Humpback Whale Upends California Kayakers

first_imgOn Monday morning, Julie McSorley invited Liz Cottriel, her friend of 27 years, to go kayaking off Avila Beach, Calif., in San Luis Obispo County, where they both live. The idea was simply to spend a pleasant day whale watching off California’s Central Coast.They set off in a yellow kayak, soaking in the views of humpback whales feeding and breaching in the distance, a sight that Ms. McSorley had enjoyed the day before with her husband.- Advertisement – – Advertisement – The friends were about a half-mile from shore when they noticed schools of silver fish around their kayak, making a sound that Ms. Cottriel, 63, an office manager for an orthodontist, likened to “crackling glass.”“We knew something was about to happen, but we didn’t know where the whale was exactly,” said Ms. McSorley, 55, a physical therapist. “She popped up and I popped up right after her,” Ms. Cottriel said.An off-duty firefighter who was paddle-boarding nearby helped them right the kayak. “He checked to see if we had our arms and legs and everything,” Ms. McSorley said.Another kayaker found their paddles and returned them to the women, who were not injured except for some bruises to Ms. Cottriel’s arms and hip. “I am fine,” she said.But they had a scare that they will remember for the rest of their lives.“It has been a whirlwind of adrenaline,” Ms. McSorley said.“The more I reflect on it, the more I think, ‘This could have been it,’” Ms. Cottriel said.Humpback whales are typically found along the West Coast and off the coasts of Alaska, New England, the Mid-Atlantic and the Southeast, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.The mammals, which can weigh up to 40 tons, feed on krill and small fish by filtering large volumes of ocean water through their baleen plates, according to NOAA. Humpbacks are a favorite of whale watchers, who thrill at the sight of them jumping out of the water and slapping the surface with their pectoral fins or tails.Back on shore on Monday, Ms. Cottriel found that she had a small souvenir of the experience.As she shook her wet shirt, “out came five or six silver fish,” she said with a laugh. “I am dumping fish out of my shirt. We found humor in it.” A humpback whale then suddenly surfaced underneath their kayak, lifting them about six feet above the water, they said.- Advertisement – “I kind of went blank,” Ms. McSorley said. “It was a matter of a second or two.”“All I saw was white and I pushed my hand out and I thought, ‘I am getting crushed,’ because I thought it was either going to land on me or I was going to drown,” Ms. Cottriel said. “I am literally looking inside the whale’s mouth.”A nearby kayaker captured video of the wild encounter on a cellphone. In it, witnesses scream as the whale breaches, capsizing the kayak and tossing the women into the water.- Advertisement –last_img read more

Dazzling debut for O’Brien filly

first_img Press Association Dazzling lived up to her name with a most impressive racecourse debut in the Sapphire EBF Fillies Maiden at the Curragh. Aidan O’Brien’s juvenile is bred to be smart as a full-sister to dual Group One winner Roderic O’Connor and was an 11-4 chance for this first competitive racecourse appearance over a mile. Forcing the pace from the outset in the hands of the trainer’s son Joseph, Dazzling was strongly pressed from two furlongs down, but showed fine acceleration once let down to put the race to bed and beat her running-on stablemate Shell House by two and three-quarter lengths. center_img Favourite Sparkle Factor had every chance for the Dermot Weld team and ran with promise to finish third. O’Brien snr, initiating a four-timer, said: “She’s still very green, but you’d have to be delighted the way she did it. We thought she’d be very green and we weren’t sure if she’d know enough to win first time, but she was well on top at the line. “I knew he (Joseph) wanted to get a lead, but he was maybe just left in front. She’s a big, strong, powerful filly – a big mile and a half type. We could step up anywhere now with her.” Dazzling holds an entry in the Fillies’ Mile at Newmarket on September 27. last_img read more

