2018- 2019 Winter Whale Watching Report
|Date||Morning Cruise||Afternoon Cruise||Notes|
|04/21/19||7 Fin Whales, 120+ Common Dolphins||n/a||Morning Cruise: The morning started with choppy seas and stiff wind which settled down mid cruise. After a couple hours we observed seven fin whales at different sightings. At one time there were three whales reasonably close to our boat on both sides and we could see blows in the distance. We were able to observe the long back torso of some of the whales at the surface several times so that the length and size of the whales could be appreciated by those onboard. This combined with 120 or so common dolphins observed during the cruise made for a very nice day to end this whale watching season. The morning started with choppy seas and stiff wind which settled down mid cruise. We observed seven Fin Whales at different sightings. At one time, there were three whales reasonably close to our boat on both sides and we could see blows in the distance. We were able to observe the long backs of some of the whales at the surface several times so that the length and size of the whales could be appreciated by those onboard. This combined with 120 or so Common Dolphins observed during the cruise made for a very nice day to end this whale watching season.|
|04/20/19||2 Fin Whales, 1 Minke Whale, 20+ Common Dolphins||n/a||Morning Cruise: A sunny, breezy day as we departed the dock. Captain Chad took us due West out to 9 Mile Bank. We encountered numerous small pods of Common Dolphins on the way out (about 20 individuals each in 4 pods). We spotted one elusive Fin Whale about 8 miles out; it surfaces a couple of times but would stay under for 10 minutes each time. We moved on to where another boat had spotted another Fin Whale a short distance away. This Fin Whale gave us better views, although still acted quite shy. Then, to everyone’s surprise, a Minke Whale approached our vessel (stopped at this point) and swam within just a few feet of the bow of the boat for several minutes, delighting those on board. Since we were at the end of our time, we had to return to port after a few minutes of watching the Minke Whale.|
|04/19/19||1 Fin Whale, 150+ Common Dolphins||3 Fin Whales, 30+ Common Dolphins||Morning Cruise: We headed out to 9-mile Bank and spotted a Fin Whale along with a herd of about 150 Common Dolphins.|
Afternoon Cruise: We located 3 Fin Whales along with more blows in the distance. We also spotted a small pod of Common Dolphins.
|04/18/19||1 Fin Whale||n/a||Morning Cruise: A great morning with a sighting of a Fin Whale at 9-Mile Bank.|
No afternoon Cruise.
|04/17/19||3 Fin Whales, 5 Bottlenose Dolphins||9 Fin Whales||Morning Cruise: A beautiful sunny day to head out to the 9 Mile Bank. We found 5 coastal Bottlenose Dolphins as we headed out of the bay. Out on the bank, we found 3 Fin Whales. Passengers from the north pole (actually a city in Alaska), Belgium and many Midwestern states were in awe observing the Fin Whales very close to the Adventure Hornblower. What a great cruise!|
Afternoon Cruise: A lovely afternoon on the ocean! We saw 9 Fin Whales! Some were up very close to the boat. People from all over the U.S. and even the world were present to witness the spectacular cruise.
|04/16/19||1 Fin Whale, 500+ Common Dolphins||1 Gray Whale, 4 Fin Whales||Morning Cruise: We started with a light drizzle, but it cleared up into a wonderful, calm day. We saw a large herd of Common Dolphins as we headed west. Once we were out at 9-Mile Bank, we spotted a solitary Fin Whale that was feeding on bait fish or krill.|
Afternoon Cruise: The cloudy, breezy day transformed into a nice, sunny afternoon once we were out of the bay. We spotted a juvenile Gray Whale just outside of the bay. We enjoyed great views of the whale close to the boat. At the 9-Mile Bank, we spotted 4 Fin Whales! We saw lots of tall blows characteristic of the species and enjoyed close views of 2 large adults. A great day with many visitors from the East Coast.
|04/15/19||3 Fin Whales, 50+ Common Dolphins||1 Fin Whale, 50+ Common Dolphins||Morning Cruise: A gorgeous day with 1-2 foot swells. We spotted 3 Fin Whales in the morning. We started with a solo juvenile whale that swam slowly in large circles on the surface. This gave everyone great views of the entire animal and numerous spouts. We left this whale for a pair of spouts a short distance away. This pair of whales were full-size adults. This pair would surface for 5-6 breaths and submerge for 9 minutes. We stayed for 3 surfacing-cycles, getting spectacular views of double spouts. Out of time, we headed back and came across a pod of 50 common dolphin riding the bow wave of the boat. In the bay, a California Sea Lion was engaged with a U.S. Navy training vessel. |
Afternoon Cruise: We went back to the same area for the afternoon trip where we spent our time with a single, adult Fin Whale giving us amazing views from every angle. Heading in, we crossed paths with another pod of 50 Common Dolphins, again all around the boat. The dolphins seemed to make everyone’s day. Another amazing day of whale watching!
|04/14/19||3 Fin Whales||1 Fin Whale, 50+ Common Dolphins||Morning Cruise: A beautiful, calm day out on the water. We saw 3 Fin Whales and interacted with 1 for approximately 45 minutes! To our surprise it came right up to the boat! Great view of the whale's entire body several times.|
Afternoon Cruise: Calm seas again this afternoon. We saw 1 Fin Whale and followed it for about 20 minutes. We also spotted about 50 Common Dolphins that appeared to be hunting.
|04/13/19||1 Fin Whale, 400+ Common Dolphins, 20+ California Sea Lions||3 Fin Whales, 1000+ Common Dolphins, 12 California Sea Lions||Morning Cruise: It was a beautiful day on the water. We made a mad dash to 9-mile Bank and were treated to a Fin Whale sighting. We also encountered a large pod of Common Dolphins that swam and jumped around the Adventure Hornblower.|
Afternoon Cruise: We had visitors from Denmark and the U.K. on board today. We were able to see three Fin Whales who came up right next to our ship. We also had a large pod of Common Dolphins swim and jump around the boat.
|04/12/19||n/a||n/a||Sea swells too large for safety today so we remained in the bay.|
|04/11/19||1 Fin Whale, 2 Gray Whales, 225+ Common Dolphins||3 Fin Whales, 50+ Common Dolphins||Morning Cruise: The Adventure Hornblower headed out of the bay under slightly cloudy skies and 4 to 6 foot swells. We came across a large pod of Common Dolphins that surrounded the boat. Captain Earnesto then took us out to the 9-Mile Bank where we spotted an elusive Fin Whale that maneuvered away from the boat. While in the area, we also came across 2 juvenile Gray Whales that swam in a zig-zag manner. We observed the juveniles behavior, and guests enjoyed the sounds of the whales' spouts. As we headed back in, we came upon a small pod of Common Dolphins.|
Afternoon Cruise: Captain Eric took us out to 9-Mile Bank. We were fortunate to find 3 Fin Whales, involved in courtship behavior. The whales rolled displaying their pectoral fins and swam erratically. Guests on board were amazed to witness this behavior along with watching a small nursery pod of Common Dolphins.
|04/10/19||n/a||n/a||Whale watching Cruises remained in the bay due to high sea swells.|
|04/09/19||50+ Common Dolphins||n/a||Morning Cruise: We spotted a herd of Common Dolphins as we headed out of the bay. The Captain opted to return to the bay because of wind and high sea swells.|
Afternoon Cruise: Remained in the bay due to high sea swells.
