February 8, 2008
For decades now, “Western Pride” boat Capt. Bob Ezell has kept the same routine for his whale-watching expeditions. Start up the engine, slowly pull away from the dock, steer to the ocean, list the safety rules few will listen to. He heads out to sea, eyes peeled looking for whales, dolphins, seals. He’s seen them all before; his passengers haven’t. The radio cackles with other voices, other captains on the same mission: show these ocean tourists a slice of the sea’s wildlife.
January 18, 2008
In the whale-watching community, January marks the peak of the spectator’s season, when the waters off the Orange Coast become prevalent with the passing-through of the largest mammals on the planet. Well, for the next three months the Newport Harbor Nautical Museum brings an extensive overview of the history of these magnificent creatures, some of their prehistoric ancestors, and the history of whaling. The four-part program includes multimedia and interactive elements that best examines the diversity of whales and other local marine mammals, said Curt Abdouch, the museum’s educational consultant.
February 25, 2005
Lindsay Sandham Although the rains this week were not as costly and continual as the storms Southern California saw last month, they still had a negative effect on many local businesses that rely on the sea for their livelihood. "This time of year, obviously it's very slow down here, and when the rain hits, it makes it kind of miserable for everybody," said Bob Black, president of Catalina Passenger Service and vice president of Balboa Pavilion Company in Balboa Village.
February 4, 2005
MIKE WHITEHEAD Ahoy. We are very fortunate to live in a part of the country where we can go boating year-round. Just look at this week in the middle of winter, with 70-degree temperatures and Santa Ana winds blowing across the Southland, allowing us to hoist our sails. The seas have calmed down with a little swell, and the swells at Point Conception to our north are only 7 feet, which might increase the swell heights here a little on Sunday.
December 28, 2004
Andrew Edwards Forecasters are predicting a soggy end to 2004, with heavy rains expected to hit Newport-Mesa through Wednesday, followed by scattered showers lasting until next week. Meteorologists predicted that about 2 to 4 inches of rain would fall on the Southern California coastal and inland areas between Monday night and Wednesday, National Weather Service forecaster Philip Gonsalves said. The storm, caused by a cold front originating in the Gulf of Alaska, is expected to be heavier in the foothills.
December 27, 2004
Andrew Edwards The time for children to look to the skies for flying reindeer has come and gone, but California gray whales are on their way to Southern California. Whale-watching season in Newport Beach opened Sunday, with tours embarking from the Balboa Peninsula to search for any gray whales or dolphins swimming along the local coastline. "We'll just travel down the coast until we find one, and then we'll follow him," said Jacob Tollison, who captains the Nautilus, one of Newport Landing's four whale-watching craft.
January 16, 2004
MIKE WHITEHEAD Ahoy. Whale watching has arrived, and so have the squid. As I write this column, Davey's Locker is advertising live squid for their fishing trips, just when I thought fishing had shut down for the season. However, it might be a little rough this weekend to venture out of the harbor for either activity. The swells are building, but I have been having some of my best whale-watching experiences inside Newport Harbor -- when a young gray whale decides to cruise through.
December 27, 2003
Lolita Harper After a banner year of phenomenal sightings, marine life enthusiasts are gearing up for this whale-watching season. Franci Carpenter was on a shark fishing boat in early summer when she was privy to an unprecedented whale sighting. The manager of the Newport Channel Inn, who often helps guests book various charter tours, was on such a tour when she was confronted with "the largest living thing she has ever seen." "Have you ever seen one?"
June 26, 2002
When whales aren't in season off the coast of Newport Beach, Tony Nichols still finds ways to feed his interest in them. Between Dec. 26 and April, Nichols gives whale-watching tours that kick off from the Balboa Pier. During the other months of the year, the Costa Mesa resident volunteers his time giving speeches at the Orange County chapter of the American Cetacean Society, a nonprofit group dedicated to the kings of the sea. His latest speech is set for 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the group's monthly meeting.
January 20, 2002
Young Chang Sometimes they'll slide up to the side of a boat and scratch their backs on the walls. Sometimes they'll breach -- make a missile of themselves, launching almost half of their weight out of the water. Sometimes they'll just be, which is spectacular enough. At 60- to 70-feet long and 45 tons, it's no wonder writer Herman Melville humanized them in his whale of an epic, "Moby Dick." They get special mention in some versions of the Bible, which translate Genesis 1:21 as "And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth . . ."