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MARIN COUNTY'S NEWS MONTHLY - FREE PRESS
(415)868-1600 - (415)868-0502(fax) - P.O. Box 31, Bolinas, CA, 94924

January, 2006

 

Whale Watching Cruise Jan.21

San Francisco - December 23, 2005. On Saturday, January 21, the Farallones Marine Sanctuary Association will conduct a day-cruise into the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary beyond the Golden Gate to search for gray whales during their peak southbound migration. Expert naturalist Carol Keiper, a marine biologist who has led whale watching cruises for twenty years, from Alaska to Baja California, will provide information on the whales, their marine habitat, and conservation issues.
The whale watch is aboard the 56-foot Coast Guard certificated vessel "New Superfish" and departs from the San Francisco Municipal Yacht Harbor, Scott Street and Marina Boulevard. Check-in is at 7:30 a.m.; the boat departs at 8:00 promptly, returning at approximately 4:00 p.m. Cost is $85 per person; or $78 for members of the Farallones Marine Sanctuary Association. Age minimum is ten; those under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Space is limited, so advance reservations are strongly recommended. Call Dru Devlin at 415/ 561-6625 ext. 311.

Each year approximately 20,000 gray whales leave their feeding grounds in the Arctic for their breeding grounds in Mexico, passing close to shore. Grays are the most coastal of the several whale species found off California, and are the kind most often seen by whale enthusiasts. They represent a significant whale conservation success story, having been hunted to near-extinction early in the Twentieth Century, but with legal protection the population has rebounded to what are believed to be pre-whaling numbers. In 1994 they were removed from the Endangered Species List.

The Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary extends from Bodega Head north of the Golden Gate, south to the waters off Half Moon Bay. Whales are found in the Gulf of the Farallones all year-round. During winter and spring the sanctuary is a "marine superhighway" for migrating grays. In summer and fall, giant humpback and blue whales move into the area to feed. The Gulf of the Farallones is one of the most productive marine habitats on the planet. For more information, visit www.farallones.noaa.gov, or www.farallones.org.

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