Sunday, February 9, 2014

Boomerang Circles Back South

The weather has been quite trying this season. Fog, wind, and rain have together and separately, made surveys miserable and impossible. Yet, those who have persisted have been rewarded. Today was one of those days when the odds of finding a whale seemed like a shot in the dark. This time it was higher than forecast winds whipping up white caps to fool the eye. Julie Ogg Zitka, with Team 3 at their next-to-last survey point at the Golden Lion Restaurant around 11:30 AM, beat the odds and caught Catalog #2503, Boomerang, and her calf on their way south again.

The timing couldn’t be better. It’s the perfect way to begin the second half of our season and to welcome back the Traveling Trevallies, volunteers with the Georgia Aquarium, for their fifth season of helping us for a week with surveys.

From the Golden Lion, the action, and many of our volunteers, moved out to the end of Flagler Pier as the pair lingered there, changing direction several times, before swimming steadily south. The wind and sea state abated as the afternoon wore on, improving conditions for everyone who stopped by to take a look. By 3:30 PM, mother and calf were passing Gamble Rogers State Park and we lost them shortly thereafter. Tomorrow’s weather looks to be near perfect. Let’s see if we can spot these whales again!