Whale Watching at its Finest

“Most whale photos you see
show whales in this beautiful blue water
– it’s almost like space.”
                                                                                                        Brian Skerry

Gray Whale Family

Living on the Esplanade in Redondo Beach the past decade has not only been amazing and beautiful, but it allows you to experience the miracles of marine life. It’s mind-blowing to be able to watch the most spectacular sunsets 365 days a year. Without the use of binoculars, see dolphins playing daily along with seals and sea lions. Watch soaring seagulls and pelicans diving for their daily catch. Yet, with all of Redondo Beach’s beauty, the most breathtaking sight the past few weeks has been watching several baby gray whales swimming just 30 feet from the ocean breakwaters.

Witnessing from ones balcony, the longest migration known to man, raises curiosity about gray whales and what brought them to the shores of Redondo Beach.

The gray whale feed on shrimp, which is abundant this time of year in Redondo Beach. Baby gray whales are called calves and can be as long as a large SUV and weigh as much as a ton. The mother gray whales bring their calves to lagoons to feed for a few months, so that the calves can build up blubber for their yearly migration from Southern California to Alaska.  A record-setting number of gray whales were born in Baja California this year.

It is great news that there has been an increase in the gray whale population, since it was listed as endangered in the 1970’s. However, with the increase in gray whales there has also been an increase in the number of whales becoming entangled in fishing lines and colliding with large ships. The other conundrum for these magnificent mammals is their predator the Orcas. These Orcas breed and live in the waters off Catalina Island and this may explain why the baby grays are feeding so close to the shore on the Esplanade. Could it be that these highly intelligent whales were hiding from the Orcas?

Whatever the reason, it’s a great opportunity to watch baby grays up close and personal. If you’d like to witness the gray whale spring migration from Baja California to Alaska this year, you don’t have to travel far. Just come down to the Esplanade in Redondo Beach and may be, with a little luck and timing, you too can catch a glimpse of these prehistoric mammals make their massive migration and witness whale watching at its finest.

Shine On

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