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Beautiful Blue and Friendly Fin Whales!
About seven miles off San Onofre in what is often a very productive area, we encountered one of several Blue Whales seen this week! This whale stayed very close to the surface between dives. Even under the gray skies, we could see its massive body’s “blue glow”! During the encounter, this blue whale turned and swam right at us and continued directly under our boat! Eventually, this whale showed us a very high fluke as it made a deep dive! As many as six different fin whales have been seen in one day. During these fin whale’s surface intervals, we were often lucky enough to see their white belly or ventral side as they rolled over. Our Minke whale sightings were brief as they are known for being elusive.
Very relaxed pods of Risso’s dolphin were sighted. Usually, several miles out, active pods of offshore bottlenose dolphins with several calves frequently changed direction going north, south, and then back north were observed from Laguna Main Beach to San Onofre. Long and short-beaked common dolphins were sighted, and calves were included in their pods. Several hundred very energetic short-beaked common dolphins performed great aerial displays and breached all around our vessels on multiple occasions.
Very large Mola molas were often found alongside or under kelp patties, with one curious fish swimming entirely around our vessel! Plus, a female elephant seal was spotted in the distance.
There are fewer sea lions in the harbor right now as most are in their rookeries for the pupping season. These pups are dark brown at birth and weigh about 16 pounds. The breeding season lasts from late June to early August.