Pulis uses hairdryer treatment

first_img At the place where the ‘hairdryer’ phrase was coined due to Sir Alex Ferguson’s dressing room rants at his United team, Pulis let rip at his players before the match for talking about victories for relegation rivals Sunderland, Aston Villa and Leicester. The Baggies boss wanted his players to focus solely on their objective of beating United and the dressing down seemed to work. “I went mad before the game because one of the lads had his phone out and was looking at the results,” Pulis said. “It’s a very difficult time of day to play because results are coming through and lads get a bit distracted. They had enough on their plate without knowing results. We worry far too much about things we can’t affect. “You should concentrate on what you can affect.” United had a chance to reply immediately to West Brom’s goal when referee Anthony Taylor pointed to the spot following a handball by Saido Berahino. But West Brom goalkeeper Boaz Myhill saved Robin van Persie’s effort from the penalty spot and United could not find a way through in the final 10 minutes. Louis van Gaal expressed fears before the match that his team were incapable of dealing with defensively-minded teams, and that proved to be the case on Saturday. West Brom lined up in a rigid 4-5-1 formation, and Berahino often found himself extremely isolated up front. “It’s what you expected already before the game,” Van Gaal said. “They parked the bus and then it’s always difficult to attack because you have a lot of bodies in front of you. But we have to improve. We have to improve in finishing. “They have more time to break when we have 80 per cent ball possession, then they also have 80 per cent of the time to break on us,” he added. “We organised it to stop them breaking on us but one free-kick and a deflected goal against us and, for all the possession in the second half, we were blowing in the wind.” A few weeks ago, United seemed certain to qualify for the Champions League, but they are now just four points above Liverpool after losing three Premier League matches in a row for the first time since 2001. United have away matches at Crystal Palace and Hull as well as a home fixture against Arsenal on the penultimate weekend of the season to come. Liverpool, who beat QPR earlier on Saturday, face Chelsea, Palace and Stoke before the campaign ends. Van Gaal admits his men are in danger of throwing away their seat at Europe’s top table. He said: “Maybe you all remember my press conferences where I said it will be a rat race until the very end. “I was the only one because we were seven points ahead at the time. “But I said it was still possible (being caught). I’m aware of that and my players shall be aware of that. It was unlucky but this is the third match in a row we lost and we didn’t score. “It’s now in the hands of my players. We have to work very hard to keep their confidence up because we have everything in our own hands. “We are four points ahead but our goal is a now a little bit more difficult than before.” Tony Pulis gave his players the hairdryer treatment at Old Trafford and the move paid off as West Brom recorded a famous and vital victory against Manchester United. West Brom earned successive victories at United’s home for the first time since 1959 thanks to Chris Brunt’s free-kick, which flew past David de Gea courtesy of a deflection off Jonas Olsson. After results went against them earlier in the day, the Baggies looked set to be dragged back into the relegation dogfight, but the 1-0 victory means they are now seven points above the drop zone with three matches left. Press Associationlast_img read more

Wellington baseball team splits with Wichita Collegiate on opening day at Sellers

first_imgGame 1 by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — The Wellington baseball team opened the season splitting with Wichita Collegiate, losing the first game 8-6 and winning the second by run-rule 15-5.But darned if the losing game was the bigger news story. That’s because Wellington about erased an 8-0 deficit to pull within two 8-6 in the final two innings of bat.  And the Crusaders had runners on second and third before the game ended on a fielders choice in the seventh.Wellington is now 1-1 and will host Rose Hill Monday at Sellers Park.Pitching is obviously a premium at Collegiate. Max Moxley was on the mound for Collegiate and had kept the Dukes at bay in five innings by striking out eight, and never allowing a runner past second base. But he was relieved in the sixth, and suddenly Wellington was a run machine.Austin Dunn got things rolling in the bottom of the sixth with a single. Two walks later, Trevor Nance ripped open a single to bring runners home. Ben DeJarnett got an RBI single and it was a two-run ball game. Unfortunately, Wellington left runners on second and third to end the inning.In the bottom of the seventh, Wellington started rolling on a Jalen Macias double. A walk by Connor Burden put the Dukes on first and second with no outs. Collegiate then made three fielding plays to escape with the win.If the Wellington boys were discouraged from the first game, they didn’t show it in game two.Again Collegiate drew first blood when one run in the first and two in the third to make it 3-0.The Crusaders then got on the board on a Macias sacrifice to bring Connor Phelps home. Nance then tripled and came home on DeJarnett RBI single to narrow the gap to one 3-2.In the fifth, Wellington ripped open the game with six runs that included the first home run of the season. Trevor Nance buried the ball over the Seller Park wall for a three-run homer. And Wellington never looked back. The Crusaders scored seven runs in the sixth to pull way getting doubles from Burden and Jaden Hines.Jerrod Huck was the winning pitcher in game two. Macias was the losing pitcher in game one. W – Huck     L – Egan   HR – Nance W – Moxley    L – Macias Game 2center_img 1 2 3 4 5 6 7         R.  H.  E.WCS.     2 0 1 4 1 0 0.        8    6   1WHS      0 0 0 0 0 6 0         6    6   5 1 2 3 4 5 6 7        R   H   EWCS      0 1 2 0 0 2           5   4   4WHS      0 0 1 1 6 7          15  10  3 Close Forgot password? Please put in your email: Send me my password! Close message Login This blog post All blog posts Subscribe to this blog post’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Subscribe to this blog’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Follow the discussion Comments Logging you in… Close Login to IntenseDebate Or create an account Username or Email: Password: Forgot login? Cancel Login Close WordPress.com Username or Email: Password: Lost your password? Cancel Login Dashboard | Edit profile | Logout Logged in as Admin Options Disable comments for this page Save Settings You are about to flag this comment as being inappropriate. Please explain why you are flagging this comment in the text box below and submit your report. The blog admin will be notified. Thank you for your input. There are no comments posted yet. Be the first one! Post a new comment Enter text right here! Comment as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments Comments by IntenseDebate Enter text right here! Reply as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Cancel Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new commentslast_img read more

