By Sally Tang
The change of seasons has brought spring break travelers, beautiful wildflowers, and an appreciable amount of rain to San Diego. Meanwhile, just off the coast, we are having some amazing whale watching experiences aboard the Marietta.
Charismatic Humpback Whales have been spotted frequently over the last couple of weeks. These whales seem to be drawn to the area by schools of small baitfish. Some whale watchers have been fortunate enough to see these massive baleen whales lunging through these schools to feed! When they are not feeding, Humpback Whales still display unique behavior compared to our typical views of their migrating cousins, the Gray Whales. Humpback Whales frequently show their flukes and are more likely to breach than most other species we see in the area.
These same baitfish schools have also been drawing large pods of both Common and Pacific White-Sided Dolphins to the area. These playful cetaceans will often travel together, especially when plentiful food is involved. Luckily for us, these dolphins will often take a break from feeding to come over to the boat, playing just off the bow and in the wake. Some mothers have shown off their calves, offering great photo and viewing opportunities.
The rain has failed to put a damper on trips. The Marietta has wonderful views both from the windows on the covered deck and from the open air observation deck. With chances at seeing both Gray and Humpback whales, the season is still going strong!