Whale sightings draw crowds to Avila Beach

clambert@thetribunenews.comAugust 24, 2012 

Most of Avila Beach Road was clogged with bumper-to-bumper traffic Friday afternoon as visitors traveled to the seaside community with hopes of spotting the now-familiar spout of a humpback whale.

Dozens of people lined up next to the road from Avila Beach to the Port San Luis Harbor, with cameras ranging from a cellphone to a high-end single-lens reflex.

Those situated closer to the Cal Poly Pier were treated to a show by about eight dolphins, which circled and jumped near the coastline.

Farther out, the spout of a whale could be seen from time to time, as pelicans dove for food and sea gulls squawked and flew overhead.

“It’s unreal,” said Brenda Warren, a Tulare resident with a home in Los Osos. She and husband Dan saw a story about the whales earlier in the week and decided to check it out on their way to spend the weekend on the coast. “I think it’s neat because it brings people to town. I’m sure young kids don’t see this every day.”

Nearby, San Luis Obispo resident Jeff Bague brought his nephew, Ryley Williams, who was visiting from Huntington Beach, to see if they could spot a whale. Bague saw a few puffs of air in the distance but shot many photos of the dolphins.

“It’s pretty cool,” said 15-year-old Williams.

Photos of whales near Avila Beach »

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