By Daniel Ritz
On May 9, Captain Tom White of Dana Point Sportfishing & Whale Watching observed a blue whale seven miles off the coast of Dana Point aboard the Dana Pride. Steve Burkhalter is another Captain at Dana Wharf and said that seeing Blues has been rare in the last few years. These gentle giants are considered the largest mammals on earth. They can grow up to 100 feet long and weigh 420,000 lbs. Their life span is between 80-90 years. They come to Southern California to feed off the rich krill which are naturally produced just a few miles off the coast of Dana Point.
Burkhalter recalled years such as 2011 in which large numbers of blue whales were seen. He said that the last few years, sightings have been down due to decreased krill; possibly due to warmer waters during El Nino. Several whales have been seen outside San Diego this year, but have remained out of range of the Dana Point Harbor. The whale, seen yesterday, displayed behavior indicating it was not simply passing through the area.