NEWPORT BEACH ― Newport Beach whale watchers were treated to an extended tour and were witness to a pod of orcas and a calf on Jan. 7.
“We were the first boat to locate them from a shore sighting report earlier from Palos Verdes,” Capt. Ryan Lawler of Newport Coastal Adventure said in a written statement to The Log. “Over the course of the day, they moved from Point Fermin to Laguna Beach anywhere from three to 12 miles off shore.”
Orcas, also known as killer whales, swim in close-knit groups or pods of two or more to protect each other from danger, according to Monterey Bay Aquarium.
There were sightings of 30 to 50 orcas off the coast of Orange County on Nov. 30.
“We extended our trip from two hours to five hours [on Jan. 7] as we went over 20 miles from Newport Beach to locate the pod,” Lawler told The Log. “With the assistance of Alisa Schulman-Janiger, these [whales] were identified as Eastern Tropical Pacific Killer Whales.”
Schulman-Janiger is the founder of the California Killer Whale Project.
(Capt. Ryan Lawler photo)