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Weekend reminder: blue whales still in our midst

August 22, 2008 |  6:31 pm


If you're looking for something to do out-of-doors this weekend you might consider booking a 3-hour tour aboard the Christopher, which runs twice-daily whale-watching voyages from Rainbow Harbor in Long Beech.

Passengers can also book through the Aquarium of the Pacific, which offers package deals.

On one trip Friday passengers saw five majestic blue whales -- the planet's largest known inhabitant -- as well as four minke whales, one of which leaped, or breached, and several Risso's dolphins. All fantastic sightings, made 2-5 miles off Point Fermin on the Palos Verdes Peninsula.

Apparently, a subtle drop in water temperature has livened up the San Pedro Channel.

The Christopher is a speedy catamaran with theater-like bow seating, closest to where the blues have been feeding. Having made my first trip aboard the vessel last week -- which I blogged about last Friday -- I can attest that it's a smooth, comfortable ride -- and that actually seeing such an animal in person is the only way to fully appreciate its size and grace.

I'm issuing a reminder now because these animals are even closer to land, but it's anyone's guess as to how long they'll stay. That's my hot tip for beating the heat this weekend. Enjoy!

— The Christopher departs daily at 11:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.
— Cost (includes aquarium admission): $59.95 for adults; $38.95 for children younger than 12; $51.95 for seniors
— Cost (without aquarium visit): $45 for adults; $25 for children younger than 12; $35 for seniors
— Location: Rainbow Harbor, 100 Aquarium Way, Long Beach. Trips run from Harbor Breeze Cruises adjacent to the aquarium: (562) 432-4900

--Pete Thomas

Photo by Alisa Schulman-Janiger
Caption: Blue whales don't often show their flukes, but this has been a reasonably common behavior among those currently in the San Pedro Channel.