WHALE SIGHTINGS... arrive in many flavors. You might see the tip of a fin skim the water or you might spy a blowhole doing its blowhole-y thing, off in the distance. Or, when Pacific gray whale season is fully up and humming, you might just experience some of the largest animals on earth enjoying a pre-mating dance. That's what happened on a recent Island Packers trip across Santa Barbara Channel, when video caught "a small pod" of grays "displaying some mating rituals, indicating that migration season is here." The news from Island Packers is sweet, especially since whales keep up the migration through the middle of April, meaning we mammals who live up on the land have a bit more time to get out and admire one of nature's wows-iest shows.
DO YOU NEED TO BE WOWED RIGHT NOW? Even before you make for Ventura, the better to hop on a boat and possibly see some of these water-wonderful beauties? Then check out the mating dance video taken on Sunday, Jan. 17. It focuses on three male grays as they perform "an underwater ballet" in hopes of finding a mate, a performance that might be akin, in the natural world, to the dances performed by other mate-seeking animals (we're looking at you, fancy-feathered peacocks). Cool stuff, happening just off-shore, in the Pacific, while we go about our day-to-day lives here on terra firma. Captain Jimmy McWaters is the person behind this fascinating clip.