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Outdoors, action, adventure

Category: Whales

Breaching whale damages sailboat off Oregon

A sailboat participating in the Oregon International Offshore Race was struck by a breaching whale Thursday off the coast of Oregon. Thankfully, nobody aboard was injured.

The 38-foot vessel, ironically named L'Orca, was about a half-hour into the race from Astoria, Ore., to Victoria, Canada, when the whale breached and crushed the rigging and mast of the boat.

The sailing vessel L'Orca rests in the water of Astoria's West Basin pier after having its rigging and mast demolished by a breaching whale. "Our boat was moving at about nine knots over the water, and all of a sudden, about a few inches, maybe a foot off the starboard side, a whale came breaching out of the water," crew member Ryan Barnes of Portland, Ore., told the U.S. Coast Guard in a videotaped interview. "It looked to be a humpback whale, about 30 feet in length roughly; it hit the mast about halfway to three-quarters of the way up, and proceeded to fall forward and on the starboard side of the boat.

"The mast came down as well as the forestay and all the rigging, and our tow rail and all our life lines on the starboard side of the boat were demolished as well."

Barnes said that the vessel did suffer some cosmetic damage in addition to the broken mast and rigging, but the crew, including his father -- boat owner Jerry Barnes -- was in the cockpit at the time and no one was injured. A U.S. Coast Guard rescue vessel responded to the scene and escorted the damaged boat and its occupants back to Astoria.

Unlike a whale vs. sailboat incident off the coast of South Africa last year, no photos have yet surfaced.

And while it's uncertain what injuries the whale sustained, they were likely minor. It did, however, leave behind a small memento of the incident.

"We have some nice pieces of whale blubber as a souvenir and proof of what happened," Barnes said.

-- Kelly Burgess
twitter.com/latimesoutposts

Video: Ryan Barnes describes the whale breaching and striking his father's 38-foot sailboat, the L'Orca, during the Oregon International Offshore Race. Credit: Petty Officer 1st Class Shawn Eggert / U.S. Coast Guard via YouTube

Photo: The sailing vessel L'Orca at Astoria, Ore.'s West Basin pier after having its rigging and mast demolished by a breaching whale. Credit: Petty Officer 1st Class Shawn Eggert / U.S. Coast Guard

Whale Watch and Intertidal Life Festival at Cabrillo National Monument

A statue of explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo looks out over the San Diego Bay at Cabrillo National Monument.

Cabrillo National Monument is hosting its annual Whale Watch and Intertidal Life Festival on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The 24th annual event celebrates the Pacific gray whales and their return to local waters during their southbound migration to Baja California. The weekend will feature opportunities to watch for the leviathans and the chance to take guided tide-pool walks.

There also will be films; guest speakers sharing their expertise on a variety of marine-related subjects; and exhibitor booths filled with activities and information about whales, tide pools and local oceanic organizations.

All events are included with the regular park entrance fee of $5 per vehicle and $3 for motorcyclists, bicyclists and walk-ins.

Cabrillo National Monument is at the tip of the Point Loma Peninsula, just west of the city of San Diego.

-- Kelly Burgess
twitter.com/latimesoutposts

Photo: A statue of explorer Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo looks out over the San Diego Bay at Cabrillo National Monument. Credit: New Thanyacheron / National Park Service

Outposts looks back at 2010: Unusual news 2

With the year ending, it is worth looking back at memorable posts of 2010. Each day this week through Friday, Outposts will recount some of the records broken, the achievements reached, the notable passings and the downright unusual during 2010 in the outdoors, action and adventure world.

Hunter's ticking timepiece attracts some interesting clock-watchers

Deer seem to be checking the time in these images taken by a trail camera. Minnesota bow-hunter Doug Strenke received a surprising, and amusing, reaction after hanging up a large, white-faced clock near the infrared trail camera he installed on the property he hunts, wanting to keep track of when deer visit the area, since the cam had no time-stamp function.

The St. Paul Park, Minn., resident was worried that the clock would scare everything away "within miles." Instead, his trailcam began photographing lots of deer and, Strenke said, "A lot of my pictures show the deer looking at the clock."

Photo credit: Doug Strenke


Bigfoot alive and well and living in North Carolina

North Carolina resident Tim Peeler drawing the Bigfoot creature he had a close encounter with. Bigfoot has apparently gone blond and lives in North Carolina. At least according to Cleveland County resident Tim Peeler, who told local authorities of his encounter with the 10-foot tall creature.

Peeler thought he was calling coyotes, but instead got surprised and frightened by what -- or who -- came a-calling.

"This thing was 10-foot tall. He had beautiful hair," said Peeler.

Screen-grab credit: NBC affiliate WCNC NewsChannel 36, North Carolina


Sailboat struck by breaching whale

A southern right whale breached and landed on a sailboat off the coast of Cape Town, South Africa on July 18. The whale broke the mast and then swam away, but the boat's occupants were uninjured.  A couple sailing off the coast of Cape Town, South Africa, on July 18 got the surprise of their lives but were uninjured when a breaching southern right whale crashed onto their sailboat, damaging the vessel.

"It was quite scary," said Paloma Werner, who had been out sailing with her boyfriend and business partner, Ralph Mothes of the Cape Town Sailing Academy. "We thought the whale was going to go under the boat and come up on the other side. We thought it would see us."

Photo credit: European Pressphoto Agency

Continue reading »

Video surfaces of sailboat struck by breaching whale


CBS Evening News with Katie Couric shared the above video on Thursday, offering proof that a southern right whale did, indeed, jump out of the water on Sunday and crash onto the sailboat of a couple sailing off the coast of Cape Town, South Africa.

Whale

There has been some speculation that perhaps the image posted Wednesday on Outposts as well as on numerous other websites had been Photoshopped.

"It is definitely legitimate," Paloma Werner, who had been out sailing with her boyfriend and business partner, Ralph Mothes of the Cape Town Sailing Academy, told Matt Lauer Thursday on NBC's Today Show. "We were on the boat and we saw the whale coming out, and we saw it. It's legitimate -- it hasn't been Photoshopped."

The couple have been speaking publicly about their ordeal.

"I never for a minute thought this thing would hit the boat," Mothes added when speaking with Lauer. "Blow me down, suddenly I saw this huge monster shape come up out of the water on my port side and yeah, that's it. I mean, it just happened in an instant. It was quite frightening."

Officials from the local Department of Environmental Affairs have launched an investigation into the incident after several people came forward to say the boaters had broken the law by approaching the whale and that the 33-foot, 40-ton mammal was provoked into the attack.

-- Kelly Burgess
twitter.com/latimesoutposts

Video: CBS Evening News, Photo: EPA

Related:

Sailboat struck by breaching whale -- is it real or is it Photoshop?

Sailboat struck by breaching whale


Sailboat struck by breaching whale -- is it real or is it Photoshop?

Outposts ran an item Wednesday about a sailboat that was struck by a breaching southern right whale and severely damaged.

The question has been circulating -- is the image real, or has it been Photoshopped?

Outposts reader "sailorchick" posted a comment Thursday morning, posing the question of why the man on the sailboat isn't even looking at the whale, saying that he looks downright relaxed. And, in her opinion, the shadows don't look right.

Below are purported before-and-after images of the incident:

before

after

I'm curious what others think, and if I get any updates one way or the other, I'll certainly keep readers posted.

-- Kelly Burgess
twitter.com/latimesoutposts

Upper photo: An image showing a southern right whale breaching near a sailboat off the coast of Cape Town, South Africa on Sunday. Credit: EPA

Lower photo: An image showing the damaged boat. Credit: EPA

Sailboat struck by breaching whale

A southern right whale breached and landed on a sailboat off the coast of Cape Town, South Africa on Sunday. The whale broke the mast and then swam away, but the boat's occupants were uninjured. The incident is being investigated to determine if the whale was harassed.

A couple sailing off the coast of Cape Town, South Africa, on Sunday got the surprise of their lives but were uninjured when a breaching southern right whale crashed onto their sailboat, damaging the vessel.

