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.
A photo shows a humpback with a double rainbow out of the spout spotted about eight miles from shore on Sunday. Photo courtesy of Mark Girardeau/Newport Coastal Adventure
About 10 humpbacks were seen off Laguna Beach on Thursday, Dec. 7. Photo courtesy of Ryan Lawler/Newport Coastal Adventure.
Two humpbacks cruise about 8 miles from shore on Dec. 7. Photo courtesy of Mark Girardeau/Newport Coastal Adventure
One of 10 humpbacks seen off Laguna Beach on Thursday, Dec. 7, the Orange County coastline in the background. Photo courtesy of Ryan Lawler/Newport Coastal Adventure.
It was a feeding frenzy at sea as a humpback and birds feast on Sunday, Dec. 3 about 8 miles off the Orange County coastline. Photo courtesy: Mark Girardeau/Newport Coastal Adventure
A humpback throws its tail out of the water just a few miles off shore in Laguna Beach. Photo courtesy of Ryan Lawler/Newport Coastal Adventure
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.