The second leg of the Gray Whale migration is officially in full swing off the coast of San Diego! We encountered 15 northbound individuals at close range throughout the day. This number does not include the whales we spotted in the distance and were unable to approach with our time constraint (we estimated roughly 6-8 additional Gray Whales!!). In the morning, we observed TWELVE northbound Gray Whales, including one pair (later joined up with another individual to form a trio) that surprised us by surfacing right next to our boat, multiple times. We got some incredible sub-surface looks at them as they slowly elevated toward the surface. Following this great first encounter, we bounced between numerous groups of various sizes until twelve individuals were spotted in total. In addition to Gray Whales, we observed THREE species of toothed whales this morning, including 2-3 Inshore Bottlenose Dolphins, ~10 Pacific White-Sided Dolphins and ~140 Common Dolphins!
On our afternoon trip, we encountered three northbound Gray Whales, including one juvenile and one cow-calf pair! We also spotted a few pods of Common Dolphins and Pacific White-Sided Dolphins throughout the afternoon! The dolphins in each group were fairly surface active and spent long periods of time bow-riding in front of the boat. We’ll be back on the water tomorrow morning to see how many Gray Whales pass through. See you out there, whale watchers!