Harbor Breeze Cruises has provided public seasonal whale watching cruises for the past 18 years off of Long Beach.
Gray Whale season runs typically from December through April,and can be seen during its annual migration from the Bering Sea in Alaska to Scammon’s Lagoon in Baja California, Mexico. Blue Whales can be seen during their season, typically from May through November. Although we did not see either on the trip I went on, we saw plenty of fin whales, along with dolphins, pelicans, sea lions, and a miscellaneous boat or two.
All photos by Paula Lauren Gibson/AfroPix
Photo gallerry after the jump
According to the American Cetacean Society page on Fin Whales, 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.”
Harbor Breeze CEO, Dan Salas, saw us off leaving us in the very capable hands of Ship Captain, Carl Mayhughes. Michele Sousa, senior marine mammal biologist/whale expert, Kera Mathes, biologist and whale researfh program coordinator, and Jennifer Magana, all from the Aquarium of the Pacific joined our cruise and provided expert commentary along with various educational tid-bits.
Other type of wildlife that might been seen include: Humpback Whales, Minke Whales, Killer Whales (Orcas), and Dolphins including Common, Bottlenose, Risso’s, and Pacific White Sided. We saw a few Pacific White Sided on our trip. We also heard, from Alisha Schulman of the American Cetacean Society, that a pod of Orcas had been spotted off Dana Point and were headed our way, although the two hour trip ended before they arrived.
The boat was comfortable having a indoor lounge area, galley service, and clean bathrooms. Best of all was the expansive deck areas for viewing and photography.
Harbor Breeze Cruises
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100 Aquarium Way, Dock #2, Long Beach, CA 90802. The first dock to the left of the Aquarium of the Pacific.
Aquarium of the Pacific
100 Aquarium Way
Long Beach, CA 90802