A whale watching weekend

Very white humpback whale tail

This weekend I had the chance to go whale watching and I’m so glad I did! My friends and I boarded the Christopher in Long Beach Saturday morning along with 100 other people and headed out to see what we could see.

The first whale we came across turned out to be a fin whale, the second largest whale and the fastest baleen whale. It surfaced a few times and we saw the tower blows, but then we were all distracted by a whale up ahead making quite a ruckus. The source of all the noise and activity turned out to be a humpback whale!

Humpback whales don’t visit the Los Angeles coast very often so we were very excited. This humpback kept slapping the surface of the water with his pectoral fin again and again and again; a behavior officially referred to as pec slapping. Then he dove down and disappeared for a couple of minutes and then suddenly he breached!

The humpback whale would also do some cool rolls in the water half showing his tail and pectoral fins in the process. Of course the breaches were the highlight, but he really enjoyed slapping the water with his pectoral fin the most, he did that a lot. After we watched for awhile, the humpback whale dove again and it was time for the boat to head back. (As you can see in the photos, the humpback whale had a very white underside to his tail and pectoral fins, which makes a great contrast for all the blue.)

A few lucky people who kept watching got to see the humpback breach one more time, for a total of four times all together. As we got closer to shore, we saw two gray whales headed north and one fluked for us. And I almost forgot to mention, we saw a pod of common dolphins at the beginning of the trip. Overall, it was a fantastic whale watching experience!

Humpback whale pectoral fin in the air for a pec slap


  1. Judy Hilson says

    Lucky you! It sounds like you had a fantastic whale watching experience! Thanks for sharing the pictures.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *