Our school field trips to the protective water of Pillar Point harbor sometimes have some real surprises. During the fall of 2016, Humpback whales were consistently seen lunge feeding near shore where students could observe safety from the jetties. An amazing teaching opportunity!
Launching from Pillar Point Harbor, we’ll have a leisurely paddle through the protected and scenic harbor. Cormorants, pelicans, terns and harbor seals join us for our naturalist-led field trip. Across the harbor we can beachcomb, explore tidepools and have a shore lunch before paddling back.
A very popular activity with students is pulling a large seine net to examine our catch and continue our discussion of animal adaptations. Teachers, please feel free to call us to discuss curriculum ideas in greater detail.
The cost of your field trip is $48 per person with a complimentary trip for one teacher chaperone. $50 per person weekends.
Hope you can join us!
Kim Powell, MRPA
Owner, Operator & Naturalist
Blue Water Ventures
phone & fax: (831) 459 8548
127 Mason St, Santa Cruz CA 95060
Encounter With Friendly Humpback Whales of Tonga
The South Pacific Nation of Tonga is one of the few places in the world where in water whale encounters are officially sanctioned.
Humpback whales were hunted to near extinction in Tongan waters until 1978.
Today a whale watching industry is helping to stimulate the local economy and the majestic whales are fully protected. The level of interaction was dictated by the whales. As we backed away they approached closer.
As we slid into the water, two presumably adolescent male humpback whales initiated a close encounter with us.
We departed Tonga with a sense of profound awe and appreciation.
Thank you to the kind people of Tonga and to the magnificent humpback whales.
Orcas of Monterey Bay…..Finally after many years of searching, we found Orcas! 32 women on our private Blue Water Ventures charter with Sanctuary Cruises got to witness an unbelievable show! Several pods of Orcas, also known as killer whales had converged together south of Moss Landing.
Thanks to the amazing crew at http://www.sanctuarycruises based in Moss Landing. Join our next adventure in search of sea otter pups and baby gray whales next weekend at http://www.bluewaterventures.org!
Our new whale camp provided by our amazing Mexican Outfitters, Mar y Aventuras is truly outstanding. Each day, mama gray whales and their offspring chose close and intimate encounters with us. There was never a session in which this unbelievable and profound blending of two species did not occur.
Baja whale camp was a joyful and moving celebration of these magnificent mammals who offer so many lessons to teach us. Slaughtered to near extinction in the lagoons of Baja, Gray whales now gently bring their offspring to us. What is the message conveyed to their young?
What are the lessons we are taught by these gentle giants. Why do they choose to approach us? Our tiny ponga is dwarfed by mama’s massive size as she glides gently below the hull of our boat. I am humbled and moved. Join our next Baja adventure with http://www.bluewaterventures.org
We are back from one of the most profound wildlife encounters of my 30 year career as a naturalist…..Gray Whales of Baja featuring our new whale camp with http://www.bluewaterventures.org. Thanks to our incredible Mexican Outfitter, Mar y Aventuras~top notch!
Join Blue Water Ventures each February in the Lagoons of Baja
What an extraordinary day on the Bay! The whale activity continues to be awesome and I would recommend a camera with a good zoom! Keep adjusting your position and be alert to changes both in weather and whales. Paddling in the fog is treacherous and motorboats can’t see you. Viewing wildlife from from our beaches is excellent now or paddle with an expeirenced partner or guide.
It’s busy out there and not for inexperienced boaters. In fact, in the last 3 weeks we’ve heard reports of paddlers getting into trouble, hoping to get out to the whales. The supermoon brought extreme tidal changes with a dangerous ebb flow out the harbor mouth where boaters dumped and were flushed out to sea.
The humpbacks are diving to feed at depth as well as lunge feeding at the surface. Using their plates of baleen that hangs from the upper jaw, they filter out their prey of choice, currently anchovies.
The cliffs above Mitchel’s Cove, West Cliff of Santa Cruz still has regular visits by ” Mitch” a humpback whale who will lunge feed in 10 feet of water, 30 feet from shore! People are lining up on shore for the best view ever and its free!
The California population of humpback whales may exceed 50 feet in length and weigh over 80,000 pounds. When food is available, they may consume over 4000 pounds daily trapping their prey in fringed baleen plates that hang from their upper jaw. Humpback whales that give birth in the South Pacific region of Tonga feed in the rich Antarctica polar region and may weigh as much as 50 tons or 100,000 pounds.
Dipping into the indigo blue deep water around the islands of Tonga, it was somewhat difficult to grasp how big these incredible mammals were. Snorkeling next to them it was clear you were with one of the biggest animals on earth but size was harder to determine against the deep blue background. However, during one memorable swim a mother humpback whale glided below us to escort her calf away from the potentially dangerous shallow reef that the young whale was heading for. As the mature female whale cruised below us we could see how massive she was against the shallow reef. It was truly one of those moments of awe and wonder watching a graceful, gentle and gigantic creature care for its young calf. Join our next Whale encounter in the lagoons of Baja with http://www.bluewaterventures.org
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.
Coined 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.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
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!