Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Mystery Solved!

It has taken most of the summer, but I have finally figured out why there have been so few whales in the area. I was recently able to take a dive into the waters near Depoe Bay, and I was horrified by what I was not able to see. In the past, during each dive I have been able to see an abundance of mysid swarms, with about a body length in between each mysid. This is what is desirable for Gray Whales and will allow them to feed efficiently and sustain their 40-ton mass. However, the mysids in the swarms that I was able to see in my most recent dive were about ten body lengths apart, which is not close enough for good feeding. Most whales will pass these swarms by looking for more prosperous places to feed or “greener pastures.” One of our long time summer whales, Morisa, did just that on Monday as she swam by the previously abundant mysid patches. While I was diving I was able to observe that there was both the one-half inch as well as the one inch mysid species.

The whales that have been in the area continue to be a smaller whale named Deuce and Ice Cap which is a larger whale. Both whales have given us countless close encounters and it is wonderful to be able to see them this summer. On Tuesday evening, Ice Cap popped up very close to my boat. Kida, my dog and first mate, had a field day. Kida, as a frequent passenger of my trips, has developed a love/hate relationship with Ice Cap. You can see Kida gazing at Ice Cap in their most recent encounter in the picture above.

Don’t miss your chance to develop a love relationship with Ice Cap and Deuce as well as the other marine life we will see!

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