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Dana Point Times

Dana Point lived up to its penned description by Richard Henry Dana Jr. as the “only romantic spot on the coast” this week as two California gray whales courted Sunday off the city’s shoreline.

About two miles of the Dana Point coast, the pair twirled, rolled and breached before curious bottlenose dolphins, a kayaker, a stand-up paddleboarder and whale watchers aboard a Captain Dave’s Dolphin & Whale Watching Safari trip. The encounter, described as rare by Captain Dave Anderson, was captured on video and shared on YouTube Monday.

“Apparently everyone was curious, especially the dolphin,” Anderson said. “We often see pacific white-sided dolphin interacting with these whales, but to have bottlenose dolphin was extraordinary.”

This mating behavior is usually only seen in the lagoons of Baja California, Anderson said, where the whales migrate each year to mate and give birth to calves. The gray whales’ trek stretches more than 12,000 miles from the Chuckchi and Bering seas to the Mexican lagoons of southern Baja—and is one of the longest and most dangerous migrations of any mammal.

Gray whale sightings along the Pacific Coast have been at a high this year. Anderson’s company has reported encounters with 168 gray whales in January alone, while Dana Wharf Sportfishing & Whale Watching reported seeing 272 gray whales since migration season started in November.

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