|04/08/19||2 Fin Whales, 100+ Common Dolphins, 50+ Bottlenose Dolphins||2 Fin Whales, 300+ Common Dolphins, 25+ Bottlenose Dolphins, 50+ California Sea Lions||Morning Cruise: We left the harbor on a beautiful sunny morning in search of some marine mammals in the wild. After a while, we came across a group of 100+ Common Dolphins who enjoyed surfing the boat’s wake and entertaining the guests with flips, rolls and swimming very near to the boat. All of the guests were excited and happy! We then encountered 2 Fin Whales that gave us some amazing views for about 45 minutes. We even got to see one of the whale’s tail flukes, which is a very rare sight for fin whales! We also spotted about 50 offshore Bottlenose Dolphins who gave us a wonderful show! Many of the guests got some terrific pictures and everyone was very excited! We had guests from throughout the United States, plus Germany, the Netherlands and the U.K. join us on the cruise.|
Afternoon Cruise: After about one hour of traveling out of the harbor and into the open ocean, we encountered a group of about 200 Common Dolphins and 50 sea lions that were feeding and enjoying themselves with flips, rollovers and jumps. The guests took many pictures and were extremely excited with these amazing views. After going out to the 9 mile bank we then came across 2 Fin Whales who gave us tremendous views for about 45 minutes. These 2 whales got so close to the boat that we could not only see, but also hear the whales breathing! On the way back to the bay, we came across a group of about 25 dolphins who entertained the guests with their swimming near and under the boat.
|04/07/19||2 Gray Whales, 1 Fin Whale, 500+ Common Dolphins||2 Fin Whales||Morning Cruise: We spent the early part of the cruise spotting a pod of dolphins. Then, at the 9 Mile Bank we saw the spout of a Fin Whale and all of a sudden we were surprised by a great viewing of 2 adult Gray whales long enough to see them spout 3 times.|
Afternoon Cruise: A warm sunny day, with calm seas, We spotted 2 Fin Whales. They were moving too fast to track and would appear at the 9 o'clock position (relative to the boat), then 10 minutes later we would spot them at 3 o'clock! This is our second day of spotting fin whales.
|04/06/19||2 Fin Whales, 50+ Common Dolphins||1 Blue Whale, 1 Fin Whale, 300+ Common Dolphins||Morning Cruise: During the morning cruise passengers were blessed with sightings of 50 Common Dolphins and 2 Fin Whales - who have the honor of being the 2nd largest of the baleen whales. We came upon the whales toward the end of the cruise, so we weren’t able to stay too long, but long enough for everyone to get good looks and photos. Also sighted was 1 brown booby bird.|
Afternoon Cruise: Shortly after leaving the bay and heading west, we came upon a group of Common Dolphins. After some time with them, we continued west in search of the Fin Whales that were sighted in the morning. As we made our way to the 9 Mile Bank (or farther), we saw 2 Fin Whales. As we were all anxiously waiting for the one Fin Whale to surface, all of sudden we realized that we had spotted a NEW whale! It was indeed a BLUE Whale! It is quite early for the Blue Whales to be off the San Diego coast, so this was a special treat. Hopefully it is a good sign for the upcoming Blue Whale watch season this summer.
|04/05/19||4 Gray Whales, 200+ Common Dolphins, 20+ California Sea Lions||1000+ Common Dolphins, 10 California Sea Lions||Morning Cruise: A cloudy morning transformed into a beautiful sunny day, We encountered about 200 Common Dolphins, and many were playing near the boat. Then we spotted 4 Gray Whales, including a cow-calf pair along with 2 other adults. Visitors from Argentina, the UK, Germany and several U.S. States joined us for the cruise. |
Afternoon Cruise: A beautiful afternoon with dramatic clouds and calm seas. We enjoyed watching several herds of playful Common Dolphins. We spotted a whale spout, but it eluded us.
|04/04/19||400+ Common Dolphins, 25 California Sea Lions||500+ Common Dolphins, 30 California Sea Lions||Morning Cruise: We left the harbor with overcast skies and light rain. We traveled out to 5 miles off the coast and didn't find any whales. We did enjoy a large pod of Common Dolphins, including a nursery pod.|
Afternoon Cruise: We were excited to watch a fantastic pod of Common Dolphins that stayed with the boat, jumping and surfing the bow wave.
|04/03/19||50+ Bottlenose Dolphins, 50+ California Sea Lions||2 Gray Whales, 200+ Bottlenose Dolphins, 25+ California Sea Lions||Morning Cruise: A sunny and calm cruise with 160 guests on board. We didn't spot any baleen whales, but enjoyed watching about 50 offshore Bottlenose Dolphins and raft of sea lions. We also spotted a Brown Booby, a seabird that is rarely spotted off our coast!|
Afternoon Cruise: The Adventure Hornblower headed out on a nice sunny afternoon and encountered several groups of offshore Bottlenose Dolphins - an unusual sighting in the ocean near San Diego. The offshore Bottlenose are larger than the Common and Pacific White-Sided dolphins we usually see. The dolphins were quite acrobatic leaping and swimming near the boat. Just as we were about to head in to the bay, thar she blows! We spotted puffs from 2 Gray Whales swimming near the Mexican Border! A nice trip, especially for all the high school students visiting colleges in the area.
|04/02/19||1 Gray Whale||4 Gray Whale, 500+ Common Dolphins||Morning Cruise: A lovely morning on the water, Captain Earnesto found a northbound Gray Whale for us to watch. |
Afternoon Cruise: We spotted 4 Gray Whales, including one that breached twice, along with a large herd of Common Dolphins.
|04/01/19||3 Gray Whales, 30+ Common Dolphins||200+ Common Dolphins, 10+ California Sea Lions||Morning Cruise: Calm waters led us out to a beautiful day. We headed south out of the bay, then proceeded northward as Captain Rick heard there were a couple of grays about 2 miles off shore (just off the kelp bed area). We came upon a Gray Whale cow/calf pair that were headed north and discovered a juvenile escort who joined the pair as they traveled. Upon entry to the bay we saw a pod of 30 Long-beaked Common Dolphins feeding on small schools of fish.|
Afternoon Cruise: A beautiful afternoon with guests from New Zealand, England, Taiwan and many groups from Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio and Washington. We encountered Common Dolphins several times throughout the afternoon. They were fun to watch as they swam, jumped, and surfed near the Hornblower. A raft of sea lions fed on small fish near the kelp beds. A fun afternoon!
|03/31/19||4 Gray Whales, 50+ Common Dolphins||1500+ Common Dolphins, 50+ Bottlenose Dolphins||Morning Cruise: Captain Chad took us out to about 12 miles and not much to see except some Common Dolphins. As we headed back in to the bay, we spotted 3 Gray Whales that were snorkeling and fluking, and then another whale just outside of the bay.|
Afternoon Cruise: A beautiful day on the blue ocean! The stars of the afternoon were lots of dolphins, both a large herd of Common Dolphins as well as offshore Bottlenose Dolphins. A California Sea Lion was swimming among the dolphins. During the afternoon, we also spotted sea lions lounging on the navigation buoys and sea birds out on the ocean.
|03/30/19||6 Gray Whales, 50+ Common Dolphins||n/a||Morning Cruise: We enjoyed watching 6 northbound Gray Whales along with Common Dolphins.|
|03/29/19||2 Gray Whales, 250+ Common Dolphins, 10 Pacific White-sided Dolphins, 50 California Sea Lions||3 Gray Whales, 300+ Common Dolphins, 30 California Sea Lions||Morning Cruise: Our sightings started with 10 Pacific White-sided Dolphins and about 60 Common Dolphins, who were traveling together! We encountered several pods of dolphins with a total of about 250 dolphins sighted. As we were heading into the bay, the captain spotted 2 juvenile Gray Whales playing with several Common Dolphins for about 10 minutes, which then continued on with their northbound migration. |
Afternoon Cruise: Another great afternoon with sightings of 3 Gray Whales along with more dolphins and sea lions.
