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About a half-hour before sunset tonight I saw a huge spout right where the waves were breaking at a beach-break in North O.C. Then I saw some curved fins break the water and what looked like a big thick dolphin. I see bottlenose dolphins almost everyday and that's not what I saw tonight. I also knew that no dolphin made the spout I had just seen. Sure enough, with the next big spout came the backs of two whales. They appeared to be a mother whale and her calf. They were almost silhouetted against the wave just before it broke with the mother on the outside and the calf as close as it could be to her on the inside. They seemed to be just cruising but they were moving pretty fast. The dolphins were swimming pretty aggressively in and out all around them and I was wondering what the hell I was really watching. I began to wonder if the dolphins were actually orcas. I saw the two whales a few times and am pretty sure they were greys, but the "dolphins" were moving to quickly for me to identify. All I know for sure is, they didn't look or swim like bottlenose.
As they all kept moving north, they also moved out into deeper water. By this time the sun was behind them and all I could see was the bigger spouts of the whales. I only saw them all up close for two minutes before I was looking almost directly into the sun.
Like I said, I see bottlenose almost everyday, and I've seen gray whales a few times, though never this close to the beach. I have no idea what I was seeing exactly. Was this just whales sharing the line-up with some playful dolphins, or could those have really been orcas harassing them?
Any experts on here that would like to chime in?
-------------------- "Now finish up yer drink n go home."
without being an expert, i'd say you saw whales "near" the line up. unless it was on a SUP, there's no way it could get too close to breakers. but i've seen them very close, and heard of them being super close! just like your story sounds... but never "in" the line up.
Quote: must be a seriously steep canyon. you sure you aren't saying 20 yards away is "in" the lineup? you talking it can bump you off your board close? wow!
It's a fairly routine seasonal occurrence at Blacks....nothing to do with the underwater canyon- the smaller grey's only need about 3-4' of water to swim around in and it's almost never that shallow around here during the migration season.
I've had plenty of full size whales between me and the beach....most of 'em were cetaceans too.
-------------------- "...now tell me that wasn't fun!"
Capt. Jack Aubrey
Buddy of mine has old VHS footy from local sandspit. small but glassy day about 4'-5'. All of a sudden a whale breaches right behind them less than 100 yards away. Pretty cool footy.
I've also seen them a few times over the years very close to Pismo Pier which I always thought was a bit odd because it's just not that deep right there. Everywhere in North county you see 'em but not that close to shore. Usually binocular type distances.
Quote: without being an expert, i'd say you saw whales "near" the line up. unless it was on a SUP, there's no way it could get too close to breakers. but i've seen them very close, and heard of them being super close! just like your story sounds... but never "in" the line up.
you surfing a submerged canyon?
Not a canyon but a very gently sloping beachbreak. They couldn't have been in water deeper than 20'. The closest I've seen them at this spot is at least a quarter-mile out, until tonight. I was watching from the second story of a house about 75 yards from the water and they were about that far out again into the water. As soon as I saw the greys, I grabbed the binoculars and saw them again through those. I'm positive about the greys, I'm just not sure about whatever was chasing them. After they swam to my right for another 1/4 mile they headed out into deeper water toward the sun. After about 10 minutes I could still see their occasional spouts, but none of the smaller spouts. They were heading almost directly into the sun toward Point Fermin when I decided to stop staring directly into the sun and all it's reflections.
What I'm most curious about is the "Dolphins." They weren't what I see here most every day, yet I can't believe they were orcas. Are there any other dolphins in So Cal that might harass or follow greys? I've seen plenty of whales and dolphins in the wild, and I'm positive these were greys, but what the hell were the dolphins?
-------------------- "Now finish up yer drink n go home."
We were north of the Oceanside pier when one came up right behind me. Maybe 15 ft away? My friend saw it and freaked. I turned around and just saw area of large disturbed water. Ignorantly blissful. They reported one in the news being right there the next day. And the news is never wrong.
. The smaller animals were probably pilot whales. Pilot whales often harass larger whales in packs to cause them to regurgitate their catch.
Pilot whales packs sometimes harass mother/calf combinations, drown the calf, and eat it .....just like killer whales. Mother whales' main defense is shallow water. It's hard to drown a whale in what's, to them, bathtub deep water.
Years ago when my son was in jr high, he and his friends met me in the Cardiff Reef parking lot all excited. A small, maybe young whale popped it's head out of the water by one of the kids ("dude it looked right at me") the other kids heard it's blow hole as their friend screamed. Never seen the kids so excited.
I've seen them inside the line up at the Cliffs and I've also been in Northern Baja (La Mision) when they have been in 10 feet of water and less than 10 yards from the beach. I think they we scraping barnacles off.
-------------------- “Those who know don’t talk. And those who talk don’t know,”
A certain military place near the rock of the same name has had Orca sightings for years. The deepwater canyon right outside the point holds many wonders. Saw one myself out there and did the Jesus scamper across the water to dry sand.
-------------------- "Beware the lollipop of mediocrity; lick it once and you’ll suck forever." — Brian Wilson
I saw a mother and calf right at the edge of the lineup in FL back around 1990. Tried to paddle up to them because it looked like they were "just cruising, barely moving their flukes" but in reality I didn't have a chance of catching them. They move quite fast with little effort.
-------------------- "It makes the Mach 5 look like a vagina!" - S.Archer
I've seen whales inside the breakwaters of Morro Bay, near the shallow part towards corners. Another time I was surfing the rock and had one breach a little bit between me and another group of surfers. At El Cap there was a bunch of them 25 yards offshore, and from what I understand they will scratch themselves on the boulders there......at least that's what someone told me......I've got photos of it somewhere but it was before the digital age. And one of the craziest things involving a whale was a few years ago at Refugio. My kid was out surfing and I was on the beach taking pictures when I noticed a big rock in the inside of the point, almost out in front of the parking lot. It came to me quick that there is no rock in there, it turned out to be a baby whale about the size of a large SUV. My kid, not knowing there was a whale in there, surfed right over it and paddled back out with it. It was pretty amazing, so amazing I didn't take one photo of it
I've surfed very close to whales a couple of times. Once when I was a grom at IB a baby whale came super close to me and my buddy. And another time at Sand Spit up in MDO we were very close to a much larger whale. I'd say we were about 10 yards away maybe a bit closer at the Sand Spit, which was a bit unnerving as it was a big fvcken whale
-------------------- In the abundance of water, the fool is thirsty...Rat Race!
Checking Fullers from the hwy. once a friend of mine and I noticed what appeared to be a boat wake just outside the lineup. No boat. Then all of a sudden this Orca goes hauling ass through where the wave breaks with something in its mouth, it's a hell of a long way down, we couldn't tell if it was a seal or otter. Pretty impressive to see.
In my 35+ years of surfing I had never seen a whale so close to the shore as I did last Friday. This morning as I was getting my kid ready for school we saw another one, in the exact same spot, even closer. This one was by itself, definitely a grey, and seemed to be rubbing it's sides on the bottom. Saw both side flukes and tail flukes sticking up out of the water. It splashed around in 6' to 8' of water for about 2 minutes, then took off.
Very different conditions this morning compared to Friday. Friday evening was still pretty stormy with big choppy waves, and the whales were just cruising (or being chased) down the beach. This morning was glassy with 2' sets, and the whale was rolling around on the sand. Plenty of dolphins around this morning too, but not near the whale. With the sun behind me this morning I couldn't see it's spouts or which way it took off.
I figure it must not be too uncommon that whales come in so close to shore, but I've never seen that before. Now I've seen it twice in 4 days.
-------------------- "Now finish up yer drink n go home."
my whale & crap in wetsuit story, dawn patrol at a cove near elves land in near dark jumped in channel & only yards off beach felt a massive surge which knock me aside, thought it was over fluffy found me but the whale was surfacing right next to me & i looked in his eye as he passed & then the tail surfaced & passed over me. it then thrust down right in front of me and the wake smashed me back
after going in , removing my suit & rinsing it out it was a grand day
yes yes i know
-------------------- " It is not how good you are at something, it is how good that something makes you feel"
I sitting in the line up waiting for set waves one day at Pillbox, I guess about fifteen years ago. Daydreaming, I suddenly found myself sitting just a few feet from what appeared to be a barnacle encrusted rock. I was surprised and frightened, and wondered, "where the heck did that rock come from?" I quickly paddled away from it. I was pretty confused there for a couple of seconds until I realized it was a young whale. It submerged and came up again about 15 feet from me. It was not a big day and I was quite close to shore.
You see the grey whales in the surf line quite often on their migration in the Monterey Bay. Years past they used to swim directly across the bay from SC to Pt. Pinos but with the establishment of the Mtry bay orca pod they now circle around inside the bay in shallow water to prevent attacks on their calves.
Orcas tend to stay farther offshore in deeper water.
-------------------- Riding SUP is a "Fat" frame of mind.
Quote: I've seen them inside the line up at the Cliffs and I've also been in Northern Baja (La Mision) when they have been in 10 feet of water and less than 10 yards from the beach. I think they we scraping barnacles off.
saw the same thing, same place. la fonda, la mision. surf was 1 foot and i believe i could have walked out into waist deep water and pet the damn thing it was so close to the beach.