“Delta Dawn, what’s that flower you have on?…lyrics from an old song from the 1970s sung by Helen Reddy.
The Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta is home to water sports such as boating, fishing, windsurfing and kite boarding. The infamous delta breeze blows through here all summer due to a climactic change in air temperature. As the hot Sacramento valley heats up, this action pulls in the marine layer on the northern California coast in an attempt to cool down the valley. This creates very windy conditions in the delta, making Sherman Island near Rio Vista the wind sport mecca.
In early May, 2007, a mama humpback whale and her calf entered the San Francisco Bay and eventually swam up the Sacramento River over 90 nautical miles and ended up near Rio Vista. Marine biologists made attempts to lure them back to the open ocean and even dressed the whales’ deep gashes from boat propellers. The whales, eventually dubbed “Delta” and Dawn” (from the song, and because they were hanging out at the delta for so many days), finally made their way back to sea after spending nearly a month swimming in the delta.
What is amazing about the photograph is “Dawn” the calf, appears to be cavorting and frolicking with the windsurfers. I’m told by several windsurfers that were there during this time and reported that it was amazing to see such large sea mammals so close.
Enjoy your leisure time, you never know what adventures nature will provide!