11:30am: Overcast skies but very calm ocean conditions. We went looking “down and out” towards Laguna Beach. About 2 miles from the harbor we spotted something strange. A large head bobbing up and down in the distance; we got closer and saw it belonged to an Elephant Seal! And it had a SHARK in it’s mouth! How cool.
We made it 8 miles south and Capt. Ryan couldn’t locate any dolphins or whales. So we went “up and out” from there. Except… still, no signs of life! It was looking like a real desert out there when Capt. Kane on the Ocean Explorer gave us a call about a Minke Whale he located just a few miles off Newport Harbor. We raced over and saved the trip by getting some great looks at this “little” whale- about 25 feet long.
3:00pm- Capt. Ryan was not very encouraged by the sightings on our previous trip, so we decided to focus more on a coastal tour to begin. We saw seals, sea lions and the beautiful rocky coastline of Laguna Beach. Right as he decided to start looking further out to sea, a spout! Then, a huge whale back came out of the water; we could see it from over a mile away and recognized it as a blue whale, the largest animal on the planet. Possibly the same whale from yesterday afternoon, we got some awesome sights of this big guy as it was feeding in the same spot the whole time we were there. It was at least 70 feet long and in about 600 feet of water: pretty shallow for a blue whale!