Next Dive Club Outing:

Sunday July 18th - New Members day, Monterey, Intro to Kayak Diving We'll meet on the other side of Breakwater, the sandy beach behind Monterey Bay Kayaks, possible Camping Friday Veteran's Campground


In Other Ocean News:


Savvy seal jumps aboard whale-watching boat to avoid becoming orcas' lunch

One very lucky harbor seal escaped becoming lunch for a group of transient killer whales Saturday by jumping onto two boats in the Juan de Fuca Strait (Puget Sound).

Valerie Shore was on an Eagle Wing whale-watching tour Saturday afternoon when they came upon a group of transient killer whales circling a Prince of Whales whale-watching zodiac.
"There was a harbor seal that had jumped on the outboard. Up to eight whales were circling the boat," she said. Transient killer whales' diets consist of mostly marine mammals, whereas resident whales subsist on fish. When it appeared the whales had given up, the seal hopped back into the ocean.

But it was soon in hot pursuit by the killer whales, being tossed, tail-slapped and pulled under the water. "It was very quick. We thought, 'This is over, that seal is dead,' " Shore said. "Then we noticed the whales circling the Clipper."

The savvy seal had lodged itself on a jet at the back of the ferry, eluding the orcas once again.
"The Clipper crew and Strait Watch [a group that monitors and educates boaters on marine animal watching] were trying to poke it off, but that thing was frozen in fear. It was not going anywhere." Shore said the surrounding boats decided to back off. The whales had given up and left. She heard that the seal abandoned ship about 20 minutes later and the Clipper was free to continue its journey.

"I've been watching whales for 20 years and I've never seen anything like this," Shore said. Doug Sandilands from Strait Watch said the incident is not unusual.

DFG mobile phone App

New Mobile Web App Puts Fishing Information at Your Fingertips

It's a nice weekend and you want to go fishing. If you're new to fishing, or in an unfamiliar area, where should you go? If not everyone in your group has a license, where will you find the nearest place to purchase one?

The California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) has released a mobile Fishing Guide web application that provides access to fishing locations, latest fish planting sites and fishing license sales locations. The web app, which is optimized for iPhone, Android and Blackberry smartphones, can be accessed by navigating to www.dfg.ca.gov/mobile.

The new web app has three components:

1. Fishing Guide: The core Fishing Guide component provides a listing and maps of more than 1,500 fishing locations across the state. This includes locations that are accessible by car as well as back-country sites.

2. Fish Planting Schedule: Recently planted locations often provide excellent fishing opportunities. Anglers can now use their mobile phones to quickly find the latest fish planting sites in their area.

3. Fishing Licenses: Use your mobile phone to find one of the more than 1,600 locations around the state that sell fishing licenses.

DFG's mobile Fishing Guide app was developed in collaboration with the Office of the State Chief Information Officer, in conjunction with the newly designed CA.gov portal. The Fishing Guide app can also be found by navigating to www.m.ca.gov and clicking on Recreation and Leisure.

Additionally, content on the newly designed home page at www.dfg.ca.gov has been reorganized with the two most common visitor types in mind. A section for anglers and hunters provides links to popular recreation pages such as regulations and license services. Another prominent section targets those needing scientific or conservation services and information.

Web users are encouraged to comment on these new products, and DFG's website in general, at www.dfg.ca.gov/survey.

Surfing mice: Australian trains rodent troupe

The surfing mice travel several feet on their little boards. They are even able to turn on the boards while travelling by shifting their weight.

Mr Wilmott, who breeds mice in his Gold Coast home, said: "Contrary to popular belief mice are actually unbelievable swimmers so if they come off they are fine to paddle around until I collect them.

"A lot of people ask me if fish are sharks to them and worry they might get eaten. Gulls are actually a more realistic threat so I have to stay close by to make sure my guys are safe. But I made a promise to myself that if one of my mice gets hurt I will stop. I only do it because I feel they are safe. These guys aren't just my pets, they're my mates too so I care about them a lot. It's a really stimulating way for them to live. Much more than just being stuck in a cage all their lives."

Mr Wilmott taught his first mice to surf 25 years ago when he was a teenager.

"Me and a few mates were hanging out at the beach and watching these perfect little waves form close to shore. I remember wishing I was small so that I could have a go on these perfect specimens and then it hit me that a louse on a tiny board could."

Mr Wilmott recently had the urge to redevelop the boards and using his boat building skills now makes the best miniature surf boards in the world. He has since taught eight-month-old males Rocket, Peanut, Skidmark and Banzai all the skills they need to manoeuvre on breakers at the beach.

He said: "I teach them how to do it in the bath at first so they can get used to their custom made boards. Once they've got some confidence we move out to the pool in my back yard and tow them using a remote controlled boat. That gets them very proficient travelling at the speed of the little waves at the beach and then they are ready to do it for real.

Mr Wilmott said: "People can't believe it. They see the tiny boards but they don't realise there are real mice actually riding the waves until they come over for a look.

"It really makes people smile."

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