Paddleboarder off Newport Beach Befriends a Whale Mom and Calf

Author: Laylan Connelly [The Orange County Register]

As a seasoned surfer, Pat Towersey knows the thrill of seeing wildlife up close — dolphins leap toward the sky and even surf waves, sea lions pop up in the line up, and if you’re lucky, you might see a whale spout in the distance.

But Towersey was on a mission: get up close and personal with the giant gray whales making their way up the coast toward Alaska as part of their annual migration from Mexico.

The gray whale season has been especially bountiful this year, with increased sightings logged by whale watching charter groups that track the number of whales passing Orange County’s coastline. So far this season, Dana Wharf Whale Watching has had 1,765 gray whale sightings since November, up from 1,078 sightings last year.

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