Whale lovers off Dana Point have been treated over the past 5 days to the sights of a fin whale nicknamed “Finnegan” by the crew of the 95-foot whale watching vessel, the Dana Pride.
Finnegan has been hanging out about 1.5 miles from Dana Point harbor and when the Dana Pride comes out, Finnegan has been coming over to the boat and putting on a show!
“It’s quite an awesome sight!" Capt. Jack Van Dyke, of the Dana Pride told passengers. “It’s like he’s our pet and we have a leash on him!"
Although we are in the start of the gray whale season, this fin whale wants in on the action and loves the media attention, too!
In the below video, you can see the entire length of the fin whale, the second largest species of whale in the world behind the blue whale. Fin whales are known as the fastest whales in the ocean and are often referred to as the "greyhounds" of the sea.
One of the lucky groups that was able to see Finnegan was the Jackson Memorial High School Marching Band. They were visiting Dana Point from Jackson, NJ, a town hit hard by Hurricane Sandy and raised more than $300,000 to travel and perform in the Rose Parade, they were entry No. 64.
In an eyewitness account from Monday's sighting by Dana Pride passenger Irene Gilgoff, she mentions: "This beautiful fin whale, appropriately named 'Finnegan' by the crew, was a wonderful way to end a great year of whale watching. He came straight to the bow of the boat and then went under to the other side.
"Capt. Todd was great, and encouraged me to come again tomorrow. I can think of no way I would rather begin the New Year! Happy New Year and thank you for the peace and wonder given to me this year!"
This photo above is from Gilgoff's encounter.