Stunning video shows a large pod of false killer whales swimming together and going right up to a boat in Dana Point, and the humpbacks, gray, and blue whales will likely show up here any day now.
It’s getting to be whale watching time, people! Late March is when we generally get our first whale sightings in the San Francisco Bay and off the Pacific shores, and that scene heated up in southern California this weekend. The Southern California News Group has the story — and more importantly, video of the story — of the rare sighting of a pod of false killer whales Sunday off the shores of Orange County’s Dana Point Harbor.
The above video from Capt Dave's Dana Point Dolphin & Whale Watching Safari is just remarkable, showing a pod of what must be at least eight of these majestic creatures, breaching, blowing, and just whaling away. They come within ten feet of the whale-watching boat, which fortunately has the good sense to idle and not bang into any of them.
“When they surfaced all together as a pod, you not only got the sense of their size, but also the close-knit community they live in. They were always with each other, never alone,” drone operator Matt Strumpf, who shot the above drone video, tells the Southern California News Group. “It’s really interesting that it was a year to the day that we saw what I suspect was this same pod. I hope they mark their calendars for next year.”
False killer whales are not actually whales, they’re technically members of the dolphin family, like orcas. And they’re only “killer” if you’re a tasty fish or squid, on whom they love to snack, and helps them reach sizes of 20 feet or longer.
As the drone operator mentioned, they showed up on precisely the same day, March 20, that they were seen in the same waters on last year’s migratory trips. They hadn’t been seen in the area for more than a decade until 2016, when one one of them actually gave birth in front of one of Capt Dave’s boats. (Video here, it is both graphic and adorable). The false killer whales, very possibly the same pod, have been back every year since.
Screenshot: Capt Dave's Dana Point Dolphin & Whale Watching Safari via Youtube