I know all of these random facts thanks to my new Mexican boyfriend, Richard (I call him Ricardo). He was the whale-spotter on our whale-watching tour. He has been whale-spotting on tours for five years now and sometimes he loves the whales and sometimes he just hates them. Ricardo told this - and many more juicy whale details - to me as he sat next to me on the boat ride back to the port. The motor was loud and on more than one occasion, spit from Ricardo's filling-laden mouth hit my face as he told me all about his job with the whales. He definitely took a liking to me and Ricardo, if you are out there somewhere, I like you and all of your metal teeth too.
Ricardo helped us spot this family of four whales heading back to Alaska and we got so close that we could feel their spray as they spouted (for some reason, whale snot doesn't gross me out). They would come up and get a few breaths in, then dive back down. We would move slowly forward for a few minutes, and they would resurface, shoot air out of their blowholes (which air, according to Ricardo, comes out at approximately 295 mph), then roll down, slowly gliding their tails through the air and back into the deep.
The corner of my head with the whales ;-).