Blue Whales off Monterey
Blue Whales! How exciting to be able to see the greatest and largest creature that has ever lived on the planet! NPR broadcast the news that blue whales were spotted off the California coast. I had been undecided which route to take on my way to San Diego for the birth of our daughter Kaska's baby; this news of blue whales off Monterrey set the course for Monterrey. In creating our animal jewelry for All Animal Jewelry, whales are a favorite subject because, as a born and raised beach baby, I've always had a connection to the creatures of the ocean. And now, the chance to see Blue Whales!!
The Blue Whale is a baleen whale and can grow to 100 feet long and weigh up to 180 tons. There are three subspecies; the blue whales of the North Atlantic and North Pacific are the largest. The Blue Whale, more specially, it is a rorqual whale; whales distinguished by the long folds that run from their navel to below the mouth which allow the great expansion of the throat when feeding as the whales open wide coming through a school of krill or fish in-taking huge amounts of water with the fish. When the mouth closes, the whale uses it's immense tongue to push the soup forward forcing the seawater out through the plates of fingernail-like baleen but not the fish. Blue whales normally inhabit the coldest waters, which is why we usually don't see them off the Pacific coast. However, due to some unique conditions, Blue Whales were being sighted off of Monterrey!
I arrived in Monterrey late and was up early to get to the old wharf to go out with Monterey Whale Watching, a rustic but seaworthy enterprise! http://www.montereybaywhalewatch.com/ . Two hours later through the fog and 4 foot swell, "Thar she blows!!!" It was so exciting to see blue whales for the first time. They were easily distinguished by their long, long backs and we were able to see their flukes up as they periodically dove. Seeing the blue whales off Monterrey was a truly beautiful and magnificent experience.