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San Diego Whale Watching Report: First Finback of Season!

Today was non stop entertainment during both whale watching cruises on San Diego Bay!
During our morning whale watching cruise we saw our first two finback whales of the season! We also had the opportunity to see 5 gray whales and about 100 common dolphins.  Two of the southbound whales were seen with a calf between the two of them.
During the afternoon whale watching cruise we saw 7 gray whales.  We first noticed two Finback Whales, and eventually 5 gray whales appeared. The last 3 gray’s showed signs of mating and one breached 3 times!
The trip was full of excitement! We were able to see multiple breaches, body rolls, upside down whales and pectoral fin slaps! It was a great day with fantastic weather on San Diego Bay!
San Diego Natural History Museum's Whaler Terry Baird captures this image of a Gray Whale breaching on January 16th 2014

San Diego Natural History Museum’s Whaler Terry Baird captures this image of a Gray Whale breaching on January 16th 2014

Breaching Gray Whale

Terry Baird Breaching Gray Whale (3)
About the finback whale:
The fin whale is one of the rorquals, a family that includes the humpback whale, blue whale, Bryde’s whale, sei whale, and minke whale. Rorquals all have a dorsal fin and throat grooves that expand when the animal is feeding. The fin, or finback whale is second only to the blue whale in size and weight. Among the fastest of the great whales, it is capable of bursts of speed of up to 23 mph (37 km/hr) leading to its description as the “greyhound of the sea.” Its most unusual characteristic is the asymmetrical coloring of the lower jaw, which is white or creamy yellow on the right side and mottled black on the left side. Fin whales are found in all oceans of the world, though they seem to prefer temperate and polar waters to tropical seas.

The fin whale is long, sleek, and streamlined, with a V-shaped head which is flat on top. A single ridge extends from the blowhole to the tip of the rostrum (upper jaw). There is a series of 50-100 pleats or grooves on the underside of its body extending from under the lower jaw to the navel.

for more information, visit our friends at the American Cetacean Society.