I was born in Sitka Alaska and visited frequently during my childhood, and one of the most majestic things I have ever witnessed is orca whales in the wild. They have been my favorite animal for as long as I can remember (I even have an orca tattoo!) but it's pretty rare to spot this group as far south as Monterey Bay! But that's exactly what happened this week.
And not just any killer whales, but the "L" Pod - a closely watched pod of whales that usually hangs out in the Pacific Northwest, near Seattle. Concern grew after the group of 35 whales had not been spotted in over a month. That is until they turned up in Monterey Bay for the first time since 2011!! Maybe they needed a vacation!
The reason it's rare to see these particular killer whales is because they are "resident killer whales" as opposed to "transient killer whales" which are more typical in California due to their diet of seals and other sea mammals - resident killer whales only eat fish, so they don't travel far from home usually.