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NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. — A group witnessed a rare sighting of a pod of sperm whales off the coast of Orange County on Monday, said crew members aboard a Newport Coastal Adventure tour.

A pod of four to five sperm whales, which appeared to be at least 50 feet long, were seen about 30 miles from the Newport Beach Harbor, according to a spokesperson from Newport Landing Whale Watching.

The chances of spotting these whales is slim because they spend most of their time out at sea feeding in deep ocean waters and may only surface for less than 10 minutes at a time, explained the spokesperson.

Crew members were able to locate the sperm whales using an underwater hydrophone to listen to loud echolocations made by the marine mammals while they hunt.

  • A sperm whale is seen breaching off the coast of Orange County.

“I was on the boat freaking out! It’s taken me 10 years of experience on the water in Newport Beach to finally encounter a sperm whale!” said Jessica Roame, Education Manager for Davey’s Locker and Newport Landing Whale Watching.

Whale and dolphin watching tours depart daily from Newport Beach.