A blue whale made a surprise appearance this week as BBC naturalist Mark Carwardine was telling the TV audience how challenging and frustrating it can be searching for earth’s largest creature.
Carwardine was presenting for “Big Blue Live,” in Monterey Bay, and the comical scene seemed perfectly timed.
“Haven’t seen a thing, and there were all sorts of reasons why, one is of course being whales,” Carwardine says. “They’re spending most of their lives underwater and out of sight so we could be going right by them and have no idea they’re there.”
Carwardine continues: “It’s quite exciting in one way, but very frustrating in another that you know they’re here, but you just jolly well can’t find them.”
Just then (29 seconds), as if on cue, a blue whale announces its presence with a noisy blow, off the vessel’s bow, leaving Carwardine beside himself and lost in the irony of the situation.
“Oh look,” he says, while laughing. “There is one. Actually that was a lot easier than I was expecting. There’s a whale right there. Talk of the devil.”
Blue whale sightings are never guaranteed, even in Monterey Bay, which Carwardine described as "one of the world’s great hot spots.”
Only about 2,000 of them utilize West Coast waters each summer and fall, roaming vast areas in search of shrimp-like krill.
–Images are video screen grabs