Mating whales give sightseers a show

March 18, 2013 at 3:01 PM
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DANA POINT, Calif., March 18 (UPI) -- A California tour boat operator said his passengers got to see two playful gray whales put on a show that included "obvious mating behaviors."

Tom Southern, a captain on Capt. Dave's Dolphin and Whale Safari, said he has been leading tours for nearly 13 years but Sunday was the first time he encountered mating whales along the coast of Dana Point and Laguna Beach, The Orange County (Calif.) Register reported Monday.

"They were rolling on their sides, spinning in circles, and then they'd go down for a few minutes -- obvious mating behaviors," Southern said.

He said the whales would approach boats and go under them, sometimes even moving a vessel.

"We saw some mating, then they went right over to the sailboat and parked themselves under it, pushing it in the water," Southern said. "Not harsh, but very gently playing and rolling on their sides. They kept doing it for more than an hour."

Southern said several of his tour groups were treated to a show from the playful pair throughout the day.

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