MANHATTAN BEACH (CBSLA)  —  A large pod of dolphins off the coast of Manhattan Beach spent a large part of Thursday morning making human friends.

CBS2/KCAL9 reporter Laurie Perez saw a large group while standing off the pier. But nothing compared to swimming along with the frolicking, rollicking mammals.

“What an experience for these body boarders and surfers,” she reported. “seeing dolphins at Manhattan Beach is not uncommon but that many and those willing to literally hang out for almost an hour was completely unexpected. And very cool.”

The video is remarkable. The unexpected play date caught everyone by surprise.

“On both sides, close enough to touch, swimming under the waves with eyes open you could see them right next to us going with us. They’d pass me coming this way and then other times they’d come up from behind and it was kind of like standing in the middle of a stampede,” said swimmer Beau Robinson.

He and his friends are regulars in the waters off the pier. They’ve seen all sorts of sea life, but Robinson said nothing compares to the 45 minutes they had dancing with the dolphins Thursday.

As Robinson and his friends cavorted with the dolphins, students from a nearby surf school joined the party.

“They just kept coming you could hear them snorting and going under the water you could hear them whistling. We just kept saying how crazy it was and then laughing because the kids’ class was still out, the surf class, and they were freaking out so we were having fun listening to them go crazy about it,” Robinson says.

Daniel Genuth works right above where the mammal meet-up happened — at the Roundhouse Aquarium. He had his own dolphin encounter Thursday morning. He took a video of 600 (give or take one or two) dolphins off Long Beach.

Even for an seasoned expert, he says brushes with nature like these are thrilling.

“When they see a lot of surfers around it piques their interest, sparks their curiosity, also the waves are their playground as well so they love playing in the waves, jumping through them, playing with the surfers, so it’s definitely a fun experience for them as well as the surfers,” says Genuth.

He says if you come face-to-face with a pod, there’s no need to worry, certainly don’t do anything to scare them. Go along with the flow, and you’ll be just fine — with a great story to share.

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