July 20, 2004
Today's watch was a stark contrast to the diversity and abundance of sightings of yesterday's efforts. Due to the inclement weather, our watches were conducted from the enclosure of the bridge and our only sightings were of the increasing swells and whitecaps of the Beaufort 5+ conditions.
The most interesting news of the day came via Todd Chandler who has been in contact with researchers from Cascadia, Inc. Todd reported to the SPLASH team that Jon Calambokidas confirmed a match between one of the three blue whales sighted on this leg to an individual that has been previously sighted off the Santa Barbara Coastline in 1993, 1995 and 1997. It was very interesting to Todd and members of our SPLASH team that the animal had migrated this far north into the Gulf of Alaska. Todd explained that the matching of blues can be a bit trickier than matching humpbacks because it relies on more subtle spotting and pigmentation around the dorsal fin. The Cascadia team continues to try to match the other two individuals that we have spotted this trip.
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