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Rare dolphin sighting! (No, not a timeshare)

heathpack

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We are sailing today from Marina del Rey (Los Angeles) to Catalina Island. It is a beautiful day.

We just had a great encounter- a small pod, maybe 15 individuals, of what we are pretty sure are Rizzo's dolphin. We are out on the water a lot, but have only encountered these guys once before. I know the picture is boring but these dolphin are a sight to see- they look like miniature pilot whales, about 15 feet long. The young ones are dark, but the older ones become mottled grey and then turn white. So when you see a pod of Rizzo's, it is a bit surreal, like you are sailing with a pod of Moby Dicks. Except the "great white whale" is not great, instead it is like spotting a group of "wee white whales."

Everyone have a great holiday weekend!

H
 

chriskre

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How nice.
We often see dolphin and manatee in SW Florida when we take the boat out. It's a blessed experience so I understand your excitement.:D
 

heathpack

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Just passed a Pacific Grey whale, about 3 miles offshore.
 

pedro47

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Looks like a shark fin. I live on the east coast and everything with a fin in the water is a shark.

Too much watching of the Jaws Movie and that great white shark was a great sighting in the water.
 
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heathpack

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Was reading more about these guys- they are Risso's dolphins, not Rizzo's.

Normally deep water dolphin, uncommonly seen near in-shore. Except in So Cal in recent decades (since the El Nino of 1990ish). They come here in the winter feeding on squid. In California, the continental shelf is close to shore, they think that's maybe why you can see these guys here.

They seem to have displaced pilot whales in the local ecology and have been observed chasing the larger pilot whales. They seem to be more aggressive than the pilot whales. Pilot whales are now very rare in So Cal, whereas the Risso's are merely uncommon.

We saw some more when we were hiking along the cliffs, they were close in-shore to Catalina Island.

We also saw a *highly endangered* Catalina fox, a fox the size of a house cat. But that is a post for another time....

H
 

rjreichert

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Risso Dolphins

We went to Catalina this past Sunday and saw the Risso Dolphins too, off the coast of Catalina. We were in Two Harbors and saw a Catalina Eagle. Beautiful weekend to be on the island!
 

heathpack

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We went to Catalina this past Sunday and saw the Risso Dolphins too, off the coast of Catalina. We were in Two Harbors and saw a Catalina Eagle. Beautiful weekend to be on the island!
WE were in Two Harbors too! Saturday we hiked from Two Harbors most of the way to Emerald Bay. We saw something we thought was a giant hawk, but then speculated it to be some sort of eagle. I'll bet it was a Catalina eagle, although we are not familiar with them. It was reddish brown with a tan breast. I will have to read up on this one.

It was a really awesome weekend weather-wise.

H
 
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