Sunday, March 30: Mother nature showed us her fury today as we made our way out of the jetties for both of our three hour whale watching tours. We experienced quite a large swell on both morning and afternoon trips…BUT… We saw lots and lots of dolphins! All in all, we saw about 500 common dolphins and a surprise group of offshore bottlenose dolphins.
Saturday, March 29: This morning’s trip had the fun opportunity to watch approximately 800 common dolphins leaping and splashing while feeding on bait fish. They also got a few looks at a minke whale as well as one northbound gray whale. In the afternoon, we started things off with four juvenile northbound gray whales and a quick look at another minke whale as it surfaced right in front of the boat!
Friday March 28: Dolphins, dolphins, dolphins! On this morning’s trip we got to see a few inshore bottlenose dolphins, approximately 700 common dolphins, and then a special treat – 50 or so feeding offshore bottlenose dolphins! In the afternoon it was a few more inshore bottlenose dolphins, more than 600 common dolphins, and a fin whale!
Wednesday, March 26: Guests went out on bumpy seas with windy conditions, and for their patience and perseverance, saw a couple common dolphins, a few bottlenose dolphins, and a gray whale. Seas should be calming and viewing opportunities are expected to improve in the very near future!
Tuesday, March 25: On this gray day, no shortage of gray whales! Five northbound gray whales in the morning, and nine in the afternoon, including a cow/calf pair and a breach! Good looks at 250+ common dolphins in the morning, and about 20 Pacific White-Sided dolphins in the afternoon. The Eclipse (photo) and Privateer guests had a great day on a very calm Pacific Ocean!
Sunday, March 23: Guests on both trips today got to see whales and dolphins galore! This morning’s trip saw four northbound gray whales and close to 1,500 common dolphins. In the afternoon we saw three northbound gray whales, including one that breached several times and another that did the backstroke through a group of common dolphins – about 700 total. While the whales didn’t disappoint, the dolphins stole the show today. Who knew dolphins could fly so well!?
Saturday, March 22: The Privateer and Eclipse were both out on morning and afternoon cruises. Eleven gray whales were seen in the morning, including a cow/calf pair, 250 common dolphins, and a couple coastal bottlenose dolphins. Conditions were windy in the afternoon; a breaching minke whale was seen in distance, but it turned out to be a very elusive whale; lots of common dolphins were seen–three pods–a total of 500 or so, plus a rare sighting of an elephant seal.
Friday, March 21: World, meet “NASCAR Nemo”. NASCAR Nemo earned that name from another boat in the area by spending HOURS doing laps around (and under) everyone that came near him, including our very own Privateer. Guests on both the morning and afternoon trip were able to share this truly life-changing experience as this whale chose to approach our boat time and time again. Some gray whales are classified as “friendlies” because they enjoy being in close proximity to humans and boats. While this is commonly observed in the breeding lagoons of Baja Mexico, today we were lucky enough to meet one such whale right here in San Diego. This whale was nicknamed “NASCAR Nemo” because he kept doing laps around all of the boats in the area. Whale-watching guidelines stipulate that we not approach a whale within closer than 100 yards, but with our engines turned completely off, this whale continued to swim directly toward us and under the boat, using the Privateer as a back-scratcher. The result was pure joy for everyone aboard both of our trips today, crew included!
Thursday March 20: Patience is a virtue, and today our very patient whale-watchers were rewarded with a variety of wildlife! In the morning we had to travel far and wide but were able to find 200 common dolphins, eight offshore bottlenose dolphins, four northbound gray whales, and even a fin whale off in the distance. In the afternoon we had similar luck by finding five bottlenose dolphins, 200 more common dolphins, and three northbound gray whales.
Wednesday, March 19: Morning trip: Two breaches in the distance led us to five gray whales and one humpback. Afternoon trip: 250 common dolphins and three gray whales–had to travel over 12 miles to find the animals in the afternoon–our guests appreciated the effort and we certainly appreciate our guests.
Monday, March 17: Both of today’s trips were amazing. This morning we spotted two groups of three gray whales. We had amazing views of a breaching mature gray whale in the first group, then in the second group we had another breaching sub adult! 2 breaching whales in one tour…pretty amazing. In the afternoon we saw seven northbound gray whales and close to 200 common dolphins at the very end of the trip to top things off. A fabulous day on the water!
Sunday, March 16: Another fabulous day out at sea with Captain Steve. This morning we had marine mammals from the time we left the dock,untill we came back into the jetties. We started the day off with about eight inshore bottlenose dolphin. Capt. Steve then spotted three gray whales off in the distance. We went over and had some really nice looks at these northbound travelers. We finished off the morning trip with about 200 common dolphin that were bow riding and swimming all around the boat! The afternoon trip was all whales! We had 10 gray whales traveling northbound. We found a group of 4 at first, then went to check out some spouts in the distance…it turned out to be a group of 6! What an amazing day. Thanks Captain Steve!
