Written by Edward Smith
(AP) — Southern California beachgoers have gotten up close and personal with a baby whale.
A gray whale about 15 to 18 feet long cruised into Dana Point Harbor on Tuesday morning. It swam into a shallow children’s area called Baby Beach and circled a pier.
Kayakers were able to get within a few feet of the animal, which at one point swam under paddleboarders.
Capt. Dave Anderson, who runs whale watching tours out of the harbor, says the whale appeared to be a skinny juvenile who was foraging in the mud.
He says it’s probably the same whale that was spotted Monday farther south in a Carlsbad lagoon.
The whale eventually left the harbor. Anderson says it may be moving up the coast and could find its way to Oregon.