Dana Wharf Whale Watching broke the blue whale sighting record on Friday with 46 consecutive days of sightings off the Dana Point coast.
Lunge feeding blue whales were spotted around noon on Dana Wharf's 63' catamaran, the Ocean Adventures. The previous record was set in November 2011 with 45 days in a row of sightings.
Last week, Dana Wharf averaged 20 blue whale sightings per day, making it seem like this record will be beaten by more than just a day or two, according to General Manager, Donna Kalez.
Capt. Corey Hall, who runs Dana Wharf's catamaran, the Ocean Adventures, predicted at the beginning of the season that this would be a record-breaking year of blue whale sightings. Hall said this was the best year of whale watching he had seen in his decades of time on the water, added Kalez.
Blue whales frequent the waters of Dana Wharf to feed on krill. Whaling in the early 1900s caused a drastic decline in the blue whale population along the Pacific Coast. Once hunting was banned, the blue whale population has slowly started to recover.
Before whaling was commercialized, blue whale numbers along the Pacific were estimated to be around 200,000. Today, the blue whale population around the world is estimated to be around 12,000. Approximately 2,000 blue whales call the Pacific coast their home. These majestic creatures are the largest mammal on earth and can grow to over 100 feet long.
Here are some video links of blue whale sightings taken by Dana Wharf in the past two weeks, including a video of "Hook," a blue whale with a missing fluke found by Dana Wharf Capt. Todd Mansur, that was featured on Yahoo news homepage that went viral with over 3,330,000 hits in less than a week:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QUBIFyrGWC4&feature=share&list=UU6rlK4oYOdj9loOw9dpM64g (viral video)