Archive for August, 2015


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Its been a week of EXTREME fun and exploration with my Clemson graduate school friends, a 33 year reunion! At daybreak, we headed to Davenport Landing for extreme tidepooling. From kayaking among the giants (humpback whales) to intertidal discoveries its been an amazing week!
We found only one healthy ochre sea star (Pisaster orchraceus) spared from the fatal sea star wasting syndrome. Thought to be a virus effecting sea stars from Alaska to Baja, SSWS has researchers along our coast working hard for more answers.

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For more information on sea star wasting syndrome go to: http://news.ucsc.edu/2014/11/sea-star-virus.html.
Join http://www.bluewaterventures.org on a naturalist-led adventure from California to Baja and beyond!

Humpback Whales of Monterey Bay

Outstanding close encounter with a mother and calf Humpback whale today!

It is  a truly remarkable  honor to live on the edge of Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

DSC01947 DSC01931 2Coined the “Serengeti of the Sea”, Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary lies within a biologically rich pathway intersecting the migration patterns of an array of marine mammals, sea birds and even our planet’s largest sea turtle, the leatherback. 34 species of marine mammals are found within out extraordinary sanctuary, the largest federally protected marine reserve in the United States.

Several days ago on a naturalist-led adventure with Blue Water Ventures we kayaked among a dozen Humpback Whales. Reaching a length of 45 feet and weighing 80,000 pounds we were truly humbled by their gentle presence.

Today was another outstanding day aboard Sanctuary Cruises as we experienced an array of whale behavior from pectoral slapping, tail slaps, lunge feeding and a spectacular double breach. Using a hydrophone we could hear the underwater vocalization of the humpbacks and above water the erie sound of  trumpeting whales. Humpback whales  are known to trumpet, a  shrieking balloon like  sound emitted through their blowhole when under stress such as an predatory attack or when excited by food.  The abundance of anchovies  In Monterey Bay right now seemed to be a reason to celebrate! Join us on our next naturalist-led adventure with Blue Water Ventures.DSC01984 2

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What a spectacular day on the water with the humpback whales and marine wonders of the Monterey Bay. Bait fish have moved in close to our coast again creating a feeding frenzy among sea birds, sea lions, dolphins and whales. Humpbacks, which are capable of switching their diet from krill to bait fish thrive in such conditions where as other baleen whales such as Blues are restricted to krill blooms.

Check out http://www.bluewaterventures.org for our next whales and wildlife adventure by kayak, bioluminescence night paddles, Florida

manatees, Baja whales and more! DSC01865