Blue whales given the names Spike and Bubbles as seen Monday by passengers aboard a Capt. Dave's Dolphin and Whale Safari vessel. Credit for both images: Mark Tyson
It finally seems, after a handful of brief visits, as though blue whales are settling in to feed off Orange County.
Multiple sightings were made on consecutive days for the first time this season by boats out of Dana Wharf.
"BLUE WHALES finally converged on south OC yesterday, boats out of Dana Wharf reported 14 sightings of Blue Whales yesterday and already 4 for today!!" Reads an alert issued Monday afternoon by Dana Wharf Whale Watching. "Yesterday boats were 12.1 miles and today we are just 6 miles south of Dana Point."
On Sunday night, after the first significant showing of blue whales in the area, Capt. Dave's Dolphin and Whale Safari sent this notice to landing followers:
"Today was whale-a-palooza off Orange County with sightings reminiscent of last October when everywhere we turned were whales! Whale watching passengers aboard Captain Dave's Dolphin and Whale Safari got up close with multiple Blue Whales, including a returning pair of favorites nicknamed 'Bubbles' and 'Spike.'
"Bubbles leaves a trail of, you guessed it, bubbles when she dives. And Spike was named after his uniquely shaped dorsal fin. We encountered this pair throughout the summer in 2011 and we are thrilled to see them back again."
Capt. Dave's sighting tally for Monday was 13 blue whales, two fin whales and one minke whale. Spike and Bubbles were present again.
Sightings also have been made off San Diego and Long Beach, so there seems to be a wide spread of the planet's largest creatures, about 2,000 of which spend their summers off the West Coast, feeding on shrimp-like krill.
The last two seasons off Los Angeles and Orange counties were the most impressive for blue whale sightings since local commercial whale-watching began.
It's too early to know whether this season will be as impressive, but if conditions are good enough for Spike and Bubbles, they should be good enough for lots more of these majestic and graceful visitors.