Saturday, March 15: Love was in the air today! Both of our trips today had the special opportunity to witness gray whale mating behavior. The morning trip saw 200 common dolphins and two northbound mating gray whales. In the afternoon we saw 200 more common dolphins and six northbound grays – two of which displayed not just mating but some PHENOMENAL breaches as well – a rare treat when watching gray whales!
Friday, March 14: Well, we didn’t find those false killer whales today, but we made up for it with a baleen whale hat trick – three different species! This morning’s trip got looks at both a minke whale and a northbound juvenile gray whale. The afternoon trip had three more northbound gray whales and a fin whale, the second largest species on earth! We also had fun with a group of about 100 common dolphins as they fed on a school of fish. We’ll keep our fingers crossed for those false killer whales, but in the meantime there’s no shortage of marine life out there!
Thursday March 13: Sometimes you just happen to be in the right place at the right time and guests on this morning’s trip definitely were! This morning in addition to nearly 150 common dolphins and 3 juvenile northbound gray whales, we got to spend an extended period of time watching gray whale mating IN PROGRESS as we watched three more adults roll and splash around. While that’s tough tobeat, the afternoon trip had gorgeous weather, more than a dozen Pacific white-sided dolphins, and two northbound gray whales that gave several great looks at their tail flukes. We took a TON of pictures today so stay tuned for an update later this evening. Thank you so much to everyone who joined us today! “Where do baby gray whales come from?” Guests on our morning trip got an in-depth tutorial on the subject! We were fortunate enough to witness three adult gray whales engaging in mating behavior. Here are some of our most highly-anticipated photos from the trip including one that’s not safe for work (if you’re a whale that is)!
Wednesday, March 12: Our deckhand/naturalist Erin brought terrific karma to us on both cruises today–she plucked destructive mylar balloons out of the water and we were rewarded. In the morning we saw three gray whales–and one breached! Also a few common and bottlenose dolphins. After another balloon was plucked out of the water on the afternoon trip we watched a juvenile and an adult gray traveling together in breezy conditions everyone also enjoyed a couple hundred common dolphins.
Tuesday, March 11: Terrific conditions on the ocean continue. Morning guests observed six Eastern Pacific Gray Whales, as well as a pod of 400+ common dolphins. The baleen whales seemed to be taking a break in the afternoon, but we saw 12 coastal bottlenose dolphins–very unusual to have that many in the Mission Bay Channel at one time–and another 300 energized common dolphins further off shore. Can’t wait to see what’s out there tomorrow…why don’t you join us?!
Monday, March 10: Everyone is flocking to San Diego for Spring Break, including the whales and dolphins! This morning we saw 15 Pacific white-sided dolphins, 400 high-flying common dolphins, and a fin whale that awed us with its LOUD breaths beside the boat. In the afternoon we met up with more than 1,400 more common dolphins, four northbound gray whales, and another fin whale in the distance. Dolphins spend most of their time in the water but based on these photos, you’d never know it!
Sunday, March 9: Sunshine! And lots of it today. This mornings trip was pretty amazing as we had close encounters of the dolphin kind. Started off with about 800 commons, then got some great, up close looks at 2 northbound gray whales as they came swimming by the boat, then topped it off with some inshore bottlenose at the mouth of the jetties. Our afternoon trip saw 2 southbound gray whales about 5 minutes out of the jetties, followed by 3 more southbounders a little further south. Great day on the water…
Saturday March 8: Where do we begin? Today was a gorgeous, sunny day filled with surprises! In the morning, our guests enjoyed viewing a large northbound gray whale that must have enjoyed our company because as we turned to head home, he changed course and followed us for a bit! In the afternoon we saw two northbound juvenile gray whales, two southbound adult gray whales, and got a once-in-a-lifetime look at a mother minke whale with her calf!
Thursday, March 6: We had a very fun trip today! Just minutes after starting the trip, we got to play with about 15 Pacific white-sided dolphins as well as some very active California sea lions. Then we headed out to deeper water and found three northbound adult gray whales that seemed quite comfortable with our presence. We capped things off by spending some quality time with a pod of about 30 offshore bottenose dolphins that spent a lot of time surfing near the ship’s bow. Sunshine, whales, and dolphins – hard to top that!
Wednesday, March 5: Many Europeans on board as well as others from across the country saw their first whales today: First, a southbound adult gray whale, followed by a northbound juvenile. Additionally we watched the Coast Guard and life guards respond to a simulated disaster as we departed Mission Bay; interesting to see the great response.
Tuesday, March 4: What an amazing day out on the water. The morning tour saw two different species of dolphin. We had about 400 common dolphin right beside the boat that led us to a group of about 80 bottlenose dolphin. On the afternoon tour we had close encounters with two separate northbound gray whales! All in all, a great day on the water!
Monday, March 3: After a few days off due to the storm, we were back on the water today. It took a little while, but we eventually found our whale! He was a bit camera-shy but surprised us in the end with a close view as he popped his head up to investigate the boat.