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Friday, September 15, 2006

Baleen Whales

Gray Whale
Gray Whale
Gray Whale
Gray Whale
Harbour Porpoise

The noon Ocean Magic II trip lead us a couple miles from Port Angeles to view a minke whale in Juan de Fuca Strait. These baleen whales are rorquals and have many throat grooves that expand when they take a gulp of fish or krill. The minke was taking long dives and would come up to breath revealing its flat brown head and curved fin. We then headed west to view a gray whale off Crescent Bay. Gray whales are different from rorquals because they have only three to four throat grooves and suction feed along the sea floor. The gray whale would breath at the surface several times then depth sound to the bottom exposing its flukes. This animal had killer whales teeth marks along its side and tail. A couple of harbor porpoises were seen nearby and on the way back to Victoria we saw a group of about six Dall’s porpoises rooster tailing and a Steller sea lion traveling south of Race Rocks. A beautifully calm and diverse marine-mammal day.

Juan de Fuca

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