Dolphin Super Pod
March 4, 2021
These dolphins did not get the social distancing memo.
A "super pod" or "mega pod" of dolphins was caught on camera on Saturday, with more than 1,000 dolphins, some soaring to the sky and all tightly racing alongside one another just three miles off Laguna Beach's shore.
"It was an amazing pod of dolphins. We have been seeing some really large pods lately, they've been feeding and there's tons of birds," Newport Coastal Adventure owner Ryan Lawler said.
But Saturday's sight of the long-beaked common dolphins, just as the sun was getting ready to set during the late afternoon trip, was the most impressive.
"Because there were so many birds, they were definitely feeding and chasing around anchovies," Lawler said. "Those dolphins were packed so tightly, they were not spread out."
The mega pod is a sight that never gets old, Lawler said.
"You don't see it every day, you don't see a pod that impressive," he said, noting the large pods only happen every few months, most not as impressive as what they saw on Saturday. "That's why I was so excited, what a great opportunity."
Usually dolphins stay in their core family groups of 20 to 50, but occasionally will come together with other pods to form the mega pod. He said it's likely the pod is traveling at about 10 mph up the coast to try and control a school of fish to feed on.
"When there's a ton of food, they all form together for a super pod...it's super impressive," he said.