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Old 25-12-2011, 22:00   #1
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Dolphins ...or ?????

Merry Christmas Everyone! On my Christmas cruise today I saw what I thought were dolphins playing...normal for SoCal...but as I got closer, They looked odd...they were black and white, not grey and seemed a little larger than the great dolphin that are normal in these waters...They were also shy, as in wanted nothing to do with me...lol. Usually the dolphin when they see boats come right up to the bow...not these guys...when I got close, the dove and disappeared...dolphins or killer whales? Here is the video on my blog...

Cuajota | The chronicles of a sailboat in Newport Beach named Cuajota.

Any ideas?
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Old 25-12-2011, 23:41   #2
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Pilot whales is what we always figured they where. If they look like large dolphins, but don't want to play, they are pilot whales.
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Old 25-12-2011, 23:44   #3
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Re: Dolphins...or?????

Hi Cuajota,
Possibly Pilot Whales?

GW
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Old 26-12-2011, 05:14   #4
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Re: Dolphins...or?????

I had something similar happen on my way back down the coast just a mile or so south of the Seal Rocks lighthouse NSW Australia. This "thing" just appeared at my bow as if it wanted to rub against my long black cruising hull. After the initial surprise I identified it as a pilot whale. Next minute I was surrounded by the rest of the pod playing around the boat like dolphins. I half wonder if the first big creature was the dominant bull checking my boat out to see if I was OK?

The other strange coincidence was that I had another fairly extreme encounter hardly a few miles south of the same spot on my way up the coast. It was night and I had thoroughly checked the charts while navigating inside of the Seal Rock islands and past Edith Breaker. Next minute something exploded to my port like a violent bombora. I was sure of my navigation and all was confirmed within minutes when the whale breached again doing another big back flip. Just a pity I could not get photos of either!
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Old 26-12-2011, 06:12   #5
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They were probably pacific white sided dolphins, they are black with grey sides and white lines coming back from the eyes, there found in your area also, commersons are black and white but they found in south america unless there taking a christmas vacation! Must have been nice to see, happy sailing..
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Old 26-12-2011, 07:03   #6
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Re: Dolphins...or?????

They're Killer Whales. We saw this pod 3 years ago at the same time of year. Every year they head north up the coast and every year everybody is flabbergasted. Called a "rare" sighting, but in reality not that uncommon if you're on the water between Dana Point and Point Mugu in December.
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Old 03-01-2012, 17:21   #7
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Re: Dolphins...or?????

Yep they're killer whales, dolphins don't sound like that
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Old 03-01-2012, 17:48   #8
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Re: Dolphins...or?????

The little black and white Porpoises are called Dahl's Porpoise. Like miniature killer whales without the tall fin!
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Old 03-01-2012, 17:52   #9
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Re: Dolphins...or?????

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Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
The little black and white Porpoises are called Dahl's Porpoise. Like miniature killer whales without the tall fin!
More commonly spelled "Dall's porpoise" Phocoenoides dalli
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Old 03-01-2012, 17:54   #10
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Re: Dolphins...or?????

After looking at the pic on your site... not sure if they are Dahls or not. Hard to tell from t he photos. Evidently Dall's is correct, although I swear the book I had called them Dahl's. Said to be "the fastest of all small cetaceans". The ones I've seen often in Puget Sound are pretty small compared with southern dolphins...
"Dall's Porpoise (Phocoenoides dalli) is a fast-swimming, black-and-white toothed whale. It makes a distinctive "rooster tail" spray of water as it surfaces to breathe. It is also known as the "Spray Porpoise," True's porpoise, and the White-flanked Porpoise.

There are two types of Dall's Porpoise, the Dalli-type and the Truei-type; they differ in their white patch and their distribution. Dalli-type porpoises are found in the northern Pacific Ocean from North America to Asia. Truei-type porpoises are only found around Japan. Both types are found close to land and in the open sea. They may migrate.
Anatomy: Dall's Porpoise is from 5.75-7.25 feet (1.7-2.2 m) long. Newborn calves are from 34 to 39 inches (85-100 cm) long. Like all porpoises, it has spade-shaped teeth and a small, rounded head. It has black skin and a large white patch on the belly; it also has a gray dorsal fin and white-edged flukes. Diet: Dall's Porpoise is a carnivore that eats fish, crustaceans, and squid. "
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Old 04-01-2012, 20:51   #11
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Re: Dolphins...or?????

Here is a video of killer whales swimming that I found.



From what you can see in your video that is what they look like.

I also found this.

Rare sighting of killer whales off SoCal coastline - latimes.com

So it is very well that is what they were.
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Old 04-01-2012, 22:23   #12
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Re: Dolphins...or ?????

I don't think they are killer whales. I've seen them as far south as Monterey Bay, but never 5 sets of 30...
They really look more like porpoises
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Old 04-01-2012, 22:25   #13
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Re: Dolphins...or ?????

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Originally Posted by Misiu View Post
I don't think they are killer whales. I've seen them as far south as Monterey Bay, but never 5 sets of 30...
They really look more like porpoises

No the "5 sets of 30" day was DEFINITELY Dolphins...but that day I am sure I saw the same group of 3 Killer Whales. They have been seen regularly off the coast here. They also swim VERY differently than Dolphins.

Here is a link to that post and video....

http://cuajota.com/?p=348
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Old 04-01-2012, 22:48   #14
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Re: Dolphins...or ?????

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Originally Posted by Cuajota View Post
No the "5 sets of 30" day was DEFINITELY Dolphins...but that day I am sure I saw the same group of 3 Killer Whales. They have been seen regularly off the coast here. They also swim VERY differently than Dolphins.

Here is a link to that post and video....

Merry Christmas! Dolphins or ???? | Cuajota
Sorry - didn't see the video (slow connection). Three, large, black and white with distinctive movement through the water - it definitely sounds like orcas. They are beautiful animals.
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Old 05-01-2012, 11:20   #15
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Re: Dolphins...or ?????

There should be no mistaking the two for sure. Killer whales have the tall dorsal fin. A baby will be right alongside his large mother. The porpoises are no more than 7-8 ft long, fast swimmers etc. The Orcas just kind of cruise along like most whales.
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