HomeOutdoorsWATCH: Orcas Give Whale-Watchers a ‘Magical’ Encounter Beside Their Boat

WATCH: Orcas Give Whale-Watchers a ‘Magical’ Encounter Beside Their Boat

by Quentin Blount
Photo by Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images

There’s no better way to kick-start your sense of wonder than by going on a whale-watching expedition. That’s exactly what took place right off the shores of San Diego on Tuesday.

Domenic Biagini, the owner of Gone Whale Watching San Diego, treated a group of passengers to a magical few hours on Tuesday. The group was able to witness a group of orca whales that surfed and leaped around before ultimately catching some dinner.

Obviously, the experience was a once-in-a-lifetime for those aboard the 27-foot Boston Whaler. But it was still pretty amazing just seeing the footage for ourselves on social media. A video was posted on Facebook by the Gone Whale Watching San Diego account.

“All in all this was one of the best trips in our company’s history,” Biagini said.

The entire trip started after Biagini got a tip from a nearby sportfishing captain. As a result, he made his way 80 miles south of San Diego into Mexican waters in search of the orcas. They made their way down and then started heading back up the coast when they saw the killer whales swimming about 50 miles south of San Diego.

The whales are super curious around boats, and that was the case yet again on this excursion. The magnificent creatures were surfing in the boats wake, and even at times could be seen swimming completely upside down. In addition, passengers on the boat were treated to seeing the whales snack on a common dolphin.

“The orcas toyed with this common dolphin for nearly 90 minutes before finally completing the kill and sharing in a meal,” he explained. “It very well may have been a teaching moment for the youngsters in this pod. They’ll have to complete hunts themselves one day!”

You can see the footage below.

Orcas Were Play-Chasing the Boat

In the Gone Whale Watching San Diego Facebook post, Biagini made sure to inform followers that their trip and the actions made during it were completely legal. He started by pointing out that the whales belong to the Eastern Tropical Pacific population.

“I’d like to point out that this encounter would be completely legal under the United State’s Marine Mammal Protection Act as well even though our boat is moving in a few clips.”

Biagini goes on to explain that the MMPA law says that his passengers and crew cannot “harass” dolphins or whales. But this specific pod is known for playing with boats and surfing in their wake.

“Actually stopping the boat and killing the motors would be substantially more dangerous to the whales in a situation like this than continuing at the same speed and heading. Because the boat suddenly stopping is not what the whales are anticipating the boat will do.”

He ends the post by saying, “The whales were quite the opposite of ‘harassed’, they were ENJOYING themselves!”