The Southern California coastline has a two-mile stretch of beach which has been renamed to “Whale Beach” by the operator of a whale-watching business who’s reporting an unusually abundant number of amount of gray whale mothers and calves stopping to rest and play in the local area’s tranquil coves.
Donna Kalez, general manager of Dana Wharf Whale Watching, says that during the past few weeks her captains have recorded more than 40 sightings of gray whale cow-calf pairs in the shallow coves of Laguna Beach.
That is well above average according to Kalez, but what makes this even more unusual is the high encounters with swimmers. Combining the unseasonably warm temperatures with more visitors to the beach, the whales are sighting just a few yards from the sandy shore. Visitors to the beach can’t help but swim out to the whales for a personal and rare experience, however it is not in the best interest of public safety.
Many swimmers have pursued the whales dawned in snorkeling gear and GoPro cameras, however not all the encounters are positive ones. Kalez’s captains have noted that some cases in which swimmers have spooked the mothers. Scaring whales or altering their emotions or behavior in any way is a violation of the Marine Mammal Protection Act, punishable by fines and/or jail time. Its also dangerous for the swimmers to approach these powerful creatures.
Overall however, most of the encounters with the whales have been positive and popular with the swimmers.
For more information read on at http://www.petethomasoutdoors.com/2014/05/laguna-beach-becomes-whale-beach-as-swimmers-and-cow-calf-pairs-mingle-in-surf.html
According to an article, Federal regulators are giving the go ahead on three new fracking jobs off the California coast. This is more than what was previously knows, so many people are up in arms, and rightfully so.
Hydraulic fracturing is done by pumping large amounts of water, sand and chemicals into the rock bed to release oil. It is believed that the process is a huge proponent of chemical pollution, which is why there is such an outcry of people saying it should be stopped.
Many people, especially near the coasts of California, believe these rigs performing this function are only a problem that will escalate in the future. People are also uneasy after the 1969 oil platform blowout that harmed beaches, birds and other wild life. The last thing residents and beach goers want is another incident of that magnitude. They also don’t like the fact that certain chemicals are being released into the water in which they swim.
It’ll be interesting to see how this process is done in the future and if it will leave lasting effects on the areas surrounding the rigs.
According to a recent article, a storm off the cost of Hawaii is brewing up some of the biggest surf the island hasn’t seen in decades. The wave heights are reaching anywhere from 40 to 50 feet. Imagine dropping in on something that big? Only some of the most experienced surfers would dare to try and ride a wave of that magnitude.
A high surf warning was declared until 6am Saturday on the Big Island. Some beaches were even closed all together. At Waimea Bay, Ocean Safety lifeguards closed the beach because water was overflowing into the parking lot and upending trees. The waves are generating such a strong force that they can’t be held back by the beach banks.
According to Melvin Kaku, Director of the Department of Emergency Management, “The National Weather Service has told us that this is a once in a ten-year period high surf event. What increases the hazard is the forecasted wave heights in combination with the long duration these swells will be impacting our shorelines. The long duration means that ocean waters will pile up in the surf zone allowing the larger waves to impact further into beach areas. This battering effect can cause increased shoreline erosion and damage to homes and infrastructure as well as blocking coastal highways with sand, debris and water.”
Hawaii is prone to big wave surf due to its location in the ocean. It’s amazing that they haven’t experienced something like this in a number of years. Some places on Hawaii’s Big Island regular average over 10 foot waves. Imagine those waves at 30 and 40 feet! It’s astounding! I’ll be interested to see if any surfing footage comes out of this once in a decade event. You figure there’s definitely a lot of interest among surfers. Will anyone make the plunge?
A giant deep sea oarfish was found off the California coast according to an article.
Oarfish are not commonly seen and are one of the more mysterious fishes, often described in old fisherman tales. They are huge, some at over 50 feet. This oarfish that was found was 18 feet long and was in about 20 feet of water along the California coast.
“Oarfish are very much a mid-water to deep-water species,” Karla Heidelberg, an assistant professor of biological sciences at the University of Southern California’s Wrigley Marine Science Center, told National Geographic in June. “They’re almost never seen in surface waters.” These fish can be found 500 meters under the sea.
It is amazing that one would be seen so close to the surface. I am sure many Californians must have marveled over the fact that a 20 foot worm-like fish happened to make its way towards shore. It makes you wonder what else could be down in the great depths of the ocean. Prehistoric fish of all kinds could be lurking, which is why the ocean is the great unknown, as much of it has yet to be explored.
I came across an article recently on the CBS Miami website that stated Google Maps will be including all of Florida’s beaches on its service starting next year. Google enlisted Visit Florida to capture the States 825 miles of beautiful beaches in 360 degree images. Starting next year, these images will be live for everyone to see. Two people from the Visit Florida team were trained by Google Maps experts in how to capture the pictures. These teams would walk 50 miles in a week taking photos from a backpack that had cameras coming off the top
of it. The cameras are very unique in that they have 15 lenses that are shooting at different angles so it can capture “a complete picture of a location. The images are then stitched together into a 360-degree panoramic photo.”
It is great to hear that Florida’s beaches will now be included in high definition for the world to see. Florida has some of the best beaches in the world and it is fitting to see that Google would like to recognize that by providing 360 degree image of the landscape and water.