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Messages 1 - 20 of total 36 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
Mike Bolte

Trad climber
Planet Earth
Topic Author's Original Post - Oct 11, 2013 - 01:27am PT
OK, none other than the ever-popular L thinks we need a whale/dolphin/porpoise thread. I predict fewer participants than have shown up on the "Birds" thread, just because it is harder to get to where whales and dolphin hang out.

Here is a start. For the last month, there have been lots of humpback whales in the Monterey Bay and there are usually some right off of Capitola feeding on the bumper crop of anchovies there. You can get good views from shore or get out there on a kayak/SUP/rental skiff and really have fun. Some shots from the last week. Click em for larger versions.

Credit: Mike Bolte
Credit: Mike Bolte
Credit: Mike Bolte
Credit: Mike Bolte
Credit: Mike Bolte
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
Oct 11, 2013 - 01:31am PT
awesome!


went down to the Scruz wharf awhile back when they right off the end of it.

Loved watching the kayakers get scared as the whales breached.

I think I'd like to sniff whale breath once in my life.
Willoughby

Social climber
Truckee, CA
Oct 11, 2013 - 01:36am PT
"I think I'd like to sniff whale breath once in my life."

Careful what you ask for. Blue Whale breath is utterly horrid.
Lynne Leichtfuss

Sport climber
moving thru
Oct 11, 2013 - 01:39am PT
Mike Bolte, WOW! Lynne L.
Mike Bolte

Trad climber
Planet Earth
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 11, 2013 - 02:03am PT
Couple more. Just missed a photo of a great lunge right next to this guy on the board. In my experience, all whale breath is horrid.

Credit: Mike Bolte
Credit: Mike Bolte
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
Oct 11, 2013 - 02:12am PT
I did say "once"

:)
Sierra Ledge Rat

Mountain climber
Old and Broken Down in Appalachia
Oct 11, 2013 - 03:03am PT
So here's a whale story.

I spent a week solo scuba diving in Hawaii, off the Kohala Coast of the Big Island (Puako). The whales were in full migration and I could see them swimming about 100-200 yards off shore. And you could hear whale songs on every dive.

One day I decided to swim way out to see if I could get a close encounter with the passing whales. I stayed at about 30 feet but, unfortunately, didn't see any whales. The whale songs were so loud that I was sure they were very close by - but no luck.

On the next dive I decided to swim way out from shore, but stay deeper. Maybe I would see whales if I was deeper. But still no luck in seeing a whale.

Since I was really enjoying the whale songs, I decided to sink to the bottom (around 120 feet) and hang out to listen to the songs. I got really narcotized. So there I was, lying on my back in the sand at 120 feet, narcotized out of my mind, listening to whale songs.

What a trip!

scuffy b

climber
heading slowly NNW
Oct 11, 2013 - 11:17am PT
Wow, Mike,
that is awesome.
I take it you were on some sort of watercraft?
L

climber
California dreamin' on the farside of the world..
Oct 11, 2013 - 11:32am PT
"In my experience, all whale breath is horrid."

You should have your mouth washed out with seaweed for that, Mike. ;-)

I'm so happy to see this thread. Your photos deserve it. When the group America sang "The ocean is a desert with its life underground, and a perfect disguise above", they knew what many (well, OK, a few) of us know.

These are from March, down in the Dominican Republic.

Mama and baby about 10 feet away.
Mama and baby about 10 feet away.

A small group of us were snorkeling, staying in one place, and the whales would come up and look at us and hang out for a while or swim away, depending on their curiosity.

Baby's curious. Mom is patient.
Baby's curious. Mom is patient.

little Z

Trad climber
un cafetal en Naranjo
Oct 11, 2013 - 11:34am PT
I've seen many more dolphins than whales while out chasing pelagic birds here in the Pacific off Costa Rica. We did find 3 Blue Whales once. Pretty amazingly huge creatures. We were in a sailboat and so got real close. You could hear it's lungs filling up with air when it came to the surface - hard to describe the sound, but sort of "rubbery" something like "boinging" on of those red gym balls we used to play dodgeball with, only a much bigger sound. I'll always regret not diving into the water to try to catch a glimpse of it's entire bulk in its element, but I had no goggles.

Blue Whale, photo by Jim Wolfe, used with permission
Blue Whale, photo by Jim Wolfe, used with permission
Credit: little Z


the little blip on its tiny dorsal fin is some sort of mollusk.
L

climber
California dreamin' on the farside of the world..
Oct 11, 2013 - 11:48am PT
We were swimming in the Silver Bank area, part of the Atlantic Humpback migration route. All these humpies would eventually swim up along the Atlantic coast of the US and wave a pec at NYC...

