Friendly Gray Whale Plays With Dana Point Whale Watchers

It’s the thing you dream of when embarking on a whale watching tour: coming face to face with one of the largest leviathans on earth!

By Ashley Ludwig

Visitors from the east coast got an up-close, hands-on look and feel of one of the largest creatures in the ocean.
Visitors from the east coast got an up-close, hands-on look and feel of one of the largest creatures in the ocean. (Capt. Dave’s Dolphin & Whale Watching Safari Photo)

DANA POINT, CA—Gray whale sightings have surged in recent months, but no encounter has been so exciting as one experienced by whale watchers this week, according to Capt. Dave’s Dolphin and Whale Watching Safari.

“It was an exciting charter on Monday,” Capt. Dave Anderson told Patch of the encounter.

Three friends, riders of the zodiac Fast Cat who set out on a private charter, got a close look and feel of the whale. During their tour, the gray whale paused and allowed the three women to run their hands along its face and back. Heather Smith, with friends Shaun and Becky (no last names given), chartered a private tour to see gray whales in person. This encounter turned into one they will never forget.

“It was right at the end of the trip, when a gray whale decided to come up to the boat and touch these girls,” Capt. Dave Anderson told Patch. “They got an amazing video of the whale visiting them. It wouldn’t leave, and we couldn’t go anywhere while it was below the vessel. So, we just hung out.”

Smith expressed her joy at the encounter, which lasted over an hour, saying, “it was like an out of body experience. I’ll remember the rest of my life!”

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