While Aliso Beach is a shore break that produces conditions that even marine mammals may not want to deal with, there are some visitors to inter-coastal waters that may interest you. The most obvious to a rocky shoreline is the California Sea Lion. It is not uncommon to have some of these little guys slip into the surf zone and make their presence known. Wave riders see them all of the time. They will swim beneath you and pop up at a safe distance to take a look around. Generally, they do not mess with anyone and are really just doing their thing.
Also common in the local waters of Aliso Beach are bottle-nosed dolphins. These smiling mammals are often chasing bait fish into the surf zone. You may even see them ride waves much like people do. Dolphins just want to have fun and they bring an enthusiasm and spirit to the water that makes just about everyone smile. From the kids and parents that point from the beach with smiles on their faces to the wave riders that literally share the water with these wonderful creatures, dolphins are an amazing part of the marine ecosystem close to shore and it is common for them to be there and be a part of the Aliso Beach experience.
Aliso Beach is also visited, in passing, by Grey Whales to and from their mating grounds in Central Baja, Califonia at San Ignacio and Scammons Lagoons. Grey whale tours in Mexico offer one of the most incredible experiences. You could pet a baby grey whale as its mother pushes her to the top to be stroked. Working with Green Peace, the Mexican government does a great job protecting grey whales and the lagoons they come to mate and rear their young in. It is something I will never forget. Aliso Beach is on the way whether they are traveling south to the mating grounds or north to the Arctic feeding grounds. It is not uncommon during these months for people to see breaching and water coming out of the blow hole of a grey whale. When seen the grey whale is a treat for visitors to Aliso Beach.
There are other marine animals that we will highlight in the future so don’t forget to check back!