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Dead Fin Whale at Blue's Beach (Chadbourne Gulch) Near Westport
On February 9, 2007, I received word of a dead whale washed ashore on a beach south of the town of Westport. I rushed up to check it out in between rain storms. I managed to get a few shots before the yahoos started carving their initials on it, driving their trucks over it (!), and carving off chunks.
It is unusual for a fin whale to wash up on the California Coast; they spend most of their time far out to sea, so when they die they tend to sink far from land.
This female fin whale died out at sea, and was nibbled on by sharks after its death. Biologists are uncertain as to the cause of death.
This whale wasn't all that big by whale standards, but its size is still stunning.
The grooves on a fin whale's chin are similar to those on a humpback whale.
You can see the whale's eye in this shot.
Is that a shark bite?
For more reading, check out this article on the Blue's Beach whale.