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Farallon Islands Whale Watching Season Off To An Exciting Start

By Brian Hutchinson

Oceanic Society's 2014 Farallon Islands whale watching season (late-May through mid-November) is off to an exciting start! Participants aboard Sunday's cruise to the Farallon Islands were treated to sightings of more than 25 humpback whales, as well as large groups of California sea lions and Common Murres, plus several other seabird species.

The whales were observed beyond the Farallon Islands, near theContinental Shelf, and participants were able to spend more than 45 minutes observing the whales' behavior as they flipped, twisted, fluked, spy hopped, and tail slapped. Read the full sightings report here.

Oceanic Society naturalist Alicia Retes captured the great images below. Don't miss your chance to see these incredible animals just offshore from San Francisco - sign-up for a Farallon Islands whale watching trip today!

More than 25 humpback whales were seen in groups of 3 to 5. © Alicia Retes

A group of California sea lions seen swimming near the boat. © Alicia Retes

Participants spent more than 45 minutes observing humpback whale behavior. © Alicia Retes

Author

Brian Hutchinson is Oceanic Society's vice president of outreach, co-founder of the State of the World's Sea Turtles Program, and program officer of the IUCN-SSC Marine Turtle Specialist Group. Brian holds a B.A. in zoology from Connecticut College, and has been working to advance global marine conservation for more than a decade.