"Bye, whale!" they chimed, egged on by the adults. "Bye, whale!"
Then they scrambled aboard kayaks and explored more of the bay by boat, their guides showing them what they could not see.
If there were ever an event that signals the coming of the Memorial Day weekend, it would be this one, held annually for decades at the Newport Dunes resort. Lunch was served afterward.
Jennifer Vincent, 21, a former student of the school who is legally blind, did virtually the same thing years ago.
"I remember those days," she said, recounting her childhood and early struggles with being able to see. "And if it wasn't the whale, then it was the Easter Egg hunts. Those were actually the good-ol' days."
Now she's a peer and an aide at the school, majoring in child and adolescent development at Cal State Fullerton. She's proof that life goes on and that those who have a hard time seeing forge forward.
Vincent said she sees at 20 feet what the normally-sighted see at 200 feet.
Bottom line: She can't see far. She can only see up close. And she has issues with light, she says. But other than that, all is good, and it was the school that helped her learn how to walk with a cane, encouraging her down the line that a guide dog would be waiting in the wings.
After graduation, Vincent said she'd like to become a social worker and adopt children with disabilities.
"I want to be a foster parent," she said, standing on the shores.
There are roughly 65 children who attend the school for the blind. It's been around for nearly 50 years and has six classrooms.
Pupils generally range in age from 6 months to 6 years.
At the infancy stages, the school makes a point to visit the families inside their homes, said Heather Thompson, who works in community events for the school.
"We have to conduct early intervention," she said. "Nearly 85% of what we learn early in life, we learn visually. We have to teach them how to distinguish certain objects from others and relate to them."
Teaching them Braille, of course, is essential, she said, adding the largest cause of blindness in children is having been born prematurely, otherwise known as retinopathy of prematurity.
"Today is their day," she said. "It's great to see them having so much fun."