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Humpback Whale on a Kelp Patty Pictures

Sunday, May 24, 2009

 Humpback Whale on a Kelp Patty

An interesting Humpback Whale behavior off San Diego. We heard a report on the radio that a whale had been hanging around a patch of drift kelp and may be in some kind of distress. The area was about nine miles south of us in Mexican waters near North Coronado Island. While on the way to the area, the guy reports on the radio that he has been there watching for thirty minutes or more and is moving off but the whale is still there.

We arrive about fifteen minutes later and sure enough theres the whale. Its a Humpback and appears to be a sub-adult about twenty five or so feet in length. It continued to stay basically at the surface circling very near the kelp. We thought for sure it must be wrapped or tangled in something. I decided to slide in, very slowly close the distance to him and see if I could spot anything tangled around him.

The visibility was not great a hazy thirty or so at best. Finally spot him and can see there is no line or netting to be concerned with and no signs of any injury. One thing that did look a bit odd was he/she had a fairly large belly behind its pectoral fins. Guess its possible it was a female close to giving birth, but this did appear to be a relatively young animal. He/she kept making slow circles disappearing into the haze then returning again to the kelp. Possible it was sick or maybe just liked the kelp?

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 Humpback Whale on a Kelp Patty Picture
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ID# WHB-037
Humpback Whale on Drift Kelp
species: Megaptera novaeangliae
picture-id: WHB-037 request pricing Google Earth

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