We have made it to the point in summer when whale watch trips are really fantastic! This is what we have been waiting on for months; the blues, fins, minkes, humpbacks, and tons of dolphins are all out and about and even feeding in the same areas! Most of our recent trips have been filled with excitement since multiple species are being seen every day in close proximity to each other. I was able to work on a whale watch last week where we had humpback whales, blue whales, and Pacific white-sided dolphins all in the first hour of the trip! We were very surprised to see Pacific white-sided dolphins since they are a seasonal species of toothed whale that we usually only see in the winter and spring, and they are also one of my favorites!
The huge blues have been out there as well and on some days, we have seen multiple at one time all feeding on krill in one area. There has been a lot of upwelling, which causes a lot of nutrients, like plankton, to dwell at the surface which increases the amount of feeding behavior we see off of our coast every summer. We were wondering what the El Niño event would bring us, and so far, just some much needed rain and some amazing and unusual animal sightings! We are seeing more loggerhead sea turtles, mola molas, and huge dark patches of krill at the surface.
As mentioned in the last blogs, I have been introducing our new photo ID interns for this session, and I would like to introduce last, but not least, David! David is a student at Cal State Long Beach and likes exploring, learning new things, meeting new people, and sharing adventures. He is very passionate about marine life: “Working and volunteering at the Aquarium of the Pacific gave me the chance to get my foot through the door and get a head start in my future career as a marine biologist.” He also mentioned that,
“It is a new adventure everyday as an intern. This experience that I am undergoing is forever in my mind and I’m looking forward to the new experiences that await me at the Aquarium.”
David has taken some great photos while gathering data for our whale research collaboration with Cascadia Research Collective. His photos can be seen above with other great shots from Tim Hammond and Erik Combs from Harbor Breeze.
If you have never been on a whale watch with us, or have been on several, it is a perfect time to come make memories with your friends and family. So click here to see how you can get tickets to join our search for marine life during this beautiful summer we are having in So Cal!