As amazing as it may be to have gargantuan blue whales feeding off Southern California this summer, they are not nearly as flamboyant as humpback whales.
So when an especially active humpback made a rare but emphatic appearance Monday off Dana Point, and began lifting and slapping its tail fluke on the water, passengers seemed to forget all about the endangered blue whales.
The top video is courtesy of Capt. Dave's Dolphin and Whale Safari, which was thankful for receiving "a big high-five" from the whale. The bottom clip is from Dana Wharf Whale Watch.
These are competing landings, which often encounter the same whales.
Humpback whales, while common off Santa Barbara and Monterey, are infrequent visitors to Orange County waters. But as shown here, even one humpback can make for a very special whale-watching experience.