Chase the Blue Dot

While we were at Heceta Head Lighthouse, we had the opportunity to observe a gray whale down below in the Pacific Ocean. The interpretive volunteers at the lighthouse said the whale had been there for at least 2-3 hours.

The whale would stay up for about 3-5 minutes, occasionally spouting through the blowholes. Yes, that’s right, blowholes. I didn’t realize that the gray whale actually has 2 blowholes in a V shape. As whales reach the water surface to breathe, they forcefully expel air through the blowholes.

Here are a few more of the whale expelling air:

A whale expelling air through its blowholes.
A whale expelling air through its blowholes.
A whale expelling air through its blowholes.
A whale expelling air through its blowholes, again.
A whale expelling air through its blowholes.
A whale expelling air through its blowholes, from another angle.

Even with my 100-400 zoom lens, I could not capture the full length of this whale – I’m assuming a good portion of the whale was underwater and not visible.

After a few minutes, the gray whale would dive under, leaving a nice circular wave in the water.

The circle in the water left behind when the gray while dives down.
The circle in the water left behind when the gray while dives down.

All this was taking place while the high tide was coming in and crashing against the waves.

Waves splashing against the rocks near the gray whale.
Waves splashing against the rocks near the gray whale.

I was thrilled I got to see the gray whale on our visit. I can’t remember the last time I saw a gray whale, but it was likely in Depoe Bay a few years ago.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: