Killer Whales Spotted at Dana Point, California
Dana Point has long been a haven for aquatic wildlife, with animals such as whales, dolphins, sharks and seals dwelling in the ocean. These animals occasionally visit the harbor, popping up just long enough to say hello before heading back to the ocean. These detours have long attracted visitors to Dana Point, where people can head out on the water to witness these lovely animals hanging around. Whale and dolphin watching trips are common.
Since May, however, special guests have been visiting the waters near Dana Point. Orcas have been spotted eight times between Los Angeles and Orange County. A pod of eight arrived at Dana Wharf, much to the excitement of local whale watchers. The killer whales batted around a kill, teaching the young ones survival skills.
The orcas interacted with the people watching, much like at Sea World, chattering, jumping, and presenting their fins and bellies.
Gray whales are common in the area, humpback whales have been spotted before, and blue whales travel by in the summer months
Those who get vacation rentals at Dana Point can go on whale watching trips, and are almost guaranteed to see some kind of wildlife. In fact, on May 7, another rare sight was seen: a 20-foot basking shark was caught on video off Dana Point. The plankton-eating shark swam right up to the whale watching boat. The basking shark is the second biggest shark in the world, next to blue sharks.
This area has been a release area for rescued elephant seals, though the animals don’t stay on the beaches. On June 3, two rehabilitated seal pups named Alabaster and Lucius were driven by boat out past Dana Point Harbor to be released. They are the first of 46 seals rescued this year to be released. This number is up from 34 last year, and each seal is released when it reaches optimal weight and can compete for food.
A third seal pup, named Killian, was released with Alabaster and Lucius, but Killian jumped right in the surf from the beach and headed south, parallel along the coast. Alabaster and Lucius were not as adventurous as Killian, and the Harbor Patrol took the kennels past Dana Point Harbor to release them.
Dana Point has such a unique collection of aquatic life, and renting a vacation house is worth the time and money. There are ocean tours to see whales and dolphins (and whatever else pop up to say “hi”), music festivals, and a variety of other activities.
Sara Stricker has written dozens of articles and is making the world a better place, one link at a time.