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Nona the Naturalist started the day with story time inside the belly of a whale teaching kids some fun facts about our cetaceans. I joined the Lecture Series with Pacific Marine Mammal Center’s Kirsten Donald on sea lion entanglement, rehabilitation, and research. Then I went to the Ocean Institute, where I presented on Gray Whales. Naturalist Ray Hoyt hosted the ACS booth just outside the Dana Wharf office.
On our last whale watch trip on the Dana Pride, we were following two juvenile southbound gray whales traveling faster than usual at about 6 mph. As they were passing close to the Dana Point Harbor jetty, two adult northbound gray whales were heading right at us! These whales slowed their pace and turned inside us. They were both repeatedly fluking very high in front of the jetty, not moving far in any direction. I turned to a couple I know and said, I want this whale to breach right here off the Dana Point Headlands. Suddenly, one of these whales did three massive breaches right after another. They then turned towards the Dana Pride and mugged our boat, crossing our bow, under and alongside our boat several times. During this encounter, we saw multiple spy hops, bubble blasts, and rolling. They approached a private boat, circled, spy-hopped, and PUSHED THE BOAT IN CIRCLES as if it were a toy. These inquisitive whales certainly performed the GRAND FINALE for the last Festival of Whales trip and saved the best for last! #nobaddays #danawharfrocks