Once we got 8 to 10 miles out off the coast of San Pedro (towards Catalina), the boat’s captain let us know that he had spotted 3 or 4 whales. They were fin whales which can reach up to 90 feet in length. Once we got closer, we could see the spray from their spouts. They were sending the spray 8 to 10 feet up in the air. They would blow then we could see their backs break the surface, large, black and rounded with a prominent dorsal fin.
We were on the “First String” from LA Harbor Sportfishing, Inc. The captain told us that we were in about 1200 feet of water at that point and that the fin whales could stay under water for long periods. So there were long intervals between sighting them but there appeared to be several in that area. It was difficult to get good photos since they breached the water very briefly and we didn’t know where they were going to appear.
It was a very nice day to go out on the boat (photos). Early in the day we had thick dark clouds and a bit of rain. By the time the boat left the dock the sky had cleared but it was a bit cool. We stood along the railing in the starboard bow for a while and the wind was strong and once in a while the spray would break over the railing. Very refreshing. Along the way we also had a group of dolphin that raced along just in front of the bow.
When we got back to the dock at Ports O Call we had some shrimp and octopus ceviche.