|03/28/19||3 Gray Whales, 300+ Common Dolphins||2 Gray Whales, 1 Humpback Whale, 1000+ Common Dolphins, 30+ California Sea Lions||Morning Cruise: A very nice day on the water. On our way out of the bay, we encountered several pods of Common Dolphins. At about 8 miles out west, we spotted 3 Gray Whales together, 2 adults and 1 juvenile, all traveling north. On our way back in, we saw several more groups of dolphins that swam with the Adventure Hornblower. |
Afternoon Cruise: The wind picked up in afternoon,but the ocean remained fairly flat. We first spotted 2 smaller Gray Whales snorkeling off the coast of Pt. Loma. On our way back to the dock, we spotted a Humpback Whale that was accompanied by a raft of Sea Lions and a pod of Common Dolphins hoping for lunch! The humpback fluked twice and swam under the boat. Passengers from Minnesota, Chicago, Toluca Mexico,and Chula Vista joined us on the cruise.
|03/27/19||3 Humpback Whales, 500+ Common Dolphins||3 Humpback Whales||Morning Cruise: We headed out about a mile offshore to find 2 Humpback Whales feeding with dolphins, California Sea Lions and seabirds. Passengers all had great views of the whales feeding and fluking. As we headed back in to the bay, we spotted another Humpback Whale and more dolphins. Many “Spring Break” passengers and families from all over the U.S. and China, Germany and Canada joined us onboard.|
Afternoon Cruise: Shortly after leaving the bay, we started to track a Humpback Whale. We then encountered another Humpback that gave us good viewings of feeding and flukes. The second humpback whale was swimming with California Sea Lions for some time and we could track where the whale would surface next by following the sea lions. Most of the time the humpback whale surfaced either between, or very near, the sea lions. As we headed in we found a third humpback whale that gave us even more great views and flukes.
|03/26/19||6 Humpback Whales, 3 Gray Whales, 1000+ Common Dolphins||2 Humpback Whales, 1000+ Common Dolphins||Morning Cruise: An excellent trip with 6 Humpback Whales displaying several energetic behaviors including pectoral flipper slapping, lob tailing and breaching. We also spotted 3 northbound Gray Whales that were snorkeling and fluked several times. To cap off the morning, we enjoyed watching a large herd of Common Dolphins.|
Afternoon Cruise: An amazing afternoon worthy of National Geographic! We found an active baitball of schooling fish with lots of feeding Common Dolphins, California Sea Lions, and seabirds. Best of all, 2 Humpback Whales, repeatedly lunged through the baitball and even fluked for us.
|03/25/19||1 Gray Whale, 200+ Common Dolphins, 20+ Pacific White-sided Dolphins||1 Gray Whale, 6 Humpback Whales, 2000+ Common Dolphins, 40+ California Sea Lions||Morning Cruise: A Sunny calm day. We initially spotted a juvenile Gray Whale in the bay near the Maritime Museum- this whale has been spotted in the bay for the past few days. The whale swam out from beneath the boat and surfaced alongside for everyone to see. As we were leaving the bay, we spotted a leaping Bottlenose Dolphin in the Navy training center. Out at see, we enjoyed watching mixed groups of Common and Pacific White-sided Dolphins. People from England, Canada, many states joined us on the cruise.|
Afternoon Cruise: The Adventure Hornblower sailed southward out under a sunny sky with a slight breeze. Captain Rick took us over to where the Star of India ship is dock for a quick look at the Juvenile Gray Whale visiting the bay. After a few minutes of observation we cruised out of the bay southward then headed west to an area where a few whale rib boats had sighted 3 Humpback Whales feeding. As we approached we could see and hear the spouts of the Humpbacks as well as, their flukes. We noticed a lot of seabird activity as well as Common Dolphins who were feeding in the area. A couple of tail slaps from the whales surprised guests on board. We enjoyed our time with them, however, we sighted several more huge blows less than a half a mile away so Captain Rick sailed toward that direction. We quickly came upon a huge bait ball with a lot of Common Dolphins feeding along with 2 more Humpbacks feeding. What excited the guest was the amount of activity in the immediate area as the humpbacks and dolphins would speed in one direction, then switch direction to another area. It was like playing a game of "Tag, Your It!" Guests aboard cheered loudly and were enthralled over seeing what was happening before them. A couple of more breaches, tail slapping, fluking and a huge mass of seabirds included pelicans that were dive-bombing the bait balls, terns who screeched for food, and many cormorants all feeding together along with the marine mammals. Before we knew it we had humpbacks on all sides of the boat. A whale soup episode amidst the excited guests. Captain Rick began to head back when we sighted another Humpback and we were able to observed its behavior especially how it moved so quickly through the water to get to the schools of fish. Simply AMAZING!!!! Final count 6 Humpbacks, 1 Gray whale, 2,000 Common Dolphins, 40 sea lions and a large population of seabirds.Guests on board commented how unbelievable this experience was and it was ONE OF THE BEST WHALE WATCHING ADVENTURES OF ALL TIME! Thanks to all the crew on board, 1st mate Shane, Captain Rick and whale naturalist, Pam you guys did an outstanding job of making a whole lot of guests very, very, very happy!
|03/24/19||5 Gray Whales, 100+ Common Dolphins||2 Gray Whales, 100+ Common Dolphins||Morning Cruise: A beautiful sunny day with a bit of a swell. We initially saw a Gray Whale entering San Diego Bay. After we reached 9 to 10 miles out west, we spotted three adult and one juvenile Gray Whale heading north. A great sighting! While heading back to the harbor we were surrounded by approximately 100 Common Dolphins...another great whale watching day...lots of excitement. |
Afternoon Cruise: The afternoon was sunny and clear. The trip began with a dolphin sighting. The passengers were thrilled to see Common Dolphins jumping along each side of the boat. We spent a long time beside two adult Gray Whales. These whales swam very close to the boat. The passengers were amazed by how well you could see the whales' bodies as they were both swimming so close to the surface of the water. What a wonderful experience!
|03/23/19||2 Humpback Whales, 500+ Common Dolphins||4 Gray Whales, 100+ Common Dolphins||Morning Cruise: A beautiful morning with constant sunshine. There were 2 Humpback Whales observed feeding among seabirds, jumping fish, and hundreds of Common Dolphins and Sea Lions. A feeding frenzy was enjoyed by all!|
Afternoon Cruise: It was a beautiful day - bright and sunny. We saw a lot of seabirds feeding, including a Blue-footed Booby. We spotted a California sea lion and then came upon 4 north bound Gray Whales. They showed us lots of tail flukes and came close to the boat. As we were making our way back in we were entertained by around 100 Common Dolphins. Everyone had a very good time.
|03/22/19||3 Humpback Whales, 300+ Common Dolphins, 30+ California Sea Lions||4 Gray Whales||Morning Cruise: A beautiful sunny day. We enjoyed watching 3 Humpback Whales including a juvenile feeding on baitfish and accompanied by Common Dolphins, sea lions and marine birds.|
Afternoon Cruise: A lovely afternoon on the water! Shortly after leaving the bay and heading north, we encountered a lone gray whale, barely showing himself out of the water. Other boats had sighted 3 gray whales near Pacific Beach, so Captain Mike headed off in that direction. Found them! We followed the trio for almost an hour as they snorkeled near the surface, their light colored bodies glimmering in the sun. Sometimes you could hear their blows, they were so near. The best was one whale’s breach as the Adventure Hornblower turned to head back to the bay!
|03/21/19||3 Gray Whales, 3 Humpback Whales, 300+ Common Dolphins, 20+ Bottlenose Dolphins||n/a||Morning Cruise: A few elusive Gray Whales started our day. Then we came upon scores of playful Common Dolphins. The sixth grade class onboard screamed in delight several times as we enjoyed their antics. Some people got to see some larger, offshore, Bottlenose Dolphins bow riding too. Captain Mike next navigated us over to a feeding frenzy with three Humpback Whales, hundreds of seabirds and a few California Sea Lions feeding on a bait ball. Just as the Adventure Hornblower turned back to the harbor, one of the Humpbacks breached or lunged. An awesome day! |
Afternoon Cruise cancelled due to weather.
