Fecha

Octubre 2009

Lugar

Falta ubicación

Descripción

Shearwaters sort of look like surprisingly agile gulls from a distance.

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Fotos / Sonidos

Qué

Pardela de Buller (Ardenna bulleri)

Autor

kueda

Fecha

Octubre 2009

Lugar

Falta ubicación

Descripción

Cagey and fast! Not a good combo.

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