Propellor the Friendly Humpback Whale Returns (2011)

This Humpback Whale amazes whale-watchers for a second year as she visits the Sea Wolf II and gets a few people wet and makes a lot of people very happy. She’s amazingly curious, and as in the first video (below: “Curious Whale Sprays Onlookers”), she rolls on her side and her huge eye is plainly visible. Who’s watching whom?


Dolphins Bow-riding in Monterey Bay

Every summer is great for watching humpback and blue whales in Monterey Bay, and there are thousands of dolphins here too. One calm morning, hundreds of Pacific white-sided dolphins surrounded the Monterey Bay Whale Watch tour I was narrating, and over a dozen slipped in under the bow of the Point Sur Clipper for a free ride. They surfed the bow wave for a mile. In this video you can hear me answering questions about the dolphins and about the humpback whales we had seen earlier, which are usually seen in twos or threes. Watch for the single blowhole that all dolphins and toothed whales have, and look for individuals turning on their sides to look up at the people on the boat. We don’t see dolphins every day but when we do it can be a fantastic experience.


Curious Whale Sprays Onlookers (Propellor 2010)

We at Monterey Bay Whale Watch, where I am a naturalist, nicknamed this whale Propellor because there is a line of welts down its back and a gouge in its side, obviously from close contact with a small boat’s propellor. It’s all healed, and it certainly doesn’t deter this strong adult Humpback Whale from approaching large whale-watching boats and swimming around them repeatedly. It apparently just likes boats — that’s probably how it got that wound in the first place. Propellor turned out to be female. In the summer of 2010 she spent three weeks in Monterey Bay visiting many whale-watching boats and touching many human lives. We wonder who else has encountered her and been amazed, perhaps along the coast of Mexico or Costa Rica in the winter, or up the California shore in the summer.

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