Daytime Visitors- Dolphins, Whales, and More Critters in Nets

After our previous post, ‘Creatures of the Night,’ we thought we would share with you some of the creatures we found during the day. Given we could see much better, these may be considerably more exciting than the plankton that turned up in our nighttime net tows (although I personally find the bizarre, microscopic world far more interesting). But I will let you be the judge!

This humpback whale waved to us for about 15 minutes near Monterey Bay, California, before we headed out for or next transect. Photo credit: Melissa Ward

These Pacific white-sided dolphins chased our boat for about an hour near Monterey Bay, California. Photo credit: Mike Lastinger, Chief Bosun on the NOAA Ship Ronald H. Brown.

We saw many of these ‘tuna crabs’ (Pleuroncodes planipes),  floating on the surface waters near Ensenada, Mexico. Both the crew and scientists came out on deck to enjoy them! Photo credit: Melissa Ward

Much like the Pacific White-sided dolphins seen further north, these common dolphins also headed toward our boat to play the wash near the bow as we headed toward California’s Channel Islands. Photo credit: Melissa Ward

We also always catch some fascinating critters in the Bongo nets; here are a few unique ones.

A whale came and said hi to us as we headed north; after some discussion (and feedback from a reader–thanks, Josh!), our best guess is that it was a Fin whale, based on the presence of a dorsal fin and its size (larger than a Minke whale). Photo credit: Olivier Glippa.

Authors: Emma Hodgson and Melissa Ward

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