Aug 13 2011

Rare sighting of sperm whale made off Palos Verdes Peninsula

Rare sighting of sperm whale made off Palos Verdes Peninsula

With perhaps hundreds of blue whales scattered throughout Southern California waters, it would seem disappointing to embark on a whale-watching excursion and not see one of the majestic leviathans.

But Natalie Booth-Massey and others aboard the Voyager on Monday were hardly disappointed because they witnessed a far more unusual sight: that of a sperm whale, which came into view shortly after they had seen a minke whale breach 11 times.

Booth-Massey on Monday evening posted photos on herFacebook page, along with the exclamation, “I am still on a whale high. I am barely able to talk I am so giddy!”

Sperm whales, which are toothed whales that prey almost exclusively on squid, are rarely seen off Southern California. However, the whale spotted Monday off the Palos Verdes Peninsula is believed to be the same whale that has been seen multiple times in the same general area since it was first photo-documented aboard the Voyager in 1996.

Presumably, this whale, estimated to measure 45-55 feet, is foraging in the depths of Redondo Canyon, which is said to be teeming with market-sized squid. Many of the whale sightings were in August and September, so it will not be surprising if this whale is encountered again this summer.

Read the rest on Pete Thomas’ blog.

Leave a Reply