Gray Whale Swimming Around Dana Point Harbor Heading North Again

The juvenile gray whale that took a break in Dana Point Harbor on Tuesday is on his way back out to sea and heading north. 

The Orange County Sheriff's Harbor Patrol spent most of Tuesday afternoon trying to shoo the massive mammal back out to sea. 

“We had our fire boat spraying the surface of the water to create loud splashes and the paddle boarders were hitting the water with their paddles,” said Orange County Sheriff’s Department Harbor Patrol Sgt. John Hollenbeck, told the OC Register.  “He led us on a bunch of laps around the harbor.”

A stand-up paddle boarder first noticed the gray whale hanging out in the harbor around 6:45 am on Tuesday morning. Some people in kayaks got close to the wild animal, with one woman who jumped out of her kayak into the water next to the whale. 

Authorities say the gray whale is likely the same specimen who was spotted on Monday in Carlsbad. Gray whales migrate between Baja, Mexico to Alaska every year at an average speed of 5 mph. The nearly 10,000 mile roundtrip is believed to be the longest annual migration of any mammal. 

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has published warnings for harbors from Newport Beach to Los Angeles, warning kayakers, paddle boarders and swimmers to steer clear of the wild animal. 

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