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Friday, May 3, 2013

Big spout, little spout

Calm ocean conditions during the past couple of days have made for excellent whale watching from shore.  At this time of year, it's common to see Gray Whale cow-calf pairs.

Here's the large spout of an adult:

It was followed immediately by the much smaller spout of a calf:

Gray Whale spouts are often described as heart-shaped or V-shaped.  The next image is a good example of a V-shaped spout.

This mother and calf swam steadily northward.  Although they've made it from Baja to Bodega Bay, they still have quite a journey left before they reach Alaska!

(Mother on the left, calf on the right)

P.S. The bluffs on the southern end of Bodega Head are excellent for whale watching.  To help spot whales and answer visitor questions, volunteer docents from the Stewards of the Coast and Redwoods are stationed there on weekends through about mid-May (look for them near the outer State Parks parking lot).