BLUE WHALES !!! WHA HOO
10 (very stoked) TransparentSea crew were lucky enough to share the waters, off the coast of LA, with 2 beautiful, large & very curious blue whales today. One swimming towards 2 of the Kayaks & diving with in meters of the front of the Kayaks & then surfacing only meters from the back.. AMAZING DAY OUT AT SEA!!
" We will never forget this amazing time with the largest animals on the planet. Words can not express. This song was written after we landed and just came out in a moment. The energy I personally felt from them kept me buzzing for hours and hours and I can still feel it. I can't wait to go back out and re connect.
" - Will Conner
" Having a magical meeting with the blue whales, its hard to put into words the thoughts, emotions and sensations running through my tiny body and I rest with; a defining moment in my life. These are the largest beings to ever exist on this planet, and after being hunted to the brink of extinction before being declared protected in 1966 its clear to see they have the largest hearts on the planet - literally and symbollically. Their capacity for compassion and forgiveness is beyond imaginable and as they shared time and energy with the group aboard our silent craft we were speechless by their presence. They are clearly aware and sensitive beings, choosing to get close to us and follow us into shore, after a loud and smelly motor boat followed them somewhat relentlessly.
These concious breathing ocean giants connected with us just miles off the coast from one of the most populated places in the world, our encounter proving that these creatures call these Southern Californian waters their home.
We can only applaud the work being done by the Environmental Defence Centre who have been working tirelessly to reduce the shipping speeds in the Santa Barbara channel. We have found this area further south to be thankfully abundant with cetaceans, despite the 5th largest busiest working harbour in the world attracting cargo ships that are giants in comparison to the 100 foot blue whales. We salute the many groups ensuring the crucial movement of protecting, respecting and preserving these ancient creatures and the oceanic world they live in; locally and globally.
It is such an honour to be united with Surfers for Cetaceans on their TranspearentSea voyage, and with this blessing from the big blues; Women for Whales will continue to dedicate all they can to spreading the message of 'whale freedom!' "
- Natalie Fox cofounder of Women for Whales
Blue whales are the largest animals ever known to have lived on Earth. These magnificent marine mammals rule the oceans at up to 100 feet (30 meters) long and upwards of 200 tons (181 metric tons). Their tongues alone can weigh as much as an elephant. Their hearts, as much as an automobile.
Blue whales reach these mind-boggling dimensions on a diet composed nearly exclusively of tiny shrimplike animals called krill. During certain times of the year, a single adult blue whale consumes about 4 tons (3.6 metric tons) of krill a day.
Blue whales are baleen whales, which means they have fringed plates of fingernail-like material, called baleen, attached to their upper jaws. The giant animals feed by first gulping an enormous mouthful of water, expanding the pleated skin on their throat and belly to take it in. Then the whale's massive tongue forces the water out through the thin, overlapping baleen plates. Thousands of krill are left behind—and then swallowed.
Blue whales look true blue underwater, but on the surface their coloring is more a mottled blue-gray. Their underbellies take on a yellowish hue from the millions of microorganisms that take up residence in their skin. The blue whale has a broad, flat head and a long, tapered body that ends in wide, triangular flukes.
Blue whales live in all the world's oceans occasionally swimming in small groups but usually alone or in pairs. They often spend summers feeding in polar waters and undertake lengthy migrations towards the Equator as winter arrives.
These graceful swimmers cruise the ocean at more than five miles an hour (eight kilometers an hour), but accelerate to more than 20 miles an hour (32 kilometers an hour) when they are agitated. Blue whales are among the loudest animals on the planet. They emit a series of pulses, groans, and moans, and it’s thought that, in good conditions, blue whales can hear each other up to 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometers) away. Scientists think they use these vocalizations not only to communicate, but, along with their excellent hearing, to sonar-navigate the lightless ocean depths.
Really Big Babies
Blue whale calves enter the world already ranking among the planet's largest creatures. After about a year inside its mother's womb, a baby blue whale emerges weighing up to 3 tons (2.7 metric tons) and stretching to 25 feet (8 meters). It gorges on nothing but mother's milk and gains about 200 pounds (91 kilograms) every day for its first year.
Blue whales are among Earth's longest-lived animals. Scientists have discovered that by counting the layers of a deceased whale's waxlike earplugs, they can get a close estimate of the animal's age. The oldest blue whale found using this method was determined to be around 110 years old. Average lifespan is estimated at around 80 to 90 years.
Between 10,000 and 25,000 blue whales are believed to still swim the world's oceans. Aggressive hunting in the 1900s by whalers seeking whale oil drove them to the brink of extinction. Between 1900 and the mid-1960s, some 360,000 blue whales were slaughtered. They finally came under protection with the 1966 International Whaling Commission, but they've managed only a minor recovery since then.
Blue whales have few predators but are known to fall victim to attacks by sharks and killer whales, and many are injured or die each year from impacts with large ships. Blue whales are currently classified as endangered on the World Conservation Union (IUCN) Red List.