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2019-2020 Winter Whale Watching Report

DateMorning CruiseAfternoon CruiseNotes
12/14/192 Humpback Whales, 3 Bottlenose Dolphins1 Gray Whale, Common Dolphins, 2 Bottlenose DolphinsMorning Cruise: A beautiful first day of the season on the water with lots of sunshine and some sea swells. As we left the bay, a few whalers and guests spotted 3 Bottlenose Dolphins. The highligh of our morning, was a mother Humpback Whale with her newborn calf. It was such a treat to see such a young Humpback calf in Southern California waters since they are typically only seen much farther south!

Afternoon Cruise: The afternoon cruise was perfect! We had our first Gray Whale surface right beside the Adventure Hornblower and then right behind the boat. The whale even fluked several times! We also had Common Dolphins bowriding for a long time and spotted both Bottlenose Dolphins and California Sea Lions.
12/15/19n/an/aCruises cancelled due to high sea swells
12/16/19Pacific White-sided Dolphins1 Gray Whale, 30+ Pacific White-sided DolphinsMorning Cruise: Although Gray Whales eluded us this morning, we did encounter a pod of Pacific White-sided Dolphins.

Afternoon Cruise: We departed under sunny skies and a little bit of sea swell once we left the bay. Sealife was scarce until we encountered a juvenile Gray Whale that was headed north- unusual for this time of year. We watched the whale for about a half hour as it surfaced and even fluked once. As we were headed back toward San Diego Bay, we came across a bait ball of small fish that were visible "boiling" just below the surface. Shortly after, we encounterd lots of diving seabirds, a couple California Sea Lions, and even a scattered pod of Pacific White-sided Dolphins. Some of the dolphins brefly rode the bow and stern wake of the boat. We finished our cruise with a spectacular sunset with postcard views of the Downtown San Diego skyline!
12/17/191 Gray Whale, 1,000 Common Dolphins, 10 Pacific White-sided Dolphins550+ Common Dolphins, 50+ Pacific White-sided DolphinsMorning Cruise: It was a clear crisp morning as we left the harbor and watched the Navy interactive training one of their Bottlenose Dolphins. Soon after, Captain Rick spotted a spout in the distance. It was an Eastern Pacific Gray Whale heading south towards the lagoons in Baja California, Mexico. We followed the whale and guests aboard were able to watch it surface, blow and dive a number of times. The Gray whale fluke (tail) glistened in the sunlight as the Gray was headed down into the water for another dive. Lots of passengers were able to take great photos as the sea was relatively calm. We were also greeted by a very active and large (approximately 1,000) pod of Long-beaked Common Dolphins. What a delight to see them swimming under the water close to the ship. About 10 Pacific White-sided Dolphins also swam by for a visit. It was an amazing trip-great weather, great sightings and great information given by the Captain Rick, First Mate Kaitylin and the Whale Naturalists from the San Diego Natural History Museum.

Afternoon Cruise: The Hornblower Adventure sailed out of San Diego Bay under slightly cloudy skies southward toward the Los Coronados Islands. Captain Rick changed directions and begin our journey heading north along the 3 mile area along the coast of Point Loma. In the distance we could see Navy air drop training activitiy with helicopters perhaps dropping sonar devices into the water and the US Coast Guard stationed close by. As Captain Rick continued our northbound journey we saw a lot of bird activity in the distance and a lot of splashing which indicated the dolphins were in the area. Captain Rick headed the Hornblower towards the active area and guests aboard were thrilled to see numerous (approximately 550) Long-beaked Common Dolphins hunting for their food. It looked to be herring and sardines that interested the Dolphins and birds. We also saw 2 pods of Pacific White-sided Dolphins (approximately 50) join the Commons in the eating frenzy. Many of the Dolphins decided that they wanted to bow ride the Hornblower which delighted the guests on board. There were a few juveniles that accompanied the pod with their mothers. Captain Rick decided to continue our journey in search of the Gray Whales. Unfortunately, the winds started to pick up and we could see a lot of white caps appearing which indicated that swells were coming towards us and the Gray Whales had eluded us. As we begin our journey back to the San Diego Bay we did sight a lone sea lion who most likely had visited the bait ball area where the dolphins were feeding. Our journey end with an incredible sunset with colorful shades of orange, red, pink that definitely was a photographer's dream picture moment!!!

