Surfer encounters a young Gray Whale at the Point Arena Pier

One of the juvenile Gray Whales returned to the waters off the Point Arena Pier on Saturday, Jan. 5th. A surfer was just coming in when he saw the whale. Deborah Heatherstone was there once again and photographed the event.

 
A small pod of young Gray Whales has spent the summer, autumn, and now winter off the Mendonoma Coast. They are called subadults. It is a new phenomenon for us that Grays didn't migrate. The vast majority do migrate north in March and April and then south in December and January. But these whales decided to stay put. They have more white on them, I am told, because they swim slower and stay in less turbulent water. It must have been thrilling for that surfer to be so close to this whale.

Once again I thank Deborah for allowing me to share her photos. Another of her photos is featured in today's Independent Coast Observer. You can see Sightings photos on the ICO's website at www.mendonoma.com. There's an on-line subscription available if you'd like to read my weekly Mendonoma Sightings column and keep up to date on the goings of our beautiful Coast.

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