Humpback Whale Hanging Out Near Santa Cruz

By Chris Roberts
|  Tuesday, Aug 30, 2011  |  Updated 3:07 PM PDT
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Humpback Whale Hanging Out Near Santa Cruz

A humpback whale like this one is hanging out in waters right off of the coast of Santa Cruz.

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Perhaps it's a surf bum. Or maybe it's in for a "whale" of a time at the Boardwalk.

Whatever the cause, an adult humpback whale has made the sleepy beach town of Santa Cruz its stomping grounds -- or at least the shallow waters near Main Beach in Santa Cruz, according to the Santa Cruz Sentinel.

The whale -- nicknamed "Stinky" by locals, perhaps for its taste for the sardines and anchovies which are prevalent in that part of Monterey Bay -- has been seen in water as shallow as 25 feet, a rarity for such massive mammals, according to whale experts.

Stinky is 50 feet long which means it is possibly a female, as female humpback whales are bigger than males.

The whale breaches and generally puts on quite a show for beach-goers, according to Ken Stagnaro of Santa Cruz Whale Watching. But Stinky won't do so for long -- whales move on quickly, so anyone wishing to catch a glimpse should do so soon.

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