Huge Whale Plays With Dolphins During Whale Watch

An unusually playful gray whale frolics with a pod of Pacific White-sided dolphins for a deep-sea dance spectacle off the coast of Dana Point, says Capt. Dave Anderson.

In this video taken by Captain Dave’s Dolphin and Whale Safari the gray whale, which was southbound on its annual migration from Alaska to the lagoons in Baja, is seen rolling around, turning on its back, and doing what appears to be “the backstroke” while seemingly playing with the Pacific White-sided dolphins on Tuesday.

This is uncommon behavior for a gray whale and thrilled whale watching passengers. Passenger Patti Soltero from Eastvale, CA, called it “definitely a lifetime experience,” Anderson said. 

Gray whales travel 10,000 to 12,000 miles round-trip every winter from the cold waters off Alaska to the warm lagoons of Baja, CA, where they mate and have their calves. Their dangerous journey is one of the longest of any mammal. Throughout their migration gray whales face many challenges and hazards, one of which takes the lives of nearly 1,000 whales and dolphins every day.

Scientists estimate that 308,000 dolphins and whales die because of fishing gear entanglement every year worldwide.

The Pacific White-sided dolphin is an energetic favorite dolphin of Capt. Dave’s.

They are a beautiful dolphin with a unique face and coloring. Though they’re normally seen during the winter months off of Southern California, this particular dolphin species has been noticeably absent with just two previous sightings since last October, making yesterday’s encounter extra special. Southern California has the greatest density of dolphins per square mile than anywhere on earth. We have five species of dolphin in the area, including the Pacific White-sided, he said.


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