UPDATED WITH VIDEO: Check out the above clip from this (Monday) morning's excusion, when a blue whale showed off its fluke for a boatload of whale watchers.
ORIGINAL POST: For the first time ever this early in the year, blue whales were spotted off the coast of Dana Point this weekend.
According to Captain Dave Anderson, who runs whale watching tours out of South Orange County, blue whales typically feed off tiny shrimp-like crustacean called krill locally between June and October.
“The earliest we've seen these gentle leviathans was in May,” Anderson said.
Normally, at this time of year, the crew from Captain Dave’s Dolphin and Whale Watching Safari expect to see gray whales making their annual migration from Alaska to warmer waters in Baja, where they mate and have their calves.
They also catch views of large fin whales around this time.
“Instead of those types of whales, to the shock and delight of crew and passengers, we saw a pair of blue whales feeding just a few miles off the coast,” he said.
Blue whales are the largest known animal to have ever lived. And though Southern California, according to scientists, has the largest concentration of blue whales of anywhere on earth, they have never been seen off Dana Point before in February, Anderson said.