from the trips]
First expedition to The Channel Islands off the coast from Santa
Barbara, California. Sailing on The 84' schooner Dariabar
while affliated with Pelagikos:World Marine Research, we
sailed around the Channel Islands looking for a good area
for ID work. We were primarily interested in Blue Whales
but made all observations available. On this trip we discovered
an excellent area for observations of whale activity.
expedition to The Channel Islands.
We had discovered what we began to call "whale city". An
area on the leeward side of the Islands between Santa Rosa
and Santa Cruz Islands. We saw a large number of whalesprimarily
Blues, but a good number of Humpbacks also. One of our most
exciting experiences during this voyage was when seven Blue
Whales circled our vessel and simply "played" with us.
of these expeditions were part of a Mendocino College program
to introduce students to sailing and marine mammal research.
Our third expedition to the Channel Islands was interesting
in that no whales showed up at all. We missed the great
migration by only a few days. Disappointing but still a
good trip for the students.
Dariabar sailed from San Francisco to the Baja California Penninsula
and then turned west to Hawaii. We were to be the laboratory
platform for Cornell Universities acoustic and behavioral
studies of Humpback reaction to the "Bg Sound" during The
ATOC experiment (ocean warming). We spent a total of 6 months
working with Cornell researchers and students near Kauaii.
Fortunately for the whales, Cornell's data indicated no
adverse reactions during the time of the study.
the end of the study, six Mendocino College students joined
us for a ten day course in The Ecology of the Hawaiian Archipelago.
was not to be with the whales again until 2004. Other things
I discovered the beauty of Baja California Sur and The Sea of
I had 13 people join me in El Cardonal, Mexico for a week of
study of the local ecology.
My first extended (5 months) stay in the village of El Cardonal,
Mexico where I share some land. Three very empowering events
occurred that winter. My first large shark encounter while
diving. A very close encounter with a very large blue whale
off of Isla Carmen near Loreto and a chance meeting with
Richard Sears. Richard has been photo ID'ing Blue Whales
in The Sea of Cortez for the past 20 years. His encouragement
got me to thinking about doing some whale work again.
also had 10 people from Mendocino County join me for a week
of discovery on the reef and in the waters around El Cardonal.
My second extended stay in El Cardonal included a Humpback photo-ID
project described in the article under current research
on this site. It was highly successful and I had the help
of two delightful young students who may return with me next
year. The "good" fluke shots will begin to show up on the site
I will be returning to El Cardonal in January. I intend to continue
the ID work and expect that I will be able to show that
this area is an important breeding and calving region.