Offshore ORCA'S Spotted off DANA.... in the fog....

Steve Francis

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Following he whale migration, finding other opportunities'
Whale migration California
Each year, between November and April, California grey whales make their annual migration from feeding grounds in Alaska south to mate and have babies in the warm coastal lagoons of Baja
We began winter whale watching back in the early 70s out of San Pedro Sportfishing. The chief curator of the Pt Furmin seaquarium would often come with us. His name was John Alquine (sp?). Believe he was a founder of the American Cetacean Society. In any case, your "Each year, between November and etc etc" is almost word for word a portion of John's excellent trip narrations. We were chartered to the LA City School District, running 2 trips a day, with about 130 kids per trip. We would have rather been fishing, but it was wintertime and at least it kept us employed. Plus we also carried many volunteers to help with the kids. Typically, those volunteers were young females from LB State, UCLA and USC. They certainly made those trips more "interesting"

I once saw a pod of Orcas off of Pt Sal, playing that sea lion volleyball with about 3-4 sea lions. It was definitely like watch cats with mice. Amazing sight.
 
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tunacraze

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    Here's a couple more and one of the food source they were after.
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    woodfish330

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    I watched plenty of amazing footage.... allot if it in the last 10 years. There are "RARE" times when ..... the intended "victim" has escaped within inches of their lives.... specifically if the POD has already eaten... making the kill.... more of a "play" toy. Seals.... are what I saw escape... when they were "rolling" sea ice.... to dump the in the drink.

    We ALL know.... once they FOCUS .... its a deadly dance. Only a matter of time. They pick that time...dont they. Feeding ...after the kill.... is Coordinated as well. Dominant Pod members feeding on the best "parts"... come first. Seals .... you know...couple of bites... and "NEXT"!

    Someone earlier...mentioned an ORCA crashing their Dorado .... right off the stern corner. Excuse me... THAT'S CLOSE ENOUGH.... THANK YOU! (lol)
     
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    rodngun762

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    Some entertaining hearsay on this thread, and good stories too!! For the record there are 3 types of killer whales to be found in Southern California

    1. Transients- eat only marine mammals and come from northern waters.

    2. ETP- have been observed eating marine mammals but might eat other things too. They are warm water killer whales that come from Mexico

    3. Offshores- eat only fish and sharks. This is the type seen off Laguna and Newport Beach last Thursday. They come from the northern waters and spend some time here Nov-Feb.

    4. "The LA POD" used to be here from the 70s through the late 90s but has not been seen since then. MIA for over 20 years.

    Thursday I got to spend a few hours with this pod off Orange County, they were pretty evasive and not interested in the boats. They were making deep dives in 1300 to 1700 feet of water. According to my records it was my 23rd day seeing orcas in southern California since 2015.

    Here's a few of my so cal orca pics from the last 7 years

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    AKSalmon

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    Sold my Parker. You can find me on the Red Rooster.
    A couple interesting Orca facts: There are lots of them in SE Alaska. Whenever we see them, it's time to leave because the salmon fishing will stop. Apparently salmon are afraid of orcas. Also, the orcas that eat seals and sea lions (some eat only fish) also eat deer on occasion. There are at least a couple videos floating around that show deer unsuccessfully trying to swim between islands...
     

    Steve Francis

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    Early 70s fishing Albacore commercially off of Morro Bay. We were lift poling the Albacore while standing in low metal structures referred to as "racks". These racks were suspended low into the water from the stern of an 85' vessel. We were wearing black hipboots and slicker gear, often with the water above our waists. While catching Albacore and slinging them over our shoulders and onto the boat, suddenly something in the water grabbed one of the Albacore and took it right off the barbless commercial hook. Then it happened again. Then we were able to see they were Orcas, sucking those 20-25 lb fish off our barbless hooks like they were grapes. We jumped out of those racks and onto the boat. Started up and got out of there. Soon we got a jig strike, threw live bait and the Albacore came right to the boat again. But, so did the Orcas. We left again, kept an eye on the pod of Orcas. Took a while for that pod to finally leave the area. It did help when we shut off the deck hoses which were continuously flowing sea water over the decks which were covered with Albacore blood, which then flowed overboard thru the open scuppers.

    This occurred on what was then named The America, now known as the Grande.
     
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    tunacraze

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    So, @rodngun762 contacted me about the whales in the pics I've shown here. I sent him the full resolution images and below is the email that I received back from him. If anybody else has photos of So. Cal. Killer Whales, I would encourage you to PM @rodngun762.

    Hi Steve,



    I've consulted with Alisa Schulman-Janiger and she feels confident the male is a whale cataloged as E163. This whale was first documented August 7th 2003 along the Pacific Coast of Baja, already a mature male at the time. Recently he's been seen quite a bit in Southern California. August 2019 off La Jolla and Catalina, he was sighted 12pm off La Jolla and the following day by 3pm was on the Avalon Bank. February 2020 Catalina (where he killed a dolphin: https://ftw.usatoday.com/2020/02/hauntingly-beautiful-photos-show-raw-side-of-orca-predation), and several more times in Summer 2021 off San Clemente Island and the Coronados.



    Your sighting is really helpful since it's the earliest record we have of this guy being seen in Southern California. And not too long after it was first documented in 2003. Still trying to figure out the female he is with.



    A couple follow up questions from Alisa:



    Do you remember how many total whales there were? One of your pictures shows 4 surfacing together, was this the whole group?



    Were there any other males, or just E163?



    Is there an exact date of the sighting?



    Thanks!
    Ryan
     
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