Rare Sighting of Gray Whales Off MB Pier

The whales were feeding and playing, according to a marine biologist.

Two adult gray whales put on a show for about 15 minutes just off the Manhattan Beach Pier Monday morning, said Eric Martin, marine biologist ad director of The Roundhouse Marine Studies Lab & Aquarium located at the end of the pier.

The rare sighting marked only the second time Martin has seen gray whales come in to feed so close to the pier.

Unlike in December when a solo yearling ventured close to the pier, this time two adults swam in circles, went in and out, north and south and were blowing bubbles, Martin said.

"They fluked three times off the pier," he said, noting the entire episode was quite an exciting thing to see.

"They were just having a blast for awhile out there," said Martin, adding that for a long time he couldn't tell if they were headed north or south. 

The duo did swim off, heading south toward 8th Street, he said, on their journey south.

Gray whales regularly pass through Southern California waters on their annual migration to the waters off Baja California, and are typically seen off the South Bay coast as early as November and as late as April, as they head to and return from calving grounds in Mexican waters.

Their annual migration can cover an average of 10,000-14,000 miles round-trip between the Bering and Chukchi seas to the Baja lagoons.

  • Previously: Gray Whale Breaches 50 Feet from Pier
  • Previously: Size of Huge Gray Whale Pod May Be Record
  • Previously: Record Number of Gray Whales Seen off SoCal Coast
  • Previously: Gray Whale Watching Season Begins
  • Previously: Southbound Gray Whale Migration Begins

Have you seen gray whales this season? If so, from where? What was your experience like?

Duke Noor January 28, 2013 at 09:26 PM
That's so awesome. I saw one a few days ago as well, near 4th street. MB
Liz Spear January 28, 2013 at 09:29 PM
Yeah, I love marine life, especially dolphins and whales. My cousin & I used to hangout at Marineland every weekend as kids, for a time, and they so got to know us they gave us free fish to feed the dolphins in the pool/tank.


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