Moonlighting at The Farallones

20 August 2007

The Farallone Islands

Early Sunday morning we boarded The SuperFish, a boat chartered by the Farallones Marine Sanctuary Association to go whale watching. Our guide said whales were feasting on krill moving up to the surface during seasonal upwelling near the continental shelf so we had 97% of seeing whales. We were excited as this was a surprise gift for my husband’s birthday (he has always wanted to go whale watching and was very excited that it was happening on fishing boat having watched way too many episodes of The Deadliest Catch). The ride out to the islands takes about 2.5 hours and it was foggy and a bit rough. About two hours in the weather broke and we came along side two sets of humpback whales. The day just got better after that.  My favorite part though was the dolphins.

Two Pacific White Sided Dolphins

Just after lunch the captain spotted some white water in the distance. As we sped along a group of risso’s pacific white sided dolphins
began swimming along side us and jumping out of the water. The were so fast and graceful. Eventually we stopped and they swam behind the boat and along the side and under where I took these images.

A Pacific White Sided Dolphin

When I saw the last image on the LCD I was both happy and very sad. Happy because I got it and very sad because it reminded me of this image of  the Yangtze River Dolphin from China that is now officially extinct. The white sided dolphins are not threatened. For that I am grateful to organizations like the Farallones Marine Sanctuary Association and the work they to do to help educate people about and protect our oceans. Throughout the day we saw humpbacks, a blue shark, two kinds of dolphins, huge jelly fish, seals leaping and playing, sea lions brawling, and so many birds I couldn’t count or name (except a puffin). And we slid home, only slightly sunburnt, on the softest sea, under the Golden Gate and safely into marina harbor.

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