As most coastal Orange Countians have noticed, whale sightings are up over the past year and there has been a marked increase in visits from blues and humpbacks, along with our old friends, the gray whales. I say “visits” but since this is their territory, the term is probably inappropriate.
Nevertheless, opportunities to spot these behemoths are definitely increased and we are all the more fortunate because of it. There is still some debate over why we are seeing more of the larger whales in recent months. One theory suggests that climate change is increasing the krill population on which they feed. Unfortunately, an increase in local sightings does not seem to be attributed to larger populations which are holding steady after being decimated to near extinction before protections were enacted.
The blue whale is the largest creature ever to have inhabited earth, larger than even the greatest of dinosaurs. They dwarf African elephants, the largest current land animals.
Check out this video of whale watchers off Dana Point who experience a close encounter:
I have spotted a few whales with binoculars from the cliffs over San Clemente State Beach and it is a glorious and humbling experience. If you get a chance to catch a whale watching boat, don’t pass up the opportunity.Share on Facebook