|03/20/19||1 Gray Whale, 300+ Common Dolphins||2 Gray Whales, 1 Humpback Whale, 300+ Common Dolphins, 20+ California Sea Lions||Morning Cruise: A beautiful morning with smooth seas. We briefly spotted a Gray Whale, but the highlight of the morning was a large herd of Common Dolphins off our bow. Folks from Vancouver, Turkey, Germany and many US Stated joined us on the cruise.|
Afternoon Cruise: We began with winds and a brief rain squall that cleared to a sunny afternoon. We spotted 2 Adult Gray Whales, which we followed for over an hour and also encountered lots of Common Dolphins. On our way back in, we briefly spotted a Humpback Whale.
|03/19/19||5 Humpback Whales, 200+ Common Dolphins||4 Gray Whales||Morning Cruise: The morning trip had 5 Humpback Whales, one of which was very close to the boat giving us amazing tail slaps, spouts and flukes. One time this whale came up right next to the boat giving everyone spectacular views. The other 4 whales were a little further away and zigzagging around the boat. These whales gave us shorter glimpses. The entire area had small pods of Common Dolphins which we saw all morning long. |
Afternoon Cruise: The afternoon trip had 4 Gray Whales, all northbound. The first was a solo which we encountered at the north end of Pt. Loma swimming along the kelp line. This whale was swimming slowly beneath the surface only coming up once in a while. We left this whale for a trio of northbound Gray Whales also along the kelp line. These whales were amazing. They spent almost the entire time swimming along the surface spouting and giving us great tail flukes. We followed them for the rest of the trip ending with a triple tail fluke goodbye. Another amazing day of whale watching!
|03/18/19||5 Gray Whales, 1 Humpback Whale, 100+ Common Dolphins, 20+ Pacific White-sided Dolphins||1 Gray Whale, 4 Humpback Whales, 200+ Common Dolphins, 30+ Pacific White-sided Dolphins, 4 Bottlenose Dolphins||Morning Cruise: A gorgeous morning for whale watching. We first spotted a pod of 5 Gray Whales traveling north. The whales were snorkeling and fluking. We then spotted a Humpback Whale that also showed us its flukes. Along with the big whales, we also enjoyed watching both Common and Pacific White-sided Dolphins, along with California Sea Lions and hundreds of sea birds.|
Afternoon Cruise: We headed out in foggy and cool but also calm conditions. We found two Humpbacks pretty quickly that we followed for a bit, then spotted 2 more for most of the afternoon. The Humpbacks fluked often. Once again we also encountered Common and Pacific White-sided Dolphins, sea lions and sea birds.
|03/17/19||2 Gray Whales, 3 Humpback Whales, 1 Minke Whale, 1000+ Common Dolphins, 50 Pacific White-sided Dolphins, 50+ California Sea Lions||2 Gray Whales, 3 Humpback Whales, 10+ Pacific White-sided Dolphins, California Sea Lions||Morning Cruise: The sea was full of life today! As we were en route to 9-Mile Bank, we spotted a small Minke Whale (our first of the season) along with some scattered seabirds and California sea lions. At one point we could see a large school of bait fish (probably anchovies) sparkling beneath the sea's surface. We then encountered a large herd of Common Dolphins and several came over to ride the bow wake of the Adventure Hornblower. Soon after, we noticed the splash of a Gray Whale that breached twice then was traveling north with a second adult Gray Whale. Captain Chad then took us over to and area by the Mexican border where we spent the rest of the morning with a spectacular show of three Humpback Whales, at 100+ Pacific White-sided Dolphins, a big pack of sea lions and thousands of diving sea birds feeding on and following a bait ball of fish. The whales and their entourage of sea life passed close by the boat several times as they fed. Along with the marine mammals, bird life was diverse and abundant with sightings of Double-crested and Brandt's Cormorants, Surf Scoters, Brown Pelicans, Western Gulls, Bonaparte's Gulls, thousands of Black-Vented Shearwaters and even a Pomarine Jaegar. Wow, what a spectacular morning!|
Afternoon Cruise: We continued to be lucky enough to see and abundance of wildlife this afternoon. Warm sunny day, calm seas. We saw a total of 3 humpback whales and we watched them for about 30 minutes. WE also saw hundreds of sea lions around the humpbacks. Toward the end of the cruise we saw a pair of north bound gray whales. Lots of blows and flukes.
|03/16/19||4 Humpback Whales, 300 Common Dolphins, 10 Pacific White-sided Dolphins, 10+ Bottlenose Dolphins, 10+ California Sea Lions||2 Gray Whales, 6 Humpback Whales, 500+ Common Dolphins, 20+ Pacific White-sided Dolphins, 30+ California Sea Lions||Morning Cruise: A calm and beautiful morning. We saw 4 Humpback Whales feeding along with about 300 Common Dolphins as well as a pack of California Sea Lions. Several tail flukes of the humpback were seen - confirming the identification. Later, Bottlenose Dolphins were spotted, including the famous Patches! Throughout the morning we also spotted migrating Painted Lady Butterflies several miles out on the open ocean.|
Afternoon Cruise: We first spotted Two northbound gray whales about a mile and a half out. We then re-sighted 6 feeding Humpback Whales seen in the same area as the morning cruise along with a large pod of Common Dolphins, with some mixed in Pacific White-sided Dolphins, and hundreds of seabirds on the surface of the water (we believe were auklets and shearwaters, brown pelicans and of course gulls), along with a large pack of sea lions feeding as well. Guests, mostly from the US, but a few from Canada, Europe and Asia joined us onboard today.
|03/15/19||2 Gray Whales, 2 Humpback Whales, 300+ Common Dolphins||9 Humpback Whales, 1000+ Common Dolphins, 50+ California Sea Lions||Morning Cruise: A gorgeous, sunny and calm day. We spotted 2 Humpback Whales and 2 Gray Whales traveling north. |
Afternoon Cruise: A great afternoon! We cruised out 5 miles and found the first group of Common Dolphins, sea birds and sea lions. We then went on to find more whales. We followed Humpback whales, many birds and both Pacific White-sided and Common Dolphins. Passengers on board from China, Russia, Canada and many US states were in awe seeing a total of 9 Humpback whales on this cruise. On calm seas with sunny skies viewing was great as whales and dolphins surrounded the boat.
|03/14/19||1 Gray Whale, 3 Humpback Whales, 1000+ Common Dolphins||1 Gray Whale, 14 Humpback Whales, 3000+ Common Dolphins, 25 Pacific White-sided Dolphins||Morning Cruise: We had beautiful spotting conditions with smooth seas and little wind. We spotted a Gray Whale soon out of the harbor just has a large cruise ship was coming in, so we had to move away. We then re-engaged the same gray and followed it westward until it turned southward. We then spotted 3 Humpback Whales to the west along with numerous Common Dolphins.|
Afternoon Cruise: The Hornblower departed the dock and headed out to the open ocean. Upon leaving the bay we encountered a northbound Gray whale, however, Captain Mike decided to steer the Hornblower southward as word of active Humpback Whales were a couple of miles ahead of us. We came upon 3 Humpbacks that were feeding on large bait balls of small schooling fish along with about 3000+ Common Dolphins, 25 Pacific White-sided Dolphins and a lot of sea lions and sea birds. 2 more Humpbacks joined the group and also enjoyed the food source. A couple of full Humpback whale breaches, plus lunge feeding behaviors and tail slapping were observed by all on board. We saw many spouts all around which indicated that there were more Humpbacks in the waters that surrounded us. We quickly noticed that there were more pods of Humpbacks in the area, so we headed west and encountered several more pairs of Humpbacks(6) that we continued to observe. We noticed in the a lot of spouts and tail slaps about 1/2 mile away that decided to investigate what was happening in that area. As we came closer to the area there were 3 large Humpbacks that were feeding off a large bait ball and in particular we observed the following behaviors, tail lobbing, tail slapping (100+ times), head slapping (20 times), and possible mating behavior occurring. Whalers on board call this day "Whale Soup!"as the whales were everyone!! The guests aboard were in awe of what they witnessed! What an awesome and thrilling day enjoyed by all!
|03/13/19||n/a||n/a||Cruises cancelled due to high winds.|
|03/12/19||15 Humpback Whales, 5 Gray Whales, 500+ Common Dolphins||15 Humpback Whales, 5 Gray Whales, 500+ Common Dolphins||Morning Cruise: Epic, spectacular and amazing do not describe today’s experience!|
We saw at least 15 humpback whales of all sizes and 10 gray whales, all sizes. 3 different types of dolphin numbering over 1000, rafts of 20-30 sea lions and all the sea birds you can imagine feasting on bait fish 3 miles west of Pt. Loma.