Conservation group Sea Shepherd strikes deal with Guatemala to patrol Pacific

first_imgThe Brigitte Bardot, the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society’s 35-meter interceptor vessel, arrived at Guatemala’s Port San José last week for an unexpected mission: to help the Guatemalan Navy patrol the Pacific for marlin poachers.Sea Shepherd directors had come to Guatemala to discuss with officials the group’s work in Ecuador’s Galapagos Islands, France and Senegal, among other countries. But they didn’t expect to walk out of the secret meetings with a joint-patrol deal starting immediately.“We were hoping we might be able to do something with Guatemala, and we were extremely surprised when a representative of the Fisheries Department was excited (about our work) and wanted to get going right away,” Sea Shepherd’s director of intelligence and investigations, Scott West, told The Tico Times.West, a retired special agent-in-charge for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Criminal Investigation Division, was joined in the negotiations by Sea Shepherd’s Global Executive Director Alex Cornelissen and the EPA’s Deputy Regional Counsel Ann Prezyna.The joint-patrol agreement is a first for Sea Shepherd in Central America, after a similar arrangement to patrol Costa Rica’s Cocos Island was scrapped 12 years ago in a now-infamous scuffle between the conservation group and a Costa Rican fishing vessel off the Guatemalan coast. Sea Shepherd founder Paul Watson is still fighting Costa Rica’s attempts to extradite him on shipwrecking charges from that incident.For the next several weeks, the Brigitte Bardot will be based out of Port San José, on Guatemala’s southern Pacific coast in the department of Escuíntla, with eight Sea Shepherd crew on board, along with Guatemalan Naval and police officers.Guatemala, in its peak marlin season, prohibits the commercialization of the species, but officials have trouble enforcing the law. Sea Shepherd patrols also will work to free sea turtles and other protected wildlife caught on longlines.“We’re just very, very happy that our desire to protect marine eco-systems through our vessels and crews is being able to come into play here, and that the Fisheries Department in Guatemala appreciates the assistance,” West said.In the past week, Sea Shepherd also created a Central America volunteer page on Facebook, raising the question if talks with other regional countries might be in the works. West said he could not comment on that issue.He did say Sea Shepherd was working with local dive shops like the Guatemala City-based Water Quest, which is active in marine conservation in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras.“As a result of this, Sea Shepherd is a growing worldwide movement – it’s no longer just an organization,” West said. Facebook Comments Related posts:Sea Shepherd’s Paul Watson turns to human rights commission to block Costa Rica’s legal chase Sea Shepherd’s Paul Watson back on Interpol website as Costa Rica fugitive Sea Shepherd’s Paul Watson launches Facebook campaign asking Costa Rica’s Solís to drop extradition request Sea Shepherd’s R/V Martin Sheen lands in Costa Rica for 4-month research missionlast_img read more