Monday, August 4, 2008

Blue Whales and Todos Santos

Yesterday we took the Alguita on a short hop across the water to Todos Santos Island, home to the infamous Killers, the aptly named stand out surf spot that took the biggest winter wave contest some years back, and now beacons big wave surfers from around the world with 60 foot faces on the big winter swells.
Algalita and the Alguita have been involved with the kelp forest habitat out on these islands since joint monitoring began in the early 1990s. In conjunction with a then student of the University of Baja Califronia at Ensenada Lydia Ladah, we have helped improve kelp habitat at that site; and in the 15 years or so since monitoring began the kelp beds off, the lighthouse island are healthy and alive, teaming with all sorts of organisms. We were just observing this trip checking on one of the organizations longest projects while we were in the area.
The visibility wasn't great and the water was pretty chilly if you got more than 10 feet below the surface, so we spent most of our time exploring the upper canopy and checking out the smallest of the two islands on foot, and of coarse fishing

The trip back from Todos Santos was the really exciting part of the day t, we came across a group of Blue Whales, which moved in a giant slow circle coming up to breath leisurely and often almost without exception as a pair. Today we found out they have been just hanging out in the bay where we saw them since April. Blue Whale travel habits are rather poorly understood but the cold, deep nutrient rich waters coming out the very canyon that makes this place such a stand out surf spot, must provide good feeding grounds for a pair of whales in the know.

Todos Santos seen on the trip out from Ensenada yesterday morning

The scariest break on the island Thor's Hammer on a small day it still pitches into the rocks with some force. Pelicans cruising overhead in formation

whales whales and more whales! can you guess who got a new telephoto lens?

More cool stuff when it comes up,


1 comment:

Sr. Chief said...

Great to see the blog back up. I can't believe you have had the opportunity to observe Blue Whales twice in the last 30 days. I have never seen one. Love the new telephoto shots. What is the objectives of your current assignment?