Researchers and crew aboard Scripps Oceanography research vessel Sally Ride were greeted by this view — photographed by information systems analyst Jim Wilkinson — as they returned to San Diego Bay earlier this week.
The ship had been on a 15-day cruise off the coast of Southern California, part of a series of quarterly surveys run by California Cooperative Oceanic Fisheries Investigations (CalCOFI) to study the marine environment off the coast of California and the management of its living resources, and to monitor the indicators of El Niño and climate change.
Monitoring marine mammals such as dolphins was an official element of the survey. Learn more about marine mammal observers and their observations on the R/V Sally Ride blog.
CalCOFI is a collaboration among the California Department of Fish & Wildlife, NOAA Fisheries Service, and Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego. Follow CalCOFI on Twitter or Facebook.