A gray whale's fluke and a large storm cell on the horizon But for dedicated volunteers who count whales there daily throughout the gray whale migration period, the phrase could not be more apt.
The ACS-LA Gray Whale Census and Behavior Project volunteers, braving periodic squalls but somehow avoiding the brunt of the storm, marveled at what turned out to be a very surreal, day-long parade of Pacific gray whales.
Between dawn and dusk, as squalls darkened the waters and massive waves pounded the shore, they counted 101 gray whales: 94 northbound and seven southbound.
"It was like someone threw whales from the sky onto the water," said Alisa Schulman-Janiger, director of the census and behavior project. "They were just everywhere."
It was the highest single-day northbound count since March of 1989, though it fell well short of the single-day overall record of 152 gray whales (northbound and southbound), on March 2, 1988.