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Blue Whales

ENTERTAINMENT
July 3, 2008 | Pete Thomas
It's a bizarre yet wondrous sight: a 40-foot humpback whale holding position only a few feet beside a 75-foot catamaran. The whale's radiant white pectoral fins are spread like wings. Its massive body rolls gently as this great leviathan casts a curious glance toward its gawking admirers. It's one of two "friendlies" providing passengers aboard the Condor Express with encounters so close they can hardly believe their eyes. "I would do this every day, in a heartbeat, if I could afford it," says Ginny Harris, a tourist from Morehead City, N.C. "I live on the East Coast and we have dolphins, but I have never seen whales -- and certainly nothing like this."
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NEWS
June 13, 1989 | JANE FRITSCH, Times Staff Writer
The International Whaling Commission's scientific committee released a grim report Monday indicating that the populations of some whale species are much smaller than previously thought. The most seriously depleted is the blue whale, the Earth's largest animal, whose number is estimated at 453, but could be as low as 200. Before the advent of widespread commercial whaling, there were an estimated 250,000 blue whales in Antarctic waters. Recent estimates had put their numbers at 6,000 to 11,000.
NEWS
October 26, 2004 | Dexter Ford, Special to The Times
I STOP PADDLING FIVE miles off the Palos Verdes shoreline, with half a mile of water beneath me. My momentum dies along with the burbling, slapping noise that goes with it. Gulls and grebes shrill and chatter in the distance; cresting swells whisper; jets whine high overhead. My adrenaline stirs for an instant until I realize, false alarm, that the beard stubble rustling against my life jacket sounds very much like a blue whale's heavy breathing.
NEWS
May 16, 1991 | NORMAN CHANDLER, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
It was a sunny, perfect January day on Point Conception, 40 miles west of Santa Barbara. From the top of the hill, I had a spectacular 360-degree view of unspoiled coastal mountains, a sunrise and sunset over the ocean. All morning my therapist Caroline Grierson and I had been watching for migrating gray whales. Suddenly, there they were, more than a half a dozen of them, making their winter migration toward Baja California.
SPORTS
July 29, 1992 | PETE THOMAS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Captain Fred Benko set his usual course, for the west end of Santa Cruz Island, largest of the Channel Islands chain, where, he tells his passengers, they probably will encounter "the largest creatures ever to inhabit the Earth." Aboard the Condor, an 88-foot vessel of considerable bulk, are 98 passengers, a full tank of gas and enough food to feed a small army.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 13, 1989 | JANE FRITSCH, Times Staff Writer
The International Whaling Commission's scientific committee released a grim report Monday in San Diego, indicating that the populations of some whale species are much smaller than previously thought. The most seriously depleted is the blue whale, the Earth's largest animal, whose number is estimated at 453, but could be as low as 200. Before the advent of widespread commercial whaling, there were an estimated 250,000 blue whales in Antarctic waters. Recent estimates had put their numbers at 6,000 to 11,000.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 23, 2007 | Steve Chawkins, Times Staff Writer
The blue whale found dead last week in the Santa Barbara Channel was probably the third victim of a ship collision in two weeks, scientists said Saturday as they conducted a post-mortem on the 60-ton creature. As surf roiled around the massive carcass on a beach at Point Mugu, biologists cut doorway-size openings in its belly and probed its organs for tissue specimens.
SPORTS
May 17, 2002 | PETE THOMAS
This is shaping up to be a wildly interesting season on and beyond the waterfront. In the Santa Barbara area, where an unusually long salmon run remains in progress, whales have stolen the spotlight. Sleek and magnificent blue whales, the largest creatures on the planet, have arrived almost a month early in the Santa Barbara Channel, where they're foraging on krill, tiny shrimp-like crustaceans that are turning large patches of channel waters blood-red.
BOOKS
February 25, 1990 | Campbell Plowden, Plowden was the whale-campaign coordinator for Greenpeace USA from 1988 to 1989; he has been involved full-time in the "Save the Whales" movement and environmental work since 1977. and
Can the whales really survive? If someone reading "The Last Whales" were somehow ignorant of the myriad dangers that whales and dolphins now face in their battle for survival, he might think that Canadian poet Lloyd Abbey had conjured up a Stephen King-style account to scare whales out of their blubber. While Abbey's work is fictional, the novel's background is grounded in grisly truth and more or less plausible projections.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 16, 1999 | MATT SURMAN, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
If ever there was a sea monster, this is it. It slices through the water in sections, too huge to be seen all at once. First, the massive arch of its back emerges from the water. Next, its comparatively tiny dorsal fin eases by. And then, its 15-foot tail shoots out of the water and hovers for a few seconds, as if waving goodbye before slipping back down below.
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