Tuesday, October 1: October is here and this is one of the best times to be out on the water. We often have the best sea conditions in the fall and it’s still warm out too. 5 more blue whales today with some VERY close encounters. One whale even swam under the bow of the boat and when it came up to breathe we could all feel and smell the whale breath! HAHA. 65 blue whales last week and already off to a great start this week. Come “sea” the fun!!
Saturday October 5: Dolphin Stampede!
Saturday, October 12: Nine blues today. Each trip saw at least 15 blue whales surrounding the boat. fluking and circling the feeding zone. Common dolphins were out and about too, including a pod of about 700 that swam right through the whale area and stopped to play!
Sunday, October 13: The blues continue! 15 on the morning trip that were surface-feeding on krill!!! We’ve only had a handful of trips this year that have been fortunate enough to witness such cool behavior from the largest animal in the world. The market squid were also feeding on the krill and we managed to grab a few of the tiny plankton to show our guests. The afternoon trip saw about another dozen blues and 1 fin whale, but the feeding frenzy had subsided. Lots of flukes though!
October 14: Todays trip was nothing short of special…again. These Blues have been so very inquisitive and friendly. We saw about 18 total whales today. Including 1 Fin whale. No dolphins today but very nice weather! 2 for 1 Tuesdays tomorrow- come out and ride with Capt Mark, Naturalists Melissa and Jeremy and Sir Trevor aboard Privateer and Come Sea the Fun!
Tuesday, October 15: Today could only be described as blissful. The water was so remarkably calm and the blue whales so plentiful that we shut the Privateer engines down and sat in one place for over an hour and-a-half. The whales approached us several times and we got to experience their breathing up close and personal (both exhaling and inhaling!). The guests truly got feel what it was like to be in the lair of the big blue whales.
October 17, 2013: A megapod of common dolphins on the move, three blue whales, 200+ offshore bottlenose dolphins, including “Patches,” and a blue shark……beautiful weather, flat seas, great guests…..absolutely perfect day on the water!
Friday, October 18: Flat calm seas today and nice and warm. Had a few pods of scattered dolphins, but started to worry that the blue whales had moved on, until two of them surprised us! They were moving to the north, so hopefully they find some food and stick around.
Saturday, October 19: What a great day!! The morning trip got to experience the full wonder of two beautiful humpback whales! These are uncommon visitors for us, but they got very close to the boat and one even breached! The afternoon trip got to witness 7 blue whales surface-feeding on krill off of Torrey Pines state beach. One of these giants lunged for food right off the bow of the Privateer. Even the sunset cruisers got to see a handful of inshore bottlenose dolphins.
Sunday, October 20: Common dolphins on both the morning and afternoon trips–otherwise a quiet day on the water for cetaceans. We’ll be heading out tomorrow morning to try and spot the baleen whales once again.
Monday, October 21: EPIC DAY! Two blue whales, two fin whales, two minke whales, and two or three humpback whales—all surface feeding – and the Privateer was right in the middle of the action! One blue whale engulfed about 15,000 gallons of water and krill and dove right under our vessel, allowing all on board to witness just how gargantuan a blue whale looks with its ventral grooves extended….totally amazing. We were also treated to some smaller action on the water: squid feeding on the krill. Definitely one of the best whale watch trips for the Privateer so far! Guests and crew were in awe and hardly knew which way to look.
Tuesday, October 22: The feeding frenzy continues!! Today we saw at least 12 blues, 2 fins, and 2 minkes all surface-feeding on krill only 6 miles out from Mission Bay. The market squid were eagerly feasting too and we were able to catch some krill in our plankton net to show all the guests on board. Naturalist Melissa also tied her waterproof camera to a pole and got some video of the squid and krill! What a wonderful day! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GSeWe7INwUI&feature=youtu.be
October 23, 2013 – Good looks at 10 blue whales and three fin whales surface feeding! Lots more blows in the distance. A mola mola (ocean sunfish) also cruised by the Privateer. Very calm ocean today!
Friday, October 25: Dolphin party today! We saw 3 different species of dolphins throughout the course of the trip: inshore bottlenose (3), short-beaked commons (600+), and a handful of long-beaked commons. Unfortunately we only got a glimpse of a baleen whale (likely a fin), but it was very shy and gave us the slip. Maybe tomorrow they will be settled back in on the krill…
Saturday, October 26: Foggy day! Unfortunately visibility wasn’t the best today, but it didn’t dampen our spirits as we searched for wildlife. The morning trip got to have some dolphins bow-riding and lots of birds and sea lions. The afternoon trip also had dolphins and out of the fog came a humpback whale! It was a bit shy, but we finally got a look at tail flukes on the last dive. Hoping the sunshine returns soon!
Sunday, October 27: A blue whale for each trip today! Both the morning and afternoon adventures got to see a gorgeous blue whale. Different whales for each outing, but we did get some good looks as they were headed southbound. Also had over 1500 common dolphins throughout the day with lots of itty bitty calves and surface-feeding on mackerel!
Monday, October 28: FIRST PACIFIC WHITE-SIDED DOLPHINS OF THE SEASON!! Today’s conditions were far from ideal as we had a bit of rain and a large swell, but our guests were troopers and we took to the seas in search of wildlife. No baleen whales and we were almost back to the bay before we found a pod of dolphins. As soon as we saw the dorsal fins we knew we were in for a treat! Pacific white-sided dolphins (aka Lags) are occasionally seen during the winter. They like to hug the kelp line, are usually seen in pods of 20 or less, and can be a bit boat shy. Today they were just as happy to see the boat as we were to see them! We had about 40 of them and they were bow-riding, breaching, and porpoising with several sea lions. It was such a wonderful surprise!! We also saw the first flocks of surf scoters flying in from the north. Looks like the seasons are changing!
October is coming to a close, so we have our final counts for this month all set. These are all estimated sighting amounts and not exact amounts. We base our numbers on actual sightings and not individuals, as it is occasionally hard to identify individual whales from a distance or if they only surface a few times before we get good looks at identifying marks. As you can see, October was quite the fruitful month for us!! We hope to see you out there for November!
It looks like the change of the seasons may be occurring soon – we spotted one SB gray whale last month (September) and the lags have shown up, so come on out and get ready for the most popular whale watching season in San Diego – the gray whale migration!