Tuesday, December 31: Last day of 2013 and we went out with a bang! First trip had close views of two gray whales including one that lifted its head up twice before diving! Second trip saw a group of EIGHT gray whales!! This is the most for the season so far. They were rolling and playing with a pod of 50 common dolphins. Have a happy and safe new year’s celebration tonight!

Monday, December 30: Gray whales were all over the place today! Close views of seven of them in the morning, but at least another half dozen more in the distance. Also saw 10 Risso’s dolphins and five inshore bottlenose. The afternoon trip got another five grays and two beautiful sub-adult fin whales!

Sunday, December 29: A couple hundred common dolphins and a few glimpses of a fin whale today. Must have been a little gap in the gray whale migration.

Saturday, December 28: The day of the gray! Lots of whales passing through San Diego right now. 4 on the morning trip with 2 spouts in the distance and 6 in the afternoon with 5 more in the distance.

Friday, December 27: What a gorgeous day out on Lake Pacific!  We saw three gray whales with a pair that fluked on every breath, and some blow from off in the distance.  We also got the chance to see a fin whale circling the boat, and even a minke swim right underneath us! We then got the chance to watch the minke breach off in the distance!!  We finished off our beautiful day with a nursery pod of about 50 common dolphins.  What a perfect way to end Christmas week!

 

Gray Whale – December 25

Thursday, December 26: It’s the day after Christmas, but the gifts continue! Three more grays today including a pair that fluked on almost every breath. About 100 common dolphins and even one juvenile fin whale! Now where’s that partridge in a pear tree?

Wednesday, December 25, Christmas Day 2013: Ten gray whales on morning cruise + over 100 common dolphins and four rafts of sea lions; five gray whales seen on afternoon cruise with more common dolphins. Santa was good to all the whale watchers on the Privateer–not only lots of whales, tail flukes and 70 plus degree weather, but a perfectly calm sea.

Monday, December 23: It hardly feels like winter here in beautiful San Diego, but the winter wildlife reminds us what season we’re in. Two more southbound gray whales (one adult and one juvenile) plus one of the fin whales we saw two days ago. Great looks at all three as well as about 150 common dolphins.

Sunday, December 22: Two gray whales (southbound singles) today. Good looks I’m both. Plus about 250 commons and 8 pacific white-sided dolphins!

Gray Whale – December 17

Saturday, December 21: Started trip early with a single southbound gray whale. Several great looks and then moved on to a wonderful pod of common dolphins about 200 strong. Not long after we found a sub-adult fin whale that circled the boat! Yet another fin (juvenile) spotted just as we started heading in. and one more gray!

Friday, December 20:  We saw three gray whales today — all showing flukes on dives, plus, and this is a big plus, we got to see a humpback whale and a fin whale (the fin was not as cooperative)! A little bumpy, but definitely calming down through the morning–another beautiful day on the water!

Tuesday, December 17: Just keeps getting better and better out here on “Lake” Pacific. 300 common dolphins and FIVE more gray whales including a pair and a single that merged and swam together. Great views of all the whales and even the smell of whale breath wafted over us a few times!

Monday, December 16: This has already been a record setting gray whale season. Usually we have a slow start with a whale or two every couple of days, but we are already seeing multiple whales with every trip! Today we saw 3 singles and a pair for a total of 5 whales. Plus we saw a pod of 300 common dolphins with lots of newborn calves!

Risso’s Dolphins – December 13

Sunday, December 15: Another exceptionally calm day on the ocean and full of wildlife. Started off with a gray whale only minutes after leaving the bay. Spent a lot of time with that whale and it even blew bubbles and lifted its head out of the water briefly to look at us! Found two more single grays after that and got more gray views. Finished the day with a large pod of about 400 common dolphins!

Saturday, December 14: Four more gray whales today! Two singles that were a little shy and then a pair that gave us great views. One random common dolphins and one Pacific white-sided dolphin as well as lots of sea lions. Loving the beautiful weather!

Friday, December 13: who says Friday the 13th is bad luck? Not for us!! We had a spectacular day on the flat calm Pacific. Started off with hundreds of common dolphins for miles and miles. Moments after leaving them we found a pod of 25 Risso’s dolphins! This is the first we’ve seen this species since the beginning of August! Kept our search up for the baleen whales and it paid off with a group of FIVE GRAY WHALES off of La Jolla!! All of the whales fluked multiple times and were rolling around with a piece of kelp. Absolutely incredible views. This is what winter is all about!

Thursday, December 12: Not a good day to be a bait fish! A couple hundred common dolphins were cooperatively hunting and chowing down….the fish didn’t stand a chance! In addition to common dolphins we saw about 12 Pacific white-sided dolphins, and a few coastal bottlenose dolphins as we returned to Mission Bay. Unfortunately no baleen whales this morning, but reports are that more gray whales are headed our way. Absolutely beautiful day on water.

Gray Whale – December 9

Wednesday, December 11 – We saw GRAY WHALES! So excited to announce that in the beautiful, calm, peaceful waters we were lucky once again to spot a Gray Whale. Also spotted was 25 Common and 4 Bottle Nose Dolphins. Gray Whale season is in full force and here to stay!

Tuesday, December 10: Gorgeous flat-calm seas today and lots of sunshine. We chose our course along the 20fathom curve in search of gray whales. Saw a handful of Pacific white-sided dolphins and quite a few thermoregulating sea lions, but no grays. Headed out to deeper water and found a young fin whale! It was a bit shy, but we did get a few good views.

Monday, December 9: FIRST GRAY WHALE OF THE SEASON! We finally had our first southbound gray and it was an adult (likely pregnant female). Got great looks and it was steadily headed to Mexico. Also saw a couple of Pacific white-sided dolphins and some acrobatic sea lions!