Weekly Report ~ January 23-29, 2023
Gray Whale Sightings Continue to Increase, Including Cow/Calf (Mom/Baby) Pairs!
Most gray whale cow/calf pairs keep a low profile and are often spotted by the trailing fluke prints while traveling close to the water’s surface. The calves lift their heads when surfacing alongside mom and sometimes change sides from right to left as they swim together. These pairs are usually found near shore in less than 200 feet of water. Most adult gray whales we saw were on a steady path. A few milled and traveled in a zig-zag pattern, while others seemed to be circling before continuing to head south. One gray whale circled in front of the harbor for over 2 hours, possibly feeding, blowing only once, and making shallow dives. Gray whales typically don’t feed during migration but have been known to forage opportunistically if they find prey. We even saw one breach as we turned to leave the area.
We had a brief encounter with a fin whale blowing only once before diving for over 12 minutes and traveling far between sightings, likely feeding about 6 miles offshore.
Good size pods of offshore bottlenose, often spread out close to a half mile, were seen for several days. Pods ranged in size from 20-40, engaged with our boats numerous times, bow riding and breaching high in the air several at a time.
Many days, there were coastal bottlenose dolphins in the harbor, along the outside of the outer jetty, and off Doheny Beach in pods ranging from 4-8.
Pods of long-beaked common dolphins were in the hundreds, often spread out over a large area and found further offshore.
We also saw a Mako shark resting on the surface.
During the Gray Whale Migration, kids can attend Art Lessons in the Wild with the Wyland Foundation on Saturday mornings from January 28, 2023, thru April 29, 2023. This activity will start every Saturday at 9 am for children 3-12. For more information, visit danawharf.com or contact Dana Wharf at (949) 496-5794 ext. 7.