"It was quite scary," Paloma Werner, who had been out sailing with her boyfriend and business partner, Ralph Mothes of the Cape Town Sailing Academy, told Independent Online.

"We thought the whale was going to go under the boat and come up on the other side. We thought it would see us."

Mothes said his 32-foot steel boat held up well, sustaining no structural damage other than a broken mast, despite the massive bulk of the leviathan.

However, officials from the local Department of Environmental Affairs have launched an investigation into the incident after several people came forward to say the boaters had broken the law by approaching the whale and that the 33-foot, 40-ton mammal was provoked into the attack.

Continue reading »

Dana Wharf Sportfishing has a couple of options for celebrating Father's Day

A father and son share a day of saltwater fishing.

Dana Wharf Sportfishing is celebrating Father's Day by offering a couple of seaworthy options Sunday aboard the 95-foot Dana Pride.

First up are free half-day passes, for a future trip, to all fathers taking the half-day sportfishing venture from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. aboard the landing's flagship vessel.

"My father started Dana Wharf Sportfishing and Whalewatching in 1971, so this is our way of honoring fathers who love fishing," said general manager Donna Kalez.

The special Father’s Day fishing trip will be targeting sand bass and calico bass. There have also been reported sightings of both blue and fin whales, adding a bit more to enjoy along with the day of saltwater angling.

For those looking for something a bit more leisurely, the Dana Pride will be going out for a special Father's Day sunset dinner cruise from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Offering a buffet barbecue dinner, non-alcoholic drinks and live classic rock, this two-hour cruise features indoor and upper deck seating plus a full cash bar, and will take in the views of Laguna Beach from the ocean. The cost is $59 for adults; $29 for children ages 3 to 12; and free for children 2 and younger.

Advance reservations for either or both trips are recommended and can be made via the Dana Wharf website or by calling (949) 496-5794.

-- Kelly Burgess

Photo: Father and son share a day of saltwater fishing. Credit: Dana Wharf Sportfishing

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Dana Wharf is now offering sunset whale-watching tours

A gray whale swims past fog-shrouded Santa Catalina Island on its southward migration to warm-water breeding grounds off Baja California.

Dana Wharf in Dana Point is now offering sunset whale-watching tours every Friday and Saturday through April.

Departing at 4 p.m., these two-hour tours aboard the 95-foot Dana Pride offer whale-watchers the opportunity for unique photos, with the colors of sunset providing a different perspective.

Dana Wharf guarantees whale or dolphin sightings; otherwise, everyone aboard receives a voucher to come back for another trip during the current gray whale migration.

The cost for adults is $29, ages 3-12 $19, and seniors $24, and advance tickets are recommended. Reservations can be made online or by calling (800) 979-3370.

-- Kelly Burgess

Photo: A gray whale swims past fog-shrouded Santa Catalina Island on its southward migration to warm-water breeding grounds off Baja California. Credit: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

To follow this blog on Twitter, please visit @latimesoutposts.

Whale Watch Weekend and Intertidal Life Festival this weekend at Cabrillo National Monument

A statue of explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo looks out over the San Diego Bay.

Cabrillo National Monument is hosting their annual Whale Watch Weekend and Intertidal Life Festival this Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The 23rd annual event is being held in celebration of the Pacific gray whales and their return to local waters during their southbound migration to Baja California.

The weekend will feature opportunities to watch for the leviathans as well as guided tidepool walks.

There will also be films, guest speakers sharing their expertise on a variety of marine-related subjects, and exhibitor booths filled with activities and information about whales, tidepools and local oceanic organizations.

All events are included with the regular park entrance fee of $5 per vehicle and $3 for motorcyclists, bicyclists and walk-ins.

Cabrillo National Monument is located at the tip of the Point Loma Peninsula, just west of the city of San Diego.

-- Kelly Burgess

Photo: A statue of explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo looks out over the San Diego Bay. Credit: New Thanyacheron / National Park Service

To follow this blog on Twitter, please visit @latimesoutposts

Whale Fiesta at Cabrillo Marine Aquarium this Sunday

Whale sculpture created out of sand at a previous Whale Fiesta event.

