May 30, 2016

I Love the 90's and so do Whales: Dall's Porpoises play near Stuart Island

Dall's Porpoise near Turn Point

I don’t know if y’all remember the ‘90’s but I sure do. The biggest thing and maybe one of the more unfortunate things that I do remember are, of course, frosted tips. You probably remember these and have a general idea about how they are engineered into hair. You may even no be experiencing a wave of nostalgia as an NSYNC song plays in your head. But what you probably don’t know is that some marine mammals are still really into the ‘90’s…

            We started off this Sunday trip like many others. Captain Mike, Sarah C., and I headed north to see what we could find with a super group of people on board. We checked out a lot of tan Harbor Seals resting in the afternoon sun. We saw a few pairs of Bald Eagles perching and also fishing in the very calm waters yesterday. We were just checking out some more Harbor Seals swimming in a Bull Kelp bed near the Cactus Islands when Splash! A male California Sea Lion popped up! The California Sea Lions are one of the two species of Sea Lions that spend their winters here, but leave during the summer to breed. This guy is sticking around a little longer and he, you guessed it, definitely loves the ‘90’s. If you see a California Sea Lion they’re dark brown and the males have a crest on their foreheads where their dark brown fur turns to bright bleach blond kind of exactly like Guy Fieri or like Justin Timberlake pre-solo career, and all California Sea Lions agree (especially the ladies) that yeah it’s still cool.

            After watching that funny guy for awhile we continued north saw a whole bunch of Harbor Porpoises and then went around Turn Point to find a group of Dall’s Porpoises fishing in the tidal rips around Stuart Island! These porpoises inhabit the North Pacific and are one of the few porpoises that travel in larger groups. They also look like Alien Whales. Not like Alien 1 2 or 3 weird but more like JarJar Binks from Star Wars Episode I weird if he couldn’t talk. They have very thick bodies black backs, white bellies, and, yes again you guessed it, frosted tips on all their fins! They are also one of the fastest cetaceans in the world, going more than 33 knots! They also are the most playful so we watched them play in and out of the waves, surfing around until their hearts were content and they returned to fishing.

So Dope. Whale folks until next time, maybe eat some GoGurt, watch a bunch of Buffy, and just think about what you’d look like with frosted tips.

Naturalist Erick

M/V Sea Lion

San Juan Safaris