At 0800 I stood up to have a look around for traffic and noticed a funny “slick” on the water. Hmmm. I continued to scan and sure enough a pod of whales was about. They were different from ones we have seen for these past years. They had a fairly tall dorsal fin with a curved back side, were very large, color was a mottled grey, size in the 25 plus foot range and most distinctively a very tall blow – looked like about 15 feet.
As I was considering the pod of six or seven, two headed toward Charisma. OK, this might get interesting and just as I said that to myself a huge one going really fast surfaced 10 yards off the starboard side. That got my attention! Another one came up on the other side and as I went down to get the camera, poof, they disappeared back to their pod. I had one last look at the pod about 200 yards behind us, then all dove and I didn’t see them again.
In looking them up in our whale book, I believe them to be a fairly rarely sighted species called the Sei Whale. The coloring, dorsal and “tall blow/spout” were all consistent and the kicker was that one of the listed habitats is the Pacific Gyre – which is exactly where we are.
Fun to see a rare species. I have never seen one like this before. At first I thought it was an Orca because it was so fast and sleek, (although the coloring was all wrong) but then looking at all the detail I realized it’s almost surely the Sei.