Whale sightings on the Central Coast are not uncommon, but one local man spotted something he has never seen before and he caught it all on camera.
Vincent Shay is the owner of the Mermaid Market at Port San Luis.
His new camera was put to good use recently when he ran into some killer whales a couple of miles offshore.
Shay was in the right place at the right time when a pod of orcas came right up to his boat at sunset off the coast of Pismo Beach.
“It was hot, just still-- you could probably see 10 miles in every direction,” he said. “I saw something and as I got closer, you could hear it. All of the sudden one of them breached and I go ‘whoa, that’s not a humpback whale or a dolphin, that’s an orca which it was pretty awesome.’”
Vincent began taking as many photos as he could snap while taking in a beautiful, and fairly unusual sight.
“I’ve lived here since 1982 and I’ve spent a lot of time on the ocean. I had never, ever seen that so that was pretty wild,” said Shay.
Overall, it’s been a busy summer for whale-watching expeditions up and down the Central Coast.
The owner of Morro Bay Whale Watching says they have seen whales almost every day since March with humpback whales dominating most of the sightings.
“Usually, the middle of May is when the humpback whales show up-- so they showed up early and they stayed longer,” added Kevin Winfield.
The boat’s captain described a recent humpback whale sighting near Morro Rock that was caught on camera.
“There was a mother and juvenile breaching for like 30 minutes a quarter mile from the harbor entrance, that was pretty awesome,” said Captain DJ Hardy.
“We’ve also been mugged multiple times this year—that’s when they come and interact with our boat. So, we’ve just been watching a feeding frenzy.
Killer whales become more common the further north you travel, but the Central Coast is part of their habitat range.