Conditions were perfect to ride the waves in Monterey Bay Sunday — at least, that’s what this pod of playful orcas thought.
After they had their fill of gray whale calves, the killer whales burned off some of the extra energy by surfing the waves in front of whale watchers. They waited in the water for swells to build, then surfed together in groups of two to four.
You can see the action around 15 seconds into the video above.
In total, whale-watching groups saw about a dozen killer whales, 14 humpbacks, and more than 600 dolphins Sunday.
HUNTING SEASON: Tourists watch stunned as killer whales hunt, eat gray whale calves
Killer whales are in the area hunting and feeding on gray whales as they migrate from Mexico to Alaska for the summer. This year, they’ve been showing up in droves. An estimated 50 orcas were seen socializing on April 25.
“It was like a big killer whale bonanza,” said Nancy Black, marine biologist with Monterey Bay Whale Watch. “It became more of a social event and less about the feeding. Each family group was greeting each other and mixing around.”
SURPRISE: Paddleboarder smacked off his board by possibly hungry, annoyed dolphin
After killer whales feast, the already social animals often become even more playful.
A group of 30 killer whales were spotted feeding on a gray whale carcass Monday, so who knows what kind of fun they’ll be having this week.
Read Alix Martichoux’s latest stories and send her news tips at firstname.lastname@example.org.