Monday, August 04, 2008

Gray Whales presentation / コククジラプレゼンテーション

I had to do a presentation for my Japanese class, and I decided to do it on Gray Whales


Gray whales are one of the whales that can sometimes be seen off of California’s coasts. As you can see in the pictures, they are pretty large. They are also kind of ugly, as these bumps on their skin are barnacles.

Their annual migration route is long. It goes from the Bering Sea near Alaska down to Baja, Mexico.

In the summer, they are up in their feeding grounds near Alaska in the Bering Sea. They are baleen whales, and feed on small animals, like shrimp and crab.

Then around November, they swim past us on their way to Baja, Mexico, where they breed.

Then in February and March, the males and non-breeding females head back north to feed.

These whales are generally about 1 to 3 miles from shore, so can be hard to see.

The females with calves return around April. The females and babies stay very close to the shore, to protect the babies. Killer Whales often will try to eat the babies.

This makes them relatively easy for people to see in April, both from shore and from boat. So the past few Aprils, I have gone kayaking in areas where we may see Gray Whales.

一番いいところはSan Mateo郡のPigeon Pointでしょう。1号線からライトハウスを見えるところです。一番上の写真は私です。写真は私とライトハウスです。
The best place seems to be off of Pigeon Point, which is on the San Mateo Coast. It is at the lighthouse that you can see from Highway 1. The picture shows me and the lighthouse.

You also want to go at a time when there is not much wind nor waves.

To find a whale, you would look for the whale’s spout. Sometimes, you can also hear their breaths.

This picture was taken from the lighthouse, and shows my girlfriend and I watching a whale surface.

This picture is a close up picture.

Whales will surface about 4 or 5 times for air. On the last time, they will sometime show their fluke as they dive deep. Then they stay underwater for over 10 minutes.

The mist you see in the picture is the whale’s breath.

下の写真はTomales Bayにいる探索浮上しているクジラです。英語で「spy hopping」です。そのクジラは辺りの様子を調べています。
The bottom shows a whale “spy hopping” in Tomales Bay. He is checking out his surroundings.

You can really see the barnacles in this picture.

If you are near the ocean in April, look out and see if you can see whales.