Stand-up paddleboarders get an up-close look at a California gray whale and her young calf that came into the Dana Point Harbor Monday afternoon. Photo: Frank Brennan, danawharf.com
Stand-up paddleboarders get an up-close look at a California gray whale and her young calf that came into the Dana Point Harbor Monday afternoon. Photo: Frank Brennan, danawharf.com

By Jim Shilander

A pair of migrating California gray whales, a mother and calf, made an unexpected and rare trip into Dana Point Harbor earlier this week.

Capt. Todd Mansur, of Dana Wharf Sportfishing & Whale Watching, said his boat spotted the two whales coming into the Harbor and then turning toward Doheny State Beach.

This is an unusual occurrence, he said, since whales often rely on their depth perception and other senses to judge where they were. Being in the Harbor might have made things difficult for them on their northward journey to their polar feeding grounds, he said.

Mansur said he believed the mother was allowing her calf a chance to “stretch its tail a little,” in the sandy areas near Doheny and that both whales appeared to be healthy.

“There was a lot of playfulness,” Mansur said of the chance encounter.

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