OCEANSIDE (CBS 8) - A pod of orcas has been spotted again off our coastline, this time in Oceanside. Beachgoers caught sight of the killer whales on Monday, just one day after they were seen in the waters off San Diego.
The pod of killer whales were spotted so close to our coastline, you could see them while standing on the beach.
Sergeant Jeff Brandt with the Oceanside Police Department's Harbor Patrol was sent to check out the call.
"The original report was they chased a dolphin into the surf line and they headed out and started playing. We picked them up a quarter-mile from shore and they were having a good old time and kept going out," Brandt said.
Brandt took still pictures while his partner shot video. He says the whales kept coming up their boat, checking them out.
"They seemed to want to know what was going on with us and here we're looking at them with awe, and they're kind of looking at us the same way," he said.
Experts have taken a closer look at the pictures and say without a doubt, they're Eastern Tropical Pacific killer whales and they rarely travel this far north.
"They actually have little parasite barnacles hanging from their dorsal fin, which is extremely common in killer whales in Mexico and extraordinarily rare in ours. The only ones with that have been to Mexico," Brandt said.
So now that we know where the whales are from, the big question is where are they going? They were spotted off San Diego Sunday, off Oceanside Monday, off Palos Verdes Tuesday and Marina Del Rey Wednesday. Witnesses say they were still heading north toward Malibu. But if you missed them, you may get a second chance to see them.
"I would predict that they are most likely -- since they are from southern waters -- to be turning around soon and heading back down there," Brandt said.
When and how close to shore, no one can say, but Brandt hopes he's lucky enough to be on duty when it happens.
"Love to see them again, yeah, get more pictures, get more video. Just I'm afraid it's a once in a lifetime opportunity though, but I was blessed to have that opportunity," he said.