In celebration of the Pacific gray whales' southbound migration and to herald the beginning of the whale-watching season, Cabrillo Marine Aquarium will be holding its annual Whale Fiesta this Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Co-sponsored by the American Cetacean Society Los Angeles chapter, this educational and fun-filled day should offer something of interest for all ages, and will be held rain or shine.

Over 20 marine-life organizations will be at the 40th annual event, with exhibits and information about whale protection and awareness.

Attendees can take part in myriad activities, including face painting, music, games, contests, origami, and marine mammal-related arts and crafts projects, including helping to build a life-size sand sculpture of a blue whale.

Admission is free and includes access to the Aquarium's Exploration Center, Aquatic Nursery and Marine Research Library.

Cabrillo Marine Aquarium is located at 3720 Stephen M. White Drive in San Pedro.

-- Kelly Burgess

Photo: Whale sculpture created out of sand at a Whale Fiesta event. Credit: Cabrillo Marine Aquarium

Note: To follow this blog on Twitter please visit @latimesoutposts

Sea Shepherd vessel Ady Gil has bow sheared off after being struck by Japanese whaling ship

he Sea Shepherd's ship Ady Gil (foreground) after it was rammed by Japanese whaling vessel Shonan Maru 2 (background) in Antarctic waters.

The clash between the anti-whaling group Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and Japanese whalers turned ugly today after one of the conservation group's vessels was struck by a whaling ship and severely damaged.

ANTARCTICA_WHALING_Burn The Sea Shepherd's new trimaran Ady Gil had its bow sheared off and was taking on water after it was rammed by the Japanese vessel Shonan Maru 2, which has been tailing the Sea Shepherd flagship boat Steve Irwin since it left port en route to Antarctic waters to try to disrupt Japan's annual whale hunt.

Sea Shepherd reports on its website that six crew members on the Ady Gil -- five from New Zealand and one from the Netherlands -- were immediately rescued by the crew of another Sea Shepherd ship, Bob Barker, which arrived on scene Tuesday.

They added that while none of those aboard Ady Gil were injured, the damage to the vessel is catastrophic and that it's unlikely that it can be salvaged.

The conservation group states that this "unprovoked attack" has been captured on film -- Animal Planet has a film crew onboard the Steve Irwin, shooting footage for the third season of the popular "Whale Wars" series.

Thankfully, nobody was killed, but this serious clash may be a portent. This was the most severe encounter between the two interests, and they have not yet even reached Japan's fleet of harpoon and processing vessels.

--Kelly Burgess

Photo: Sea Shepherd's trimaraan Ady Gil after it was rammed by the Japanese whaling vessel Shonan Maru 2, in the background, in Antarctic waters. Credit: JoAnn McArthur / Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

Note: To follow this blog on Twitter please visit @latimesoutposts

'Tis the season for gray whale-watching excursions

A Pacific gray whale swims past fog-shrouded Santa Catalina Island on its southward migration to warm water breeding grounds in Baja California.

The annual south-bound migration of Pacific gray whales has begun.

Each winter, more than 20,000 of the leviathans pass near the Southern California coast as they travel from the waters of Alaska to Baja California, where the females give birth to calves.

Beginning Saturday and continuing through mid-April, daily whale-watching boats will depart from Redondo Beach and San Pedro landings to see these magnificent mammals.

All boats are staffed with a trained naturalist from Cabrillo Whalewatch, a joint effort of the American Cetacean Society Los Angeles Chapter and the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, to help spot whales as well as provide interesting facts and information about the species.

Trips depart from Redondo Beach Sportfishing, (310) 372-2111; Spirit Cruises, San Pedro, (310) 548-8080; and 22nd Street Landing, San Pedro, (310) 832-8304.

Prices and times vary for each tour operator, so call the landing or visit their website (links above) for information and reservations. Group reservations should be made by calling Cabrillo Whalewatch at (310) 548-8397.

-- Kelly Burgess

Photo: A Pacific gray whale swims past fog-shrouded Santa Catalina Island on its southward migration to warm water breeding grounds in Baja California. Credit: Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times

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Outposts' primary contributor is Kelly Burgess.



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