2017-02-10 Seafaring South

Gray Whale Fluke

On the second day of our voyage the overcast and fog that met us at the start of our journey continued, making conditions for capturing images a challenge. For those friends reading these accounts I implore; please be patient. As the trip develops, the images will improve. As the day progressed, the fog lifted, and we finally saw Gray Whales. When whales were spotted, the captain allowed the boat to linger, giving all the members of our party a chance to enjoy the encounter. Unlike most baleen whales, Gray Whales dive to the sea floor, turn on their sides and scoop great mouthfuls of sediment, then extrude the sand and water through their baleen to filter out their crustacean and mollusk prey before swallowing.

We began sighting auklets more frequently, which Amy and Jorge would call out as “bolitas” (little balls). My previous exposure to auklets were at distance from boats out of San Diego, always too far to get satisfying images. On this day my luck was better, but Amy and Jorge generated much of what I might call luck, by their sharp eyes.

The birds we now encountered began to diversify as we moved south. We saw our first albatrosses; a Laysan and a Black-Footed. Common Dolphins hitched rides on our bow-wake, frolicking and leaping as much as 10 feet out of the water.

Tomorrow we will set foot on our first islands of the voyage; San Roque and Isla Ascensión.

Images below:

Click map markers to reveal further information