The humpbacks were rolling around, jumping out of the water, feeding and possibly even mating.
A group of about 10 humpback whales was seen about five miles off Laguna’s Main Beach on Thursday, Dec. 7, the latest in a string of sightings in local waters.
Humpbacks have been spotted sporadically within the past few weeks, but mostly farther out toward Catalina.
On Sunday, Newport Coastal Adventure boats came across three humpbacks as they were making their way from Northern California down to Mexico. The pod, spotted about eight miles offshore, earned the nickname “the three amigos” by the crew on the boat.
Newport Coastal Adventure owner Ryan Lawler believes at least two, possibly all three, were also in the group of 10 spotted Thursday. A few weeks ago, he happened upon about 10 humpbacks off Catalina Island.
Lawler said sightings like this, with so many humpbacks and so close to shore, only happen a couple of times a year.
“We saw spouts all over the horizon,” he said.
Mark Tyson, a naturalist on Capt. Dave’s Dolphin and Whale Safari, said a decade ago it would be big news if they saw 10 in a whole year. He said the pod seen on Thursday was about five miles straight out from Laguna’s Main Beach.
“It’s cool to see 10 all together,” he said.
Tyson said humpback sightings have increased significantly the past three years.
“It’s absolutely amazing to have them out here in the numbers we’ve been seeing,” he said. “One of them breached a couple of times, most…