Afternoon Cruise: We went out to the same location and again spotted Humpback Whales and Gray Whales. We had whales breach, spy hop, fluke, spout, tail splash, waving side fins, swimming under the boat and rubbing themselves on the boat all while being surrounded by dolphins and sea lions. The guests left the boat speechless.
|03/11/19||5 Humpback Whales, 300+ Common Dolphins||4 Humpback Whales, 150+ Common Dolphins. 25+ Pacific White-sided Dolphins||Morning Cruise: We had gray skies and no Gray Whales. We did enjoy sightings of 5 Humpback Whales that gave a good show with lots of fluking. A huge pod of about 900 Common Dolphins also surrounded the vessel. |
Afternoon Cruise: The Hornblower left the dock and headed out to the open ocean on a cold and rainy day in search of the northbound migratory Gray Whales. Captain Rick headed west to the 9 mile bank.Along the way we encountered 25 Pacific White sided dolphins, 150 Common dolphins, a lot of bird activity and lots of spouts in the distance. When we reached the 8 mile area we came upon 2 Humpbacks that were feeding on schooling fish. We observed many unique behaviors from the Humpbacks such as peduncle/tail throws (I stopped counting after 15), fluking, head slaps (about 10 times), round-out/peduncle arch(about 30-40 times), tailslaping/lobtailing (25 plus times), huge spouts, plus it sounded like squeals coming from the Humps when they came to the surface. And of course breaching (I stopped counting after 20 plus times). Lastly, lunge feeding which was absolutely fascinating to watch. As our time began to run out we encountered 2 more Humpbacks in the area along with several more spout sightings nearby. Today's guests, crew members and whalers on board were totally thrilled and awed by this incredible experience. Wow!!! What an "adventure" on the Hornblower Adventure!!!!
|03/10/19||4 Gray Whales, 2 Humpback Whales, 300+ Common Dolphins||5 Gray Whales, 3 Humpback Whales, 200+ Common Dolphins||Morning Cruise: Extended time with 4 Gray Whales (adults) who fluked many times. They surfaced close to the boat and we were able to see them under the water. We also saw several pods of common dolphins... some of which were interacting with 2 Humpback Whales. The humpbacks swam under the boat and then popped up so close that the Captain and passengers jumped and squealed with delight. |
Afternoon Cruise: Beautiful, calm and sunny afternoon. We saw a pod of 3 large Humpback Whales that came pretty close to the boat and showed their tail flukes. Later we saw a pod of 3 Gray Whales and then a different pod of 2 Gray Whales. Some passengers even saw a breech! We also saw about 200 Common Dolphins and a couple tuna jumping out of the water.
|03/09/19||3 Humpback Whales, 200+ Common Dolphins||6 Gray Whales, 10 Common Dolphins||Morning Cruise: We had a beautiful day for whale watching that was lightly overcast, but sunny. We had passengers from Canada, Japan, London, and all over the U.S. At least one passenger was celebrating a birthday and many were 1st time whale watchers. We went out about 10 miles and saw about 200 Common Dolphins feeding along with numerous birds and 3 Humpback whales. The whales showed their flukes a few times and the dolphins were jumping. It was an exciting trip for us all.|
Afternoon Cruise: It was very bright and sunny for the afternoon cruise. We went out about 10 miles again and came across 4 northbound adult Gray Whales. We also saw 2 juvenile Gray Whales later in the trip - also northbound. There was another large group of birds feeding along with about 20-30 Common Dolphins. Additionally, we were surrounded by various blows from whales too far away to identify but presumed to be northbound Grays. Another exciting trip for everyone.
|03/08/19||8 Gray Whales, 60+ Common Dolphins||3 Gray Whales, 10 Common Dolphins||Morning Cruise: Beautiful, partly cloudy day on the ocean. Fourteen miles out saw 8 gray whales in a pod. On the way back to the bay we saw a pod of 60 Common Dolphins. Visitors from Netherlands, London, France, Mexico, as well as, the states: Colorado, Minnesota, Ohio, and South Dakota joined us this morning|
Afternoon Cruise: With a continuation of partly cloudy skies, breezy conditions with moderate waves, the Adventure Hornblower ventured out to the 9 mile bank area in search of whales. We first encountered a small pod of 10 Common Dolphins, which were feeding on schooling fish. Many of the guests aboard were delighted to see that behavior up close, and also the dolphins enjoying riding the bow of the ship. Guests also enjoyed seeing the Los Coronado Islands line up to appear as one big island from the 9 mile bank area. Captain Eric decided to head southward along the 9 mile bank to locate whales. We encountered and observe 2 small juvenile Gray Whales heading north when a large adult Gray Whale joined the duo. Our time out on the ocean was enjoyed by all.
|03/07/19||1 Gray Whale, 10 Humpback Whales, 20,000+ Common Dolphins||20 Humpback Whales, 2000+ Common Dolphins||Morning Cruise: The Humpbacks are here! We spotted our first Humpback Whale in the distance and soon were surrounded by Humpbacks, a Gray Whale and thousands of Common Dolphins as far as you could see. We even watched spectacular Humpback breaches eight times! What a terrific day!|
Afternoon Cruise: We continued our Humpback filled day watching Humpback Whales fluking and breaching. Once again, the whales were accompanied by a huge megapod of Common Dolphins. This was one of our best days on the water!
|03/06/19||3 Gray Whales||2 Gray Whales, 200 Common Dolphins||Morning Cruise: We searched for Gray Whales under gray skies. Passengers from London, Italy, Belgium, Germany, Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota and New York enjoyed seeing 3 northbound Gray Whales out at 9 Mile Bank. A fun morning on the water!|
Afternoon Cruise: We headed for the 9 mile bank where we spotted 2 elusive Gray Whales traveling north. It was a gray, drizzly afternoon. Guests from Trinidad, London, Minnesota, Missouri, and Texas joined us on the cruise. On the way back, we encountered a pod of about 200 Common Dolphins.
|03/05/19||10 Gray Whales, 5 Bottlenose Dolphins||1 Gray Whale, 1 Fin Whale||Morning Cruise: Guests joined us from England, Canada and Mexico as well as from across the U.S. We spotted at least 10 Gray Whales with Many dramatic flukes in beautiful sea conditions. We also enjoyed a brief encounter with some Offshore Bottlenose Dolphins.|
Afternoon Cruise: Just outside the harbor, we spotted a Gray Whale. We then spotted a Fin Whale briefly during the first half of the trip- our first of the season! Rain squalls kicked up during the second part of the afternoon making spotting whales difficult.
