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The Catalina Islander
Avalon, California
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January 27, 2012     The Catalina Islander
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January 27, 2012
 

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Channel sees share of whales BY THERESA CUMMINGS There have been frequent sight- ings of gray whales in the channel. Orcas were also reported seen just past the Cabrillo Mole where the Island Express Boat arrives. Dol- phins have been abundant in the channel waters as well. Wayne Perryman, senior whale researcher with the Southwest Fish- eries Science Center in La Jolla, works directly for the Federal National Oceanic and Atmospher- ic Association. Perryman leads a team that takes to the air. They use a high tech system of cameras mounted on a NOAA plane for their research. Aerial sighfings make their job easier, since whale activity is fairy predictable. "We are looking for any changes in the size of the gray whales" Perryman said. "The num- bers and size tell us of trends not obvious to the casual observer." There are many types of whales, but the gray whale is most distin- guishable because they consume bottom-dwelling crustaceans and krill by turning on their side and scooping up huge amounts of sedi- ment from the sea floor. Instead of teeth, gray whales mouths contain a baleen plate sys- wayne PI tem that filters out mud taken in on the ocean floor, allowing them to consume what is left. The Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach reported that 169 gray whales were seen in Decem- ber 2011 alone. "That is a fairly accurate number" Perryman said. "There are actu- ally 20,000 of them out there and they are very healthy." The gray whales leave the north arctic to head south in the fall to spend the winter breed- ing off the coast of Baja, California. Calves are born from early January to mid-February. From mid-Feb- ruary to May, gray whales will be seen migrating northward with the newborn calves heading back to their arctic feeding waters. "Most of their food is acquired when they are.in arctic regions dur- ing the summer where the food is abundant" Perryman said. "While traveling through the channel, they already have enough food stored up, so their eating is minimal?' Perryman discussed how the whales are counted. "Piedras Blan, cas Light Station is an excellent viewpoint, so that is where we stage our staff for counting" he said. Due to its remarkable vantage point, this light station has-been in operation since 1875 and has served as a major guiding beacon to help the shipping industry and other marine vessels navigate the Central Coast of California. Over the years it has become a central location for viewing the migration activities Of whales and other marine life. "Last  year, we observed 900 calves com- ing through the.channel from this point" Perryman said. According to the American Ce- tacean Society, the gray whales make one of the longest trips of all mammalian migrations, aver- aging 10,000-14,000 miles round trip. The journey takes 2-3 months as they travel from the feeding ground of the Bering Sea, to the mating and birthing lagoons in Baja California. The gray whale is one of the whale species to recover from near extinction due to over hunting. NOAA reported that commercial whaling severely depleted the spe- cies during the mid 1800's and early 1900's. In the mid 1930's they were protected under a ban on commer- cial hunting adopted by the League oT Nations. This ban has continued since the late 1940's under the Inter- national Whaling Commission. Perryman said there are also Humpback, Spin and Blue Whales in the channel at mid-water. Avalon Rotary Club in Ensenada, Mexico to give aid to needy families. From left, standin Sherretl Paige, Adrian Thoricht, Bill Paige, Lourdes Thodct, Kelly Whitaker. From left, sitting: Autumn Reifensnyder, Rita Whitaker, Cinde MacGugan and Mike Cassidy. ROTARY EMBARKS ON PROJECT TO AID ENSENADA, MEXICO In early January, nine Avalon Rotary Club members and spouses including Cinde MacGugan, Mike Cassidy, Bill and Sherrell Paige, Autumn Reifensnyder, Lourdes and Adrian Thoricht, and Rita and Kelly Whitaker traveled to Ensena- da to work in partnership with three other Southern California Rotary Clubs and the Club Rotary Centenairo of Ensenada. For the ninth consecutive year, the Avalon Rotary Club helped dis- tribute over 700 food baskets, toys and blankets to eighteen different remote and poverty stricken areas of Ensenada. The needy families live in cardboard houses, with no electricity and very limited bath- room facilities. The food baskets and blankets are given out each January to help celebrate the arrival of the Three Kings. The recipients were over- joyed and thankful for everything they received, particularly the warm blankets. Avalon Rotary actively con- tributes to the betterment of our Island community by donating to local community charities. Avalon Rotary also raises money through its annual auction and other fund- raisers and contributes to local residents for Thanksgiving and Christmas, offers local Avalon Hig.h School students' scholar- Rotary, Page 9 Meteor From page 4 In case the sky clouds up, or you are the type of couple that likes to' make their own sparks, plan to get your "wiki whacked" listening to live music at Luau Larry's, or enjoy one of the eat variety of brews and an order of "monkey balls" at The Lobster Trap. Check to see if Roger Connel- ly's Blues Band is playing at any of the island's plenteous bars for a special Chicago style treat. I-f you are feeling adventurous, stop for a drink at the Catherine Hotel, which is supposedly haunt- ed. Currently, they are the only es- tablishment in Avalon tha t serves Kraken Rum, a mustfor any pirate style fun. Illo dyott o 00mtrfmmlmalt aull /[].N Stop at the E1 Galleon restau- rant after 9 p.m. for the crazy ka- raoke. Remember, everyone there is on vacation, too, so the songfest often gets pretty wild ... and no one will. remember you later! If you are braver still, head up to the Chi Chi Club for hip hop dancing. Jaegerbombs and strobe lights will have you seeing stars before the clock chimes midnight. Plan to have a little daytime fun before or after the meteor shower festivities. The boat ride over from Long Beach or Dana Point may offer a few dolphin sightings, but braving a dive off the waters of Catalina is well worth it. Catalina Snorkel & Scuba exclusively of- fers guided tours in a marine re- serve at Lover's Cove. How fitting is that for a romantic weekend? They provide wetsuits and all the gear and will feed the fish for you to get up clffse and personal. They also offer introduction to scuba classes at Casino Dive Park. Divers from all over the country visit Catalina to see their giant black sea bass, octopi, garibaldi, and blissful kelp forests. Schedule an undersea boat tour if you just can't stand the thought of getting wet. The historic movie theater at "The Casino" will have a movie playing .at 7:30 p.m. Gazing the art deco architec- ture, interior decoration and gold leaf pm'nted murals with your sweetheart is well worth paying the price of admission alone. Ar- rive half an h*our early to listen to the antique organ concert. Parasail tours, bicycle and boat rentals, golfing, and zipline tours are all available in April as well so start planning for the sparks to fly on Catalina on April 21. E Isla ders yen n ,, ._ be amazed rll l l I) 14) Fromeady seers to current attractions, the best history yet! Soft Cover s39"  Wrigley Family ....... '  legacy toId through  memo & photos. Soft Cover S37 s Hard Cover s4 7' What a patriotic time for the island. Very rare photos! Soft Cover s25" SOLD ON CATALINA ISLAND AT Catalina Museum* Sugadod Boolm * The Steama" Trunk* Caterma Consem/Gifts * Two Harbors General Stmes * Buo & G* El Rancho Esem'ddo C-,ilt Shop PHONE: 626.292. 095 cata nahs ory.com 8 : Friday, January 27, 2012 THE CATALINA ISLANDER l]',llli i111 ll I;il] 1161 11 il lliilIl ]r;;lllltbJ,i Iii[ll][[flilll f]a(ill', illltlll,iq : 11 [I[ Till gltlt, J]]illi!]l] ll]ili' Ill', illl'[qUiti *qii li ]]1