I like reading Gould – yet another author who did a great job popularizing science at a lay level. His “punctuated equilibrium” has been latched onto by some creationists as a concession to the weakness of the fossil record on this. -Which is only partially true. Gould himself expressed frustration at being quoted by creationists in this way because they were only telling part of the story. Yes, fossils are hard to come by that showcase transitions in between species, but this in no way refutes the abundance of transitional fossils found between larger groups (and this is when Gould was still alive). In short, whenever a new transition fossil is claimed, anti-evolutionists will instead insist that it represents a new species --now with two smaller gaps to fill rather than the larger prior one. And in this way they can neatly avoid ever having to concede that any gaps are gone - because, indeed, they keep multiplying them (and the extant “species”).
But don’t take my word for it. There is much good reading on this (and from Christian authors – I shouldn’t have pushed Dawkins at you so hastily without knowing your situation). Here is a recent article by a Christian who is an expert in whale evolution. And if you follow the link he gives near the top, you can see another Biologos article giving details about known specifics of whale evolution that involve multiple transitional forms. Both articles are worth reading and helpful toward clearing away misconceptions.
It is true that the fossil record can only give us “snapshots” (albeit many of them now!). But it is not true that any evolutionist has ever thought or proposed that evolution works like this. There are saltational changes, yes. But the “hopeful monster” hypothesis (or the huge sudden leaps) are a caricature of how evolution is alleged to have worked according to some creationists, but they are attacking a non-existent “mechanism”, since no evolutionary scientists proposes that evolution works this way.