Nugget (L-55) seems to favor California waters in the winter, and as I watch the winter storm churn her home waters of the frigid Salish Sea, I can’t say that I blame her at all. The L-pod orcas regularly go down as far south as Monterey in search of Chinook salmon, and in 2007 Nugget even had her calf down there (Takoda, L-109).
Over the last week the whales have been spotted several times in the area between San Francisco Bay and the Farallon Islands, in the Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary. The Farallons are in the lower third of this map, near the edge of the steep drop-off (the orcas are known to follow bathymetric (underwater) features). Earlier in the week they were identified near Monterey Bay by the Center for Whale Research senior scientist Ken Balcomb.
- Map of the Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary Public domain image Source is NOAA, National Marine SanctuariesMap of the Cordell Bank National Marine SanctuaryPublic domain imageSource is NOAA, National Marine Sanctuaries via Whale Watching at the Farallon Islands.