Underwater footage shows new pod of playful orcas off Newport Beach Tuesday

Underwater footage shows new pod of playful orcas off Newport Beach Tuesday

Underwater footage shows new pod of playful orcas off Southern California coast

This month has brought an unusual amount of orca activity off the Orange County coastline, first with a pod of Eastern Tropical Pacific killer whales that showed up to feast on dolphins. Then, on Tuesday, Sept. 25, a pod of CA51 orcas were spotted off Newport Beach.

The CA51 orcas are more familiar than the ETPs that lingered for days off Orange County and San Diego, but which longtime experts said they’ve never seen off local waters in past years.

The CA51 pod, on the other hand, has shown up in previous years and is often called the  “the friendly pod.”

They lived up to their nickname on Tuesday, frolicking around boats that gathered nearby, about 12 miles off the coast of Newport Beach. They were first alerted to Dana Wharf Whale Watching, who put out the word they were near Catalina.

Wildlife photographer Mark  Girardeau, founder of Orange County Outdoors, said this pod is well known for being boat friendly, with one of the males dubbed “Bumper” because he likes to bump vessels.

The last time he saw this pod was in May up in Monterey Bay — where they are more commonly seen — and off Long Beach and north Orange County in June of 2017.

He said after the ETPs were seen heading south from San Diego last week, whale watching charters weren’t expecting to have more orca sightings anytime soon.

Related Articles Are surfers at risk from MRSA? Study aims to show if superbugs pose dangers Locals dominate at King of the Court beach volleyball contest in Huntington Beach Proposals for bay restoration leave Long Beach breakwater removal uncertain Bethany Hamilton’s boundary-pushing surfing skills on display in ‘Unstoppable’ film Laguna Beach homeowners win reprieve in tearing down seawall protecting house “We’ve been seeing many people hoping to come out and try their luck at seeing them,” said Girardeau.

The people on the afternoon charter were in luck, provided with an up-close encounter with the killer whales.

“Everyone on our boat was so thrilled to see them, including some guests who work at Pacific Marine Mammal Center. This pod was especially great because every time they’d surface, they did circles and seemed to give a close approach to each of the boats that were around,” Girardeau said. “You could hear the scream from every boat each time they did this, almost like the wave at baseball stadiums.”

When word spread that the killer whales were off local waters, Sandra Bill wasted no time rushing down to Newport Harbor to try and get a glimpse Wednesday. She boarded the Newport Coastal Adventure’s Shearwater boat.

“Today was finally my day out on the open ocean,” she wrote on social media after the encounter.

This month has brought an unusual amount of orca activity off the Orange County coastline, first with a pod of Eastern Tropical Pacific killer whales that showed up to feast on dolphins. Then, on Tuesday, Sept. 25, a pod of CA51 orcas were spotted off Newport Beach.

The CA51 orcas are more familiar than the ETPs that lingered for days off Orange County and San Diego, but which longtime experts said they’ve never seen off local waters in past years.

The CA51 pod, on the other hand, has shown up in previous years and is often called the  “the friendly pod.”

They lived up to their nickname on Tuesday, frolicking around boats that gathered nearby, about 12 miles off the coast of Newport Beach. They were first alerted to Dana Wharf Whale Watching, who put out the word they were near Catalina.

Wildlife photographer Mark  Girardeau, founder of Orange County Outdoors, said this pod is well known for being boat friendly, with one of the males dubbed “Bumper” because he likes to bump vessels.

The last time he saw this pod was in May up in Monterey Bay — where they are more commonly seen — and off Long Beach and north Orange County in June of 2017.

He said after the ETPs were seen heading south from San Diego last week, whale watching charters weren’t expecting to have more orca sightings anytime soon.

Related Articles Video: Watch a seal slap a kayaker in the face with an octopus Was that a mule deer buck in the Oakland hills? Court overturns Trump, restores protections for grizzly bears Snakebites linked to weather, says Stanford research Is there any relief for itchy, scratching wild birds? “We’ve been seeing many people hoping to come out and try their luck at seeing them,” said Girardeau.

The people on the afternoon charter were in luck, provided with an up-close encounter with the killer whales.

“Everyone on our boat was so thrilled to see them, including some guests who work at Pacific Marine Mammal Center. This pod was especially great because every time they’d surface, they did circles and seemed to give a close approach to each of the boats that were around,” Girardeau said. “You could hear the scream from every boat each time they did this, almost like the wave at baseball stadiums.”

When word spread that the killer whales were off local waters, Sandra Bill wasted no time rushing down to Newport Harbor to try and get a glimpse Wednesday. She boarded the Newport Coastal Adventure’s Shearwater boat.

“Today was finally my day out on the open ocean,” she wrote on social media after the encounter.

Newport at web:


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