Environment

Orcas put on a rare show off Avila Beach

Rare killer whale sighting off Avila Beach captured on video

Micheal Brink of SLO.TOURS spotted a pod of about five orcas south of the Port San Luis Pier in Avila Beach on Saturday, May 20, 2017. The pod of about five orcas was feeding on bait fish, along with about 30 sea lions.
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Micheal Brink of SLO.TOURS spotted a pod of about five orcas south of the Port San Luis Pier in Avila Beach on Saturday, May 20, 2017. The pod of about five orcas was feeding on bait fish, along with about 30 sea lions.

When you go to Avila Beach, you expect to see otters, sea lions ... and tourists.

But one local boat captain saw something fairly rare: killer whales.

Micheal Brink of SLO.TOURS said he was a mile south of the Port San Luis Pier when he saw a pod of about five orcas feeding on bait fish, along with about 30 sea lions. Four of the orcas, which were medium-sized, surfaced within 3 feet of his vessel. The fifth one, a large adult, kept its distance, Brink said.

Brink said that he has seen orcas on the Central Coast only one other time: In Morro Bay in April 2013.

While sightings in San Luis Obispo County are rare, orcas are seen in Monterey more often.

Gabby Ferreira: 805-781-7858, @Its_GabbyF

A pod of killer whales was spotted on Thursday, May 8, 2014, off the coast of Morro Bay, where the orcas attacked and killed a juvenile gray whale.

Mike Brink, who owns Morro Bay Boat Charters, was conducting a coastal charter just south of Morro Rock on Thursday morning, Sept. 8, 2016 — filming a dead dolphin he had come across — when “all of a sudden a shark came right up” to the side of th

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