This summer I found a fantastic outing with Captain Dave’s Dolphin and Whale Watching Safari. I love the idea of this trip for several reasons; they have been recognized for their whale rescue efforts and have produced an award winning documentary and a great book on the subject, the tours are small in size and they take daily trips off the coast of Dana Point, California, where there are more blue whales and dolphins than anywhere else on Earth.
As a side note, for you animal lovers there are a couple really great DVD box-sets you will probably enjoy: National Geographic: Wildlife and BBC’s Blue Planet. This is the closest you can possibly get to many animals in the wild and learn all about them.
Important Facts About Blue Whales
Blue Whales are the largest animal ever to live on the planet. At nearly 100 feet in length and weighing over 200 tons, they are larger than any dinosaur (by two to three times!) or any other animal you can think of. Due to boating accidents and aggressive hunting from 1900 to the mid-1960’s, their species was driven to near extinction. Today, studies show that their population numbers have been on the rise and are nearly back to the numbers of the early 1900’s. This is really great news.
I ventured out on Captain Dave’s boat trip this week (they offered me a 2-for-1 discount) and it was fantastic! I heard that just two days prior, the tour had spotted over 1,500 dolphins and a dozen blue whales. What we saw was stunning – FIVE BLUE WHALES, 1 swordfish, 2 Mola Mola Fish and a couple dozen sea lions. We were so close to them! The blue whales elegantly swam by and two of them showed their tails as they dove into the deep waters. I was so stunned that I’m not surprised that dozens of my photos are just of the sky… If you go on this tour, I suggest you situate yourself on the front left of the boat which was where most of the action happened.
Things to Know About Dave’s Dolphin & Whale Safari
- This is the highest rated whale watching excursion on Trip Advisor, Yelp and Google+. See video below!
- The size of the catamaran is such that it will never be crowded and you will have a chance to see the wildlife VERY close up.
- Their high-tech catamaran is equipped with some special amenities: two underwater viewing pods, cameras that are live streaming your trip via their website, and a Hydrophone which allows you to listen to the dolphins underwater.
- Dana Point Harbor is just an hour south of Los Angeles or an hour north of San Diego. The boat trips last 2 1/2 hours and they usually have two trips a day.
- Grey Whales are usually spotted here between December and mid-May, and Blue Whales are seen between May and October/November. Year round you can typically see Fin Whales and Minke Whales.
- Tickets are $59 for Adults and $39 for kids.