Monday, August 19, 2013

Whale Watching with Aquarium of the Pacific and Harbor Breeze.

We recently got invited to go on an adventurous Field Trip with members of the media and staffers of Aquarium of the Pacific.  The trip was in search of the Endangered Blue Whale off the coast of Long Beach. We rode on the new MV Triumph Vessel operated by Harbor Breeze Cruises. The new vessel is 83 feet long and it seats 150 people. It has a high-efficiency hull design which features a hydrofoil wing lifting system. The ride on it felt as though we were gently surfing through the ocean water, it was a smooth ride.  
 

  
  
Once we reached our destination, we patiently waited for the Blue Whales to appear. They did not disappoint and soon appeared in the far distance. We saw the whale’s blow hole shooting water into the sky. The Captain announced that it was getting ready to dive down to feed. So we rushed to get a closer look before the whale descended below to feed. Once the whale dove down in the ocean to feed, it remains below the water for 10-12 minutes before it returns back up to the surface. We stayed closed by and started watching the time because chances are that it would return in the general area. This would mean we could capture some amazing photos. We were about to give up on the whale when it surfaced after 12 minutes of being down below feeding. Funny thing is that it came up near a fishing boat that was passing by and they looked as though they never saw the largest animal in the planet.  We could see the boat moving forward without even slowing down to see the whale.  In that moment, we all wished we had been a little closer. Okay, maybe it was just me wanting to be closer to the largest animal in the planet. Then, just as sudden as the whale appeared it left.
We were left to wait for a few more moments before we were surrounded by a school of dolphins. They were dancing in the ocean and playing with the waves. We all cheered in awe of the dolphins being so close to our boat. All of us in the boat were taking pictures like we were paparazzi and the sea creatures were celebrities. It was very exciting to see kids and adults enjoy the field trip.
 
There was no dull moment as during our cruise, the staff would announce over the speaker fun facts about the whales, dolphins and the sea lions living in the area. Not only were we able to see for ourselves how whales feed in the ocean, we learned that a mammal that size can grow to be between 100 to 150 tons in weight and have no teeth. Instead of having teeth, whales have bristles used to gulp large volumes of water with food allowing the water to escape but not the food. The favorite food of this giant is Krill or shrimp-like euphausiids that are three inches long.  Blue whales must eat two to four tons of krill a day during the feeding season. We learned so much from one (3) hour trip. My kids and all the people attending that day were fascinated with the entire experience.
  
My family would like to thank Aquarium of the Pacific and Harbor Breeze for making the trip memorable. If you would like to find out more information on how to go on your own adventure, go to the Aquarium of the Pacific's  website and plan your own trip: Aquarium of the Pacific.

Address: 100 Aquarium Way Long Beach, CA 90802. Hours are 9:00am to 6:00pm every day except Christmas Day and During the Grand Prix of Long Beach( April 11-13, 2014)

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. This was a media field trip. All thoughts and opinions are all my own.

Citings: Educational resource guide by Amsel, Sheri. “Discoveries and Inventions.”Blue Whales Speaking Their Own Language. Exploring Nature Educational Resource. ©2005-2013. August 19, 2013. http://exploringnature.org/db/detail.php?dbID=10&detID=66 

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