Over 1 000 dolphins swim with whales off California's coast. (Photo: Facebook/ Monterey Bay)
Dolphin and whale watching is one of South Africans favourite pastimes.
With the warm Indian ocean providing the perfect conditions for dolphins to join surfers and ride waves in SA’s east coast, and the west coast of SA being a global hotspot for whale watching, there’s no surprise when locals spot an abundance of these beautiful ocean creatures.
SEE: Whale Watching: A must-do winter experience
Yet while we expect these animals to grace us with their presence along parts of SA’s coastline, it always leaves us awe-struck at their appearances.
So you can imagine the delight when spectacular drone footage revealed over 1 000 dolphins happily swimming around a humpback whale and her calf.
Drone footage captured at California’s Monterey Bay in mid-May, a popular destination for whale watching, shows a massive pod of dolphins playing as it swims alongside a humpback whale and her calf.
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According to Nancy Black, marine biologist at Monterey Bay Whale Watch, there were about 1 500 dolphins of two different species in total, while the humpback calf is believed to be born off the coast of Mexico about four months ago.
“Pacific white-sided dolphin and northern right whale dolphin snout ride on a humpback whale cow and her calf,” says Monterey Bay Whale Watch on its Facebook page where it shared the remarkable drone footage.
Check it out:
“Snout riding”, according to Monterey Bay Whale Watch, is a play on the term “bow riding” which is when dolphins ride on the waves created by boats and ships – and in this case, the whales – says Travel + Leisure.
According to Regina Asmutis-Silvia, from the North American office of the Whale and Dolphin Conservation, whales swim through the water creating “pressure waves around their heads”, which dolphins enjoy riding. She adds that whales also interact with dolphin pods to have a bit of fun with their fellow ocean inhabitants.