NEWPORT BEACH, Calif .– A boat tour company has shared video and photos of a recently spotted sperm whale off the coast of Orange County.
Jessica Roame, education programs manager at Newport Coastal Adventure, said it’s not something they see often when they visit Newport Beach. A company captain said the Oct. 27 sighting 14 miles west of Newport Beach harbor was the first time he had seen a sperm whale in the area in his 20 years on the water.
While another whale was spotted by staff in 2016, Roame said this particular whale was easily 55 feet long.
Sperm whales are pelagic mammals that spend most of their time at sea feeding on giant squids. They are difficult to find because they often surface less than 10 minutes at a time compared to the 40 minutes they spend diving at 4,000 feet, according to the Roundhouse Aquarium Teaching Center.
Mammals hunt using extremely loud echolocation, clearly heard using an underwater hydrophone. After hearing about recent sightings, Eric Martin of Roundhouse brought a hydrophone aboard a Newport Coastal Adventure boat and helped the crew locate the sperm whale, which the aquarium said was the same sperm whale spotted in February 2020.
Guests of the Newport Coastal Adventure tour were able to take in the views later in the morning on the company’s whale and dolphin watching tours that depart Southern California daily throughout the year.
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