Can we play with them Mom?
Can we play with them Mom?

I'm sorry honey, but we can't play with them. They have really stinky ...
I'm sorry honey, but we can't play with them. They have really stinky breath.

We're outta here!
We're outta here!
Mike Bolte

Trad climber
Planet Earth
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 11, 2013 - 08:55pm PT
L - wow. Those are amazing. That last image is particularly dramatic.

Whales from shore:cool

Whales from a big boat: wonderful

Whales from a kayak (the answer to scuffy-b's question): incredible

Whales completely in their own environment: I can't even imagine

Is it a little scary?
justthemaid

climber
Jim Henson's Basement
Oct 11, 2013 - 09:25pm PT
Saw this baby whale playing in the surf just a stone's throw off Point Dume last spring. His mom was lolling around a bit further out so I never got a good shot of her. They hung out for hours while we were climbing. It was a particularly beautiful day. Clear skies and all the plants on the hillsides had busted out in full bloom. 1st time I'd ever seen whales in Malibu.

Baby whale.  Pt. Dume
Baby whale. Pt. Dume
Credit: justthemaid

Credit: justthemaid
SCseagoat

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
Oct 11, 2013 - 09:30pm PT
WOWSA Mike, I need to get my kayak out there! Last thing I saw in Capitola were Junior Guards!

Susan
Sierra Ledge Rat

Mountain climber
Old and Broken Down in Appalachia
Oct 11, 2013 - 11:55pm PT
Nice shots, L
Mike Bolte

Trad climber
Planet Earth
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 12, 2013 - 12:44am PT
Humpbacks and sea lions, Monterey Bay
Humpbacks and sea lions, Monterey Bay
Credit: Mike Bolte
Risso's Dolphin. They feed on squid and the scars are the result of ba...
Risso's Dolphin. They feed on squid and the scars are the result of battles with their dinner
Credit: Mike Bolte
L

climber
California dreamin' on the farside of the world..
Oct 12, 2013 - 11:30am PT
JTM--Niiiiiiiiiiiiice shot of whales off Pt. Dume! To climb and watch whales at the same time...it don't get much better'n than, does it?


Mike, here's the drill:

*It's your first time out and you're excited as hell. The ocean is stunningly beautiful under that bright tropical sun.
*Then you're furiously pulling on mask & snorkel along with 6 or 7 other people furiously pulling on their masks & snorkels. Elbows are flying and fins are hitting shins.
*As you resort to mouth-breathing because you've cinched your mask down tight, you suddenly realize you're a bit nervous.
*You start to sweat in your 3mm wetsuit because it's actually quite warm under that blistering Banana Republic sun.
*Your brain is now telling you this might be a Bad Idea. That's a deep dark ocean beneath you and look, you're already sweating and mouth-breathing fer christsake!
*All at once the Captain says "Go!", and that boatload of lunatics (you included) shoot head-first into the waves like clumsy sea lions.
*Cold water and dim blue light engulf you. Your brain starts playing the theme from "Jaws". You're on the verge of a full-blown panic attack as you stare into those murky depths.

And then...ever so slowly...the massive form of a Humpback whale and her calf materialize out of the abyss. She is enormous. She is beautiful. And she is as graceful as Baryshnikov as she and her baby move gently through the water.

You're dumbfounded. Humbled. Exuberant.
It's like an OBE only much, much better.
And oddly enough, there's not an ounce of fear left in you.
Your fearful little brain has been short-circuited by the magnificence of the encounter, and all you truly feel is gratitude.
Gratitude and awe.
And, of course, a need to repeat the experience a couple hundred times. ;-)
Mike Bolte

Trad climber
Planet Earth
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 26, 2014 - 12:27pm PT
time to bump this thread. L - love the post above this one.

The humpbacks are back in the Monterey Bay. Off Moss Landing this morning:

Credit: Mike Bolte
Credit: Mike Bolte
Credit: Mike Bolte
Credit: Mike Bolte

socialclimber

climber
CA
Jul 26, 2014 - 01:15pm PT
Mike! Great shots! (actually great shots all around), my buddy runs groups out of Kayak Connection and said he was getting some unheard of sights and pics right in the Moss harbor.

Have to get up there!

Charles
Mike Bolte

Trad climber
Planet Earth
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 26, 2014 - 01:41pm PT
Yup - there were some groups being guided out of there this morning. Got these shots from the jetty. Will head back tomorrow morning with the kayaks.
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