Dave and I went out on the Pacific Ocean last week. The water was smooth as glass and about 10 miles off Long Beach, we saw a blue whale diving in the distance. Though we were a couple of miles from it, a whale that size is hard to miss. The boat eventually caught up with the blue whale and a fin whale.
Blue whales are 80-90 feet long in the Northern Hemisphere and can be 100 feet or longer in the Antarctic. Humans nearly hunted the whales to extinction, but the species has recovered slightly since a worldwide whaling ban took effect.
The whales are frequently seen during the summer months off Long Beach, where they feed on krill. Once the krill is gone, the whales move on to their next feeding site. Scientists are still studying the feeding habits. I’m just glad we were lucky enough to see a blue whale this late in the season.
Grey whales will be in the area in late November. They’ll be heading south to feed for the winter and they’ll pass through again in the spring during the trip north.
Caption: A blue whale takes a deep dive in the Pacific Ocean off Long Beach. Note the large container ships in the upper left corner. We weren't far from the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.