Thursday, January 14, 2016

Gray Whale Sweethearts with Harbor Breeze Cruises | @HaborBreezeC #LBWhales

Harbor Breeze Cruises

Gray Whales, the Sweetheart of the Sea.  Did you know that with every breath they take, they create a heart with their exhale?  It puts a smile on your face for sure!  Have you ever considered whale watching romantic?  I have!  In fact, my husband and I were invited by Harbor Breezes to a recent date on the Triumphant and we both loved it!  This would make a great Valentines Day gift!

Harbor Breeze Cruises

January is an exciting month off our California coast.  Did you know that on almost every whale watching trip, there is a strong possibility of seeing a newborn Gray Whale calf?  

Gray whales migrate from the Bering Sea down to the Baja Peninsula to give birth in the warm waters.  Most of the expecting mothers give birth on their way down to the coast in mid-January.  On our recent trip, we saw we saw a newborn as we were leaving to head back into port! SO CUTE!  Did you know that they can drink up to 300 gallons of milk a day?!

Harbor Breeze Cruises

Gray whales often swim in packs coming down as the young adults court each other and mate for the upcoming season.  We saw two swimming together on our trip and they seemed inseparable.  One of them even seemed to draw us away from the other.  

Harbor Breeze Cruises

Gray whales are unique looking as the Sea Lice on their bodies give them a scarred or barnacled gray look.  The Sea Lice are in fact barnacles that live on the whales in a parasitic relationship. 

Harbor Breeze Cruises

 Getting up to 50 feet, they are considered a medium sized baleen whale.  Baleen refers to tough filter plates in their mouth that they use when dive deep, scoop up mouthfuls of ocean sediment and filter out the organisms.  The baleen allows the water out and the food in.

While the Gray Whale was hunted almost to extinction, they are now a protected species and their numbers have rise
n to over 20,000.

They migrate close to 10,000 miles in their 2-3 month trek to the Baja Peninsula just so they can find a mate while the pregnant mothers give birth.  The moms are pregnant for about 13.5 months and the babies are about 12-14 feet at birth!

Harbor Breeze Cruises

Along their journey, they communicate by using loud, low pitched moans, whines and whistles.  Unlike the Humpback Whales which are famous for their singing.  If you visit the Aquarium of the Pacific, check out their Whale Sounds machines, its really interesting.

Aditional to the Gray Whales, we spotted a Fin Whale, Humpback Whale, sea birds, sea lions and ALMOST Killer Whales!   I say almost because shortly before we embarked on our "three hour tour" a pod of Orcas(Killer Whales) had swam by the Point Vicente Whale Watching area.  Here volunteers count the whales as the continue on their migration.  Often, the Harbor Breeze captains will stay in communication with them to locate the whales for us patrons.

I want to thank Captain Dan Salas of the Triumphant, the Aquarium of the Pacific and all the wonderful staff that made our trip so memorable.  I love these dates!

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