Whales thrill sightseers in Monterey Bay
Source: Will Kane, San Francisco Chronicle
Massive blue whales are swimming so close to shore in Monterey Bay that lucky landlubbers might be able to spot them from dry land, according to wildlife officials.
The whales are attracted to the cold, nutrient-dense water that is sucked to the surface when offshore winds blow the warmer surface-layer of water out to sea, said Scott Kathey, a spokesman for the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. The whales first started appearing in late June.
"So with these nutrients at the surface, the whole thing takes off," Kathey said. "As krill start to mass, that's where you will find the whales."
The blue whales scoot up Monterey Bay's deep canyons and then follow the food to the surface, often ending up far closer to shore than they would at other times of the year, Kathey said.
Unlike humpback whales, which often leap into the air or flash their fins while they eat, blue whales are more likely to float along like sea cows munching their cud.
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