Over the weekend, an incredibly rare white orca named “Frosty” was spotted by a boat off the coast of Santa Monica Bay, drawing screams of excitement from whale watchers. Captain Kevin Nguyen of Harbor Breeze, a whale-watching agency, reported that one of their boats was about six to seven miles from the Port of Los Angeles around 9:30 a.m. Sunday when those onboard saw a blow. After slowing down the boat to investigate, they spotted big dorsal fins and knew exactly what they were looking at.
Nguyen’s boat followed the pod of about seven orcas, which included Frosty, a white orca with a rare skin condition. According to Nguyen, the last time they saw Frosty was in 2019 when it was just a newborn. He expressed how happy they were to see them again, adding that “they seem to be doing well.”
After receiving a tip-off from Harbor Breeze, the Newport Coastal Adventure team, which operates daily whale-watching tours, took all its available boats with 20 passengers onboard and rushed to the orcas’ last known location, about 45 miles from Newport Harbor. Captain Delaney Trowbridge reported in a statement that “As the crew scanned for signs of the killer whales, they heard loud screams from the passengers — the whales had popped up only a quarter mile in front of our bow!” The team spotted the pod of orcas, which included Frosty, and spent the next 2½ hours watching as the whales traveled up the coastline.
The pod of orcas has been spotted as far north as British Columbia and was last seen in Morro Bay in October. It’s clear that sightings like these are incredibly rare and special, making them a unique experience for all who are fortunate enough to witness them.