|03/04/19||2 Gray Whales||n/a||Morning Cruise: We departed under overcast skies with moderate winds and 3-5 ft. seas. In spite of the difficult viewing conditions, we did manage to see two Gray Whales. The whales were swimming north in a zig-zag pattern. We were lucky enough to have the whales come up next to the boat two different times. The rest of the views were at a distance. |
Afternoon Cruise: Whale watching cancelled due to increased wind and rough weather.
|03/03/19||3 Gray Whales||1 Gray Whale||Morning Cruise: A great show this morning with sightings of 3 Northbound Gray Whales.|
Afternoon Cruise: We spotted a single Gray Whale traveling south. As it crossed over the Mexican border, we headed north, but didn't spot any more whales.
|03/02/19||4 Gray Whales||3 Bottlenose Dolphins||Morning Cruise: Although the morning was drizzly and hazy, Captain Mike managed to spot 4 Gray Whales, 1 adult and 3 juveniles, all heading north. Along the way, we had a special treat pf brown pelicans drafting on the bow of the Adventure Hornblower. We met guests from England, Belgium, Argentina, North Dakota, Minnesota, Colorado, Ohio and Florida during the cruise.|
Afternoon Cruise: Guests joined us from Colorado, Texas, Minnesota, Florida and Virginia. We found 3 Bottlenose Dolphins while heading out of the bay. Unfortunately we couldn't find any baleen whales. We did see a couple of gorgeous rainbows.
|03/01/19||3 Gray Whales||2 Gray Whales, 300+ Common Dolphins||Morning Cruise: Partly sunny and cool with calm seas. We spotted 3 northbound Gray Whales during the cruise.|
Afternoon Cruise: In addition to 3 Gray Whales traveling north, we enjoyed watching a large herd of Common Dolphins.
|02/28/19||1 Gray Whale, 100+ Common Dolphins, 50 Pacific White-sided Dolphins||2 Gray Whales, 1000+ Common Dolphins||Morning Cruise: The morning had many pods of Pacific White-sided and Common Dolphins scattered all about the ocean. These pods contained 30-50 animals in each. The dolphins put on a great show and everyone really enjoyed seeing them. We also saw a single juvenile Gray Whale in the bay at Ballast Point. This whale has been at this spot for two weeks now and we watched it surfacing and spyhopping.|
Afternoon Cruise: This afternoon we watched a pair of adult Gray Whales as they swam slowly south. The whales gave us amazing up-close views for most of the afternoon. We left the whales for a mega pod of Common Dolphins, which that stretched out for over a mile! We spent the rest of our time viewing over 1000 dolphins as far as the eye could see in any direction! Another amazing day on the water for all of our guests.
|02/27/19||2 Gray Whales||3 Gray Whales||Morning Cruise: Today’s trips saw scattered clouds, calm winds and seas. Our morning started with a Gray Whale at the mouth of San Diego bay swimming north. This whale was hard to follow but did give us good tail flukes. We headed northwest and enjoyed excellent sightings of a southbound Gray Whale. It would come up for 3 showings and then go down for 5 minutes. We saw great spouts and its tail flukes as it swam close to the boat in very clear water. |
Afternoon Cruise: The afternoon trip had 3 whales, a mother/calf pair which were swimming north. We were only able to follow this pair for about 15 minutes with the whales swimming in a zig-zagging manner. We headed back into San Diego Bay where we the juvenile Gray Whale off of Ballast Pt. We got several great views next to the boat before heading back to the dock.
|02/26/19||2 Gray Whales||n/a||Morning Cruise: Calm sunny conditions continued and we were treated to sightings of 2 Gray Whales.|
|02/25/19||3 Gray Whales||2 Gray Whales||Morning Cruise: Another great morning of whale watching with 3 Gray Whales spotted during the cruise.|
Afternoon Cruise: A nice calm afternoon with sightings of 2 Gray Whales.
|02/24/19||3 Gray Whales||2 Gray Whales, 25+ Common Dolphins||Morning Cruise: We first spotted a juvenile Gray Whale heading south a couple miles outside the north of the bay. Later, we saw 2 adult Gray Whales heading north. The north-bound whales even breached twice.|
Afternoon Cruise: We traveled offshore and along the way we encountered 25 Common Dolphins. We then spotted 2 juvenile Gray Whales that were zig-zagging on a northbound path.
|02/23/19||3 Gray Whales, 2 Pacific White-sided Dolphins||3 Gray Whales||Morning Cruise: Beautiful weather today! We again found the juvenile Gray Whale near the Ballast Point Coast Guard station. We then spotted two adult Gray Whales headed south along with a couple of Pacific White Sided Dolphins.|
Afternoon Cruise: It was slightly windy, but still sunny in the afternoon. We had visitors from Spain, Arizona, Colorado, Germany, Texas and Jordan who were treated to the Ballast Point juvenile Gray Whale along with both Pacific White-sided and Common Dolphins and two snorkeling northbound juvenile Gray Whales with loads of barnacles.
|02/22/19||3 Gray Whales, 6 Pacific White-sided Dolphins, 1 Common Dolphin||2 Gray Whales, 1 Pacific White-sided Dolphins, 3 Common Dolphins||Morning Cruise: Sunny day with medium swells approximately 5 feet. We first spotted one juvenile gray whale inside the bay- that has been spotted for past few days off Ballast Point. We also spotted two southbound Gray Whales one adult and one juvenile along with six Pacific White-sided Dolphins and one Long-beaked Common dolphin. |
Afternoon Cruise: The juvenile Gray Whale was still seen near Ballast Point. The day was sunny and fairly calm. We also spotted a second Gray Whale that was elusive, one Pacific White-sided Dolphin and three Common Dolphin.
|02/21/19||n/a||n/a||Cruises cancelled due to heavy rain and high winds.|
|02/20/19||3 Gray Whales||2 Gray Whales||Morning Cruise: The morning began with close looks at the young Gray Whale at Ballast Point in the bay. We later spotted a pair of adult Gray Whales, which we followed for the rest of the cruise. We enjoyed great views of double spouts and tail flukes.|
Afternoon Cruise: Our afternoon started with looks at the same Gray Whale in the bay that we spotted in the morning. We later found a single Gray Whale that gave us amazing spouts and flukes.
|02/19/19||4 Gray Whales||2 Gray Whales||Morning Cruise: We spotted 4 Gray Whales this morning. First we spotted a trio of adults that gave us amazing spouts and tail flukes. And then, a single juvenile Gray Whale in the bay at Ballast Point. This whale was rubbing itself on the sand bottom right next to the shore.|
Afternoon Cruise: We spotted a single Gray Whale this afternoon, the same bay whale
at Ballast Point that we saw on the morning trip. Our Harbor Tour Cruise also spotted a second Gray Whale near the helicopter hangers.
|02/18/19||1 Gray Whale||1 Gray Whale||Although we remained in the bay due to rough seas, we were treated to close looks at a young Gray Whale on both trips.|
|02/17/19||1 Gray Whale||1 Gray Whale||Although our Whale Watching Cruises remained in the San Diego Bay due to heavy wind, we did see a young Gray Whale that was hanging out in the bay near the Submarine Base during both cruises.|
|02/16/19||n/a||n/a||Whale Watching cruises stayed in SD Bay due to heavy wind and rain.|
|02/15/19||5 Gray Whales||5 Gray Whales||Morning Cruise: Whitecaps made it difficult to spot whales, but Captain Earnesto did find 5 Gray Whales for us to watch.|
Afternoon Cruise: We spotted 5 more whales that were elusive, possible due to a submarine in the area.
|02/14/19||n/a||n/a||Cruises cancelled due to high winds and rain storm|
|02/13/19||8 Gray Whales, 200+ Common Dolphins, California Sea Lions||1 Gray Whale||Morning Cruise: Our morning was filled with sightings of 8 Gray Whales along with a herd of 200+ Common Dolphins feeding with some diving sea birds and California Sea Lions mixed in. |
Afternoon Cruise: The wind picked up making spotting a whales challenging. Captain Mike did find a single Gray Whale that we watched briefly.
