Surfers often encounter dolphins where they like to ride waves, but not gray whales, especially at a time of year when the vast majority of the mammals are feeding in and near the Bering Sea.
But Daron Case not only saw a 20-foot gray whale, as he was suring at Silver Strand State Beach in San Diego, he submerged his GoPrpo camera and captured vivid footage of the young leviathan.
“We were surfing, not far out, just past where the waves break, and that’s where the whale was,” Case told ABC News. “The water clarity was good, sort of like Hawaii. It’s not usually that clear so we got a good view of the whale underwater.”
There have been sporadic gray whale sightings this summer off Southern California, despite this being out of season. Most of the whales have been juveniles.
The whale in Case’s video might have been trying to feed along the sandy bottom. The whale is skinny, almost emaciated, which implies that finding food has been difficult.
ABC News quoted a Birch Aquarium statement, saying, “We believe the whale is sick mostly due to its thinness.”
Adult gray whales measure to about 45 feet. There are about 20,000 gray whales that feed each summer in Arctic waters, and migrate to Baja California each fall and winter, to give birth and nurse their calves, before embarking on the northbound migration in the spring.
Gray whales feed largely on tiny crustaceans, such as amphipods, and tube worms they find in bottom sediment.
Pete Thomas, GrindTV