2019-2020 Winter Whale Watching Report

DateMorning CruiseAfternoon CruiseNotes
12/14/192 Humpback Whales, 3 Bottlenose Dolphins1 Gray Whale, Common Dolphins, 2 Bottlenose DolphinsMorning Cruise: A beautiful first day of the season on the water with lots of sunshine and some sea swells. As we left the bay, a few whalers and guests spotted 3 Bottlenose Dolphins. The highligh of our morning, was a mother Humpback Whale with her newborn calf. It was such a treat to see such a young Humpback calf in Southern California waters since they are typically only seen much farther south!

Afternoon Cruise: The afternoon cruise was perfect! We had our first Gray Whale surface right beside the Adventure Hornblower and then right behind the boat. The whale even fluked several times! We also had Common Dolphins bowriding for a long time and spotted both Bottlenose Dolphins and California Sea Lions.
12/15/19n/an/aCruises cancelled due to high sea swells
12/16/19Pacific White-sided Dolphins1 Gray Whale, 30+ Pacific White-sided DolphinsMorning Cruise: Although Gray Whales eluded us this morning, we did encounter a pod of Pacific White-sided Dolphins.

Afternoon Cruise: We departed under sunny skies and a little bit of sea swell once we left the bay. Sealife was scarce until we encountered a juvenile Gray Whale that was headed north- unusual for this time of year. We watched the whale for about a half hour as it surfaced and even fluked once. As we were headed back toward San Diego Bay, we came across a bait ball of small fish that were visible "boiling" just below the surface. Shortly after, we encounterd lots of diving seabirds, a couple California Sea Lions, and even a scattered pod of Pacific White-sided Dolphins. Some of the dolphins brefly rode the bow and stern wake of the boat. We finished our cruise with a spectacular sunset with postcard views of the Downtown San Diego skyline!
12/17/191 Gray Whale, 1,000 Common Dolphins, 10 Pacific White-sided Dolphins550+ Common Dolphins, 50+ Pacific White-sided DolphinsMorning Cruise: It was a clear crisp morning as we left the harbor and watched the Navy interactive training one of their Bottlenose Dolphins. Soon after, Captain Rick spotted a spout in the distance. It was an Eastern Pacific Gray Whale heading south towards the lagoons in Baja California, Mexico. We followed the whale and guests aboard were able to watch it surface, blow and dive a number of times. The Gray whale fluke (tail) glistened in the sunlight as the Gray was headed down into the water for another dive. Lots of passengers were able to take great photos as the sea was relatively calm. We were also greeted by a very active and large (approximately 1,000) pod of Long-beaked Common Dolphins. What a delight to see them swimming under the water close to the ship. About 10 Pacific White-sided Dolphins also swam by for a visit. It was an amazing trip-great weather, great sightings and great information given by the Captain Rick, First Mate Kaitylin and the Whale Naturalists from the San Diego Natural History Museum.

Afternoon Cruise: The Hornblower Adventure sailed out of San Diego Bay under slightly cloudy skies southward toward the Los Coronados Islands. Captain Rick changed directions and begin our journey heading north along the 3 mile area along the coast of Point Loma. In the distance we could see Navy air drop training activitiy with helicopters perhaps dropping sonar devices into the water and the US Coast Guard stationed close by. As Captain Rick continued our northbound journey we saw a lot of bird activity in the distance and a lot of splashing which indicated the dolphins were in the area. Captain Rick headed the Hornblower towards the active area and guests aboard were thrilled to see numerous (approximately 550) Long-beaked Common Dolphins hunting for their food. It looked to be herring and sardines that interested the Dolphins and birds. We also saw 2 pods of Pacific White-sided Dolphins (approximately 50) join the Commons in the eating frenzy. Many of the Dolphins decided that they wanted to bow ride the Hornblower which delighted the guests on board. There were a few juveniles that accompanied the pod with their mothers. Captain Rick decided to continue our journey in search of the Gray Whales. Unfortunately, the winds started to pick up and we could see a lot of white caps appearing which indicated that swells were coming towards us and the Gray Whales had eluded us. As we begin our journey back to the San Diego Bay we did sight a lone sea lion who most likely had visited the bait ball area where the dolphins were feeding. Our journey end with an incredible sunset with colorful shades of orange, red, pink that definitely was a photographer's dream picture moment!!!
 
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