Whale, whale, whale… this week, over two-dozen lucky surfers at Doheny State Beach in Dana Point got the experience of a lifetime when a massive gray whale decided to check out its new neighbors.
In the drone video, (captured by local high schooler Payton Landaas) you can see the whale calmly cruise under the surfers, who handle their unexpected guest with incredible poise.
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Experts say that it’s not uncommon to see these whales close to shore and in shallow water as they make their yearly migration up the coast of California. (Their migration is the longest of any mammal, clocking in around 10-12,000 miles round trip).
Gray whales are very curious mammals, and they’re baleen whales who feed on small shrimp-like organisms (so they’re definitely not interested in having any surfers as snacks).
Thanks to the Marine Mammal Protection Act, the gray whale population has had an incredible rebound, so it’s pretty awesome to see this guy stopping by on his little road trip. Hopefully next time, he’ll be able to catch some swell too. Safe travels, bud!