Tag Archives: Whale Watching

Still Looking for Intelligent Life in the Universe

Has anyone else been following this story? A star has been spotted between the constellations of Cygnus and Lyra during a joint survey of 150,000 stars by the Kepler Space Telescope and amateur astronomers. They have been looking for signs of planets circling these stars. What is unusual about this star according to an article in the Atlantic, The Most Mysterious Star in Our Galaxy, is that there was a strange light blocking pattern seen that may indicate not a planet but a very large alien made structure or structures that are blocking the light of the star as it orbits around it. The SETI Research Center at UC Berkeley is planning on pointing a very large radio dish toward the star in January to see if they can pick up any electronic transmissions. This is scary to me because what if it is an alien structure and they get wind of us pointing our listening devices toward them. And then decide to see who is listening. Dr. Michio Kaku says that if this is an alien structure, it may be as big as our planet Jupiterand they are far advanced to our civilization. I think I am going to start wearing an aluminum foil hat.

Tin_foil_hat_2 via wikipedia

I was still hoping to see another form of intelligent life here on earth close up last weekend, whales. I was a bit disappointed in my whale watching expedition. I went out on a whale watching boat this past Sunday with my daughter. It was a beautiful sunny day off Monterey for the most part. We did hit some fog out at sea on the way back to Monterey Bay harbor. I had high expectations and I think that was the problem. I expected to see huge whales breaching right near the boat. I wanted to get fantastically exciting photos. I realize now that you do not get to see breaching whales close up every day and that taking a photo, from a boat that is moving up and down, of whales and other sea life who are also moving up and down and various other directions requires luck and probably the talent of a professional photographer and at least a camera with a telescopic lens. Our whale watching was originally planned for Saturday but was canceled by the tour company due to rough weather at sea. So on Saturday I attempted to find the Monarch butterflies and found some at the Pacific Grove Monarch Sanctuary. There were not many near ground level and I had to look through a telescope, assisted by a sanctuary worker, at the top of a eucalyptus tree. She helped me get a nice photo through the telescope as well.

One of the things I learned on the whale watching boat is when the guide sights a whale or other interesting sea life and calls it out, all the people go to that side of the boat and, unless you are fast, it is hard to get a good view. Like when he sighted a pod of orcas and a dolphin stampede. That’s right, I said a dolphin stampede. The dolphins were in the hundreds and were stampeding because they knew the orcas were around. The stampede caused a large patch of turbulence and some of the dolphins were leaping out of the water. Unfortunately some of them swam straight to the orca pod. Next the orca pod is chasing a dolphin and it did not end well for the dolphin. I am glad I did not see it all close up. Then we went out quite a distance in the ocean to off of Moss Landing. We saw some Humpback Whales, dolphins and sea lions there. We saw a whale in the distance do a partial breach, saw others spouting and some flukes. A dolphin popped up doing a partial breach, called spy-hopping, as well. Later we went to a different location and saw the orca pod again. The guide called the large male orca “Fat Fin.” This orca had already been identified by scientists. The whole trip was about 4 hours. This is a video from the Monterey Bay Whale Watch website. We did not have the owner or her dogs on our tour. Their research vessel was near us at the different viewing locations.

And here are a few of my photos:

This is my contribution to Stream of Consciousness Saturday hosted by the intelligent Linda G Hill.

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