Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Farallon Islands

Here's Rick getting ready to board the Salty Lady on Sunday morning. We were about to venture out to the Farallon Islands with Robin and Paul on an Oceanic Society expedition.

Don't you get the idea from this picture that it is going to be a perfect day to see whales and puffins? Let me just say that the trip was so exciting (and eventful) that this is the last picture that I took on the entire trip.

As we left San Francisco harbor we saw over 20 harbor porpoises and 3 miles out, we saw our first whales, humpbacks, a cow and her calf. As we approached North Island, we found ourselves in a "garden" of whales: 5 humpbacks diving for food and 9 humpbacks spouting, diving, breaching, and showing their flukes. We saw one humpback spyhopping: lifting its head about 6 feet out of the water.

We also saw California sea lions, northern sea lions, harbor seals and a variety of sea birds: western grebes, elegant terns, Forsters' terns, northern fulmars, pink-footed shearwaters, sooty shearwaters, western gulls, brown pelicans, red-necked phalaropes, double-crested cormorants, pelagic cormorants, Brandt's cormorants, pigeon guillemots, common murres, Cassins' auklets, and tufted puffins.

It was a never to be forgotten experience.

1 comment:

Beach Bookster said...

Showed Paul your blog today and he remarked " She is an amazing observer. While I was barely keeping my head above water, she was busy taking notes for the blog. I'm impressed. Looking forward to our winter storm trip out to the Farallon."