|02/12/19||2 Gray Whales, 100+ Common Dolphins||4 Gray Whales, 50+ Pacific White-sided Dolphins||Morning Cruise: We had calm seas and a sunny, cool day with passengers from Germany, Italy, Iraq, Canada, Texas, Wisconsin and Colorado. We spotted 2 juvenile Gray Whales near the southern border. We also encountered a school of about 100 Common Dolphins.|
Afternoon Cruise: People from Japan, Italy, Texas, Minnesota, Iowa, Canada and Florida joined us onboard the cruise. We spotted 4 adult Gray Whales with one swimming in a zig-zagging manner. Guests also were excited to watch a herd of about 50 Pacific White-sided Dolphins.
|02/11/19||4 Gray Whales, 200+ Common Dolphins, 10 Pacific White-sided Dolphins||6 Gray Whales||Morning Cruise: We departed under clear skies with light winds with 3-5 foot seas for both trips. Right after leaving the bay, we spotted a spout of a juvenile Gray Whale that was also elusive and swimming in a zig-zag manner.We were lucky enough to come across a pair of Gray Whales that were swimming in a more consistent manner giving us much better up close viewing. We followed this pair down close to the border and then we peeled off to witness a large mixed pod of Common and Pacific White-sided Dolphins. There were at least 200 animals in this group that were all around the boat giving everyone a spectacular show. |
Afternoon Cruise: We started with a single juvenile Gray Whale that gave us great views of its body but no flukes. We left this one for a pair of adults that gave us amazing spouts and tail flukes. One of the whales breached, then rolled on his side and finally spy-hopped. Everyone was amazed. We left this pair for a trio of adults. One whale had a nearly all white tail, which is most unusual for Gray Whales. The 3 whales would surface and spout together which was an amazing show. Another incredible day with the wonderful marine mammals off San Diego.
|02/10/19||5 Gray Whales||2 Gray Whales, 10 Common Dolphins||Morning Cruise: We spotted 5 southbound adult Gray Whales, with some fluking observed. During the cruise, we had good visibility as Captain Chad kept us away from the build up of storm clouds.|
Afternoon Cruise: The afternoon was calm and sunny with good viewing conditions. Right after we left the bay, we observed two juvenile Gray Whales swimming together that appeared to be playing with several Common Dolphins. We also spotted several other dolphins that appeared to be hunting.
|02/09/19||2 Gray Whales, 300+ Common Dolphins, 5 Pacific White-sided Dolphins||7 Gray Whales, 500+ Common Dolphins||Morning Cruise: The trip began with overcast skies and a light drizzle. We first spotted several Pacific White-sided Dolphins that surrounded the boat to the delight of all of our passengers. Later, we spotted 2 adult Gray Whales. The whales surfaced several times lifting their flukes out of the water. During the cruise, the clouds cleared and the sun came out. We capped off our trip with several California sea lions.|
Afternoon Cruise: An amazing afternoon on the water! We encountered a breaching Gray Whale that also spy-hopped several times. Overall, we spotted 7 Gray Whales, lots of Common Dolphins, several sea lions and lots of smiles on the faces of our guests.
|02/08/19||2 Gray Whales, 25 Common Dolphins||4 Gray Whales, 20 Common Dolphins||Morning Cruise: We enjoyed watching a variety of ocean wildlife this morning including 2 Gray Whales, some scattered Dolphins, California Sea Lions and even a Harbor Seal.|
Afternoon Cruise: We were able to find Gray Whales almost immediately after leaving the bay due to our sister yacht, the Admiral Hornblower, having located the whales just before we left. As soon as we arrived on the scene, falling in behind the Admiral, one of the Gray Whales began breaching. The guests enjoyed watching the whale breach four times out of the water and also spy-hopped, popping its head straight out of the water. After the whale went down it came back up spouting in front of our bow and swimming between the Admiral Hornblower and Adventure Hornblower. This caught everyone by surprise and made a great photo Op for those that caught it. As all of this was going on we spotted another whale off our starboard side. We followed the whale for a while giving everyone a chance to see it then we moved on. Before heading back a mother and calf crossed our path. As our time ran out we encountered a pod of about twenty Common Dolphins feeding on fish beneath the surface.
|02/07/19||22 Gray Whales, 50+ Common Dolphins||7 Gray Whales, 100+ Common Dolphins||Morning Cruise: What an amazing morning filled with Gray Whale sightings. The largest group of Grays was a pod of 6 whales traveling south that surfaced together and showed us their flukes several times. |
Afternoon Cruise: We continued to enjoy excellent sightings of Gray Whales with lots of fun behaviors including spyhopping and barrel rolling, which gave us great looks at the whale's pectoral flippers.
|02/06/19||6 Gray Whales||6 Gray Whales||Morning Cruise: We departed under partly cloudy skies with 4-6 foot seas and moderate wind. We spotted 6 Gray Whales this morning, 3 separate pairs. All of the whales were swimming near the surface for extended periods of time giving us great views of spouts and occasional flukes. At one time, 2 pairs were on each side of the boat for fabulous viewing right and left. The third pair we found as we were returning back to port with the whales swimming slowly behind the stern of the yacht. We even spotted a double rainbow during the cruise!|
Afternoon Cruise: We also spotted 6 Gray Whales in the afternoon, a group of 4 and a pair. The group of 4 whales were amazing. They were juvenile whales, swimming very slowly on the surface. One whale breached 3 times next to the boat. We were able to follow this group for close to an hour. We found one more pair very late in the trip that gave us great double spouts but we ran out of time so we broke off the encounter. Twelve whales in one day – a truly amazing experience!
|02/05/19||2 Gray Whales||3 Gray Whales, 50+ Pacific White-sided Dolphins||Morning Cruise: Off and on rain showers and heavy winds didn't stop us from spotting whales today. We were able to find 2 Gray Whales that gave us some great double spouts and tail flukes.|
Afternoon Cruise: Rain showers continues into the afternoon. We spotted 3 Gray Whales that also showed us their flukes. @ of the whales were zig-zagging and exhibiting courtship behaviors. We also encountered about 50 Pacific White-sided dolphins to finish out the afternoon.
|02/04/19||10 Gray Whales||no whales spotted||Morning Cruise: Choppy trip with gusty winds, but we watched a Gray Whale cow-calf pair and spotted 8 solitary Gray Whales. We also spotted many more blows in the distance, and perhaps even a breach. One of the whales even spyhopped near our boat this morning.|
Afternoon Cruise: The weather closed in all around us, with bands of rain moving through with wind and rough seas. Our guests were very fortunate to see a beautiful double rainbow as we headed out of the bay. A couple from England mentioned they have been coming to San Diego for 25 years and always go whalewatching. We are sure they will be back for another trip. And youngsters with a Texas family enjoyed coloring drawings of marine mammals even if we weren't lucky enough to spot the real thing today.
|02/03/19||n/a||n/a||Cruises cancelled due to high winds and rain storm|
|02/02/19||n/a||n/a||Cruises cancelled due to high winds and rain storm.|
|02/01/19||6 Gray Whales||4 Gray Whales, 100+ Common Dolphins, 5 Pacific White-sided Dolphins||Morning Cruise: A beautiful, calm day on the water. We first spotted a juvenile Gray Whale heading south. Soon after, we spotted three adults swimming together and then another whale. Visitors joined us from the Midwest enjoying the nice weather and sightings.|
Afternoon Cruise: The flat, calm conditions continued into the afternoon. We spotted a Gray Whale immediately outside of the Harbor that was very cooperative. It swam close to the boat and showed us its tail flukes several times. We then went out farther and spotted the spouts of several other whales that were elusive. We wrapped up our cruise with a mixed group of Common Dolphins and Pacific White-sided Dolphins feeding on fish beneath the surface. Cormorants, gulls, pelicans and a few terns decided to dive in and catch some fish along with the dolphins. All the guests were happy to be in
San Diego and away from freezing storms back home. We had people from Germany, Japan, Minneapolis, Ohio, and New York on the afternoon cruise.
|01/31/19||11 Gray Whales||n/a||Morning Cruise: A windy and clear morning. We enjoyed multiple sightings of Gray Whales including 2 cow-calf pairs. We also spotted a Gray Whale breaching several times in the distance. Guests from 5 other states and China were very excited about seeing the whales.|
Afternoon: A thunderstorm rolled in as we were heading to the mouth of San Diego Bay. After seeing several lightning strikes off shore, our Captain headed us back to safety out of the incoming rainstorm.
|01/30/19||7 Gray Whales||15 Gray Whales||Morning Cruise: Another nice cruise out on the ocean on the Adventure Hornblower today. We spotted a total of 7 southbound Gray Whales. Guests joined us from Santa Barbara and several other states including Utah, Idaho, Montana and Alaska.|
Afternoon Cruise: What a beautiful, sunny clear day out on the water! The one word that describes our experience today on Hornblower is SPECTACULAR!!! Captain Eric, dubbed "Whale King of the Day", headed southward towards the Los Coronados Islands. We first came upon a cow-calf pair of Gray Whales, which thrilled the guests on board. We observed the pair for about 15 minutes when we noticed more heart shaped blows nearby and discovered two juvenile whales heading south to the lagoons. Within moments we spotted another mother that was assisting her newborn calf with swimming techniques. The Hornblower began to head in a more Westerly direction when we came upon lots of spouts and found 6 more juvenile whales within a short distance of each other. We continued to observe the 6 juveniles that snorkeled then breached a couple of times. As we moved away, we saw another 3 whales that were engaged in mating behavior. As our time began to run out and we turned to head back into the bay, we found 2 more adult whales we also were able to observe. We saw many spouts all around us. Guests on board were absolutely enthralled with seeing so many whales as well as the whalers, Kristine, Larry & Pam on board! Thank you 1st mate Jesse, all the Galley crew and guests aboard for helping make this such an awesome journey. We certainly enjoyed our united, "WHOHOO!!" memories.
|01/29/19||1 Gray Whale||3 Gray Whales, 500+ Common Dolphins||Morning Cruise: A foggy morning made a finding whales a challenge. Captain Mike did spot a Gray Whale that eluded us in the fog.|
Afternoon Cruise: The fog lifted and we enjoyed a gorgeous afternoon. We first spotted a solitary Gray Whale, then were able to watch a mother-calf pair. Our afternoon was capped off by a school of more than 500 Common Dolphins.
|01/28/19||11 Gray Whales||11 Gray Whales, 150+ Common Dolphins||Morning Cruise: Another fantastic day with 11 Gray Whales spotted in different groupings this morning.|
Afternoon Cruise: Unbelievable day out whaling in our beautiful Pacific Ocean! Our day started with a cool breeze plus a few high clouds as the Adventure Hornblower made its way out of the San Diego with smooth sailing. Captain Mike steered our ship southward when we came upon two very large adult Gray Whales. Guests aboard could see the whales very distinct heart shaped blows and we stayed with the two for look a bit. Both whales showed their unique 12 foot tails which was definitely a "WhoHoo!" moment for guests. We then turned westward and found 4 more whales on all sides of the boat. As we whalers like to call this, "whale soup," for the abundance of whales in the area. We saw a cow -calf pair, plus 2 more Gray Whales that had awesome tail flukes. We also saw more spouts in the distance. As Captain Mike headed back to the entrance of the bay we saw another pair of adult whales that demonstrated a zigzag behavior along with a pod of 150 Common Dolphins. One last surprise a small raft of 5 to 8 sea lions. What an absolute STELLAR Day aboard Hornblower!
|01/27/19||11 Gray Whales||2 Gray Whales, 2000+ Common Dolphins||Morning Cruise: Beautiful skies and calm waters made for a beautiful day. We spotted a juvenile Gray Whale as soon as we entered the ocean and four separate pods for a total of 11 Gray Whales for the morning cruise.|
Afternoon Cruise: Another warm sunny day with calm waters. Passengers were very excited over the spectacular jumps and acrobatics of a large herd of Common Dolphins! Two Gray Whales were spotted this afternoon. The first in the harbor and the second off Point Loma. The second Gray Whale even approached the yacht multiple times!
|01/26/19||7 Gray Whales, 5 Pacific White-sided Dolphins, 25 Common Dolphins||6 Gray Whales||Morning Cruise: A gorgeous calm, sunny day. We headed west then south out of the bay and spotted our first Gray Whales near the border. We had close looks at one whale that was swimming slowly and fluked several times. This whale had a prominent scar on its dorsal that was filled with yellow-orange whale lice. While watching this whale, two more popped up close by on the other side of the boat. After watching these whales for a while, it was time to head back. On the way, we encountered a trio of Gray Whales that were exhibiting courtship behavior-swimming in a zig-zag manner and rolling on their sides. One even tossed its flukes high in the air. |
Afternoon Cruise: A sunny and slightly breezy afternoon. We spotted another 6 Gray Whales during the afternoon.
|01/25/19||4 Gray Whales, 10 Common Dolphins, 5 Bottlenose Dolphins||5 Gray Whales, 3 Common Dolphins||Morning Cruise: We had exceptional day with warm and sunny weather with a slight breeze, a small sea swell and great visibility. We saw 10 common dolphins early on and enjoyed watching them swim with us. We also watched 5 Gray Whales, including some breaching! Towards the end we spotted Bottlenose Dolphins as we entered the bay. Magnificent day at sea!|
Afternoon Cruise: The afternoon still had exceptional conditions and visibility! We saw 4 Gray Whales with lots of fluking. We also spotted 3 Common Dolphins. It was such a pleasure to spend the afternoon with such an enthusiastic, curious, friendly crowd with guests from the Netherlands, England and several US states.
|01/24/19||5 Gray Whales, 5 Pacific White-sided Dolphins, 200+ Common Dolphins||7 Gray Whales, 50+ Common Dolphins||Morning Cruise: A beautiful day to be out searching for whales on the Adventure Hornblower. We spotted 5 southbound Gray Whales along with some Pacific White-sided Dolphins and a big herd of Common Dolphins. Visitors joined us from London, Mexico, Ireland, Pittsburgh and Boise, Idaho. |
Afternoon Cruise: A few clouds rolled in that produced some pleasant light winds for our afternoon cruise. Captain Mike took us out into what some of us call "whale soup". We enjoyed great views of 7 southbound Gray Whales including a "Kodak moment" of a tail fluke in front of Los Coronados. A group of Common Dolphins completed our excellent afternoon trip.
|01/23/19||3 Gray Whales, 50+ Common Dolphins||6 Gray Whales, 150+ Common Dolphins||Morning Cruise: A gorgeous sunny, calm day on the water. We spotted 3 Gray Whales that were headed south including one that fluked along with about 50 Common Dolphins.|
Afternoon Cruise: A beautiful sunny day with a slight cool breeze made for a fabulous outing where we first sighted a northbound Gray Whale that was a bit elusive. Next, Captain Eric decided to change directions and headed south. We spotted several spouts in the distance and as we near the vicinity we found a southbound Gray whale. The whale's behavior was unusual as it spent such a short time at the surface. We headed south as we saw 5 more spouts with a possible cow and calve combo. We did observe another Gray and, within a short distance, yet another Gray Whale that came up very close to bow of ship. Guests aboard could even hear its spout and see its tail flukes clearly under the water. Whale spouts seemed to be everywhere! We also encountered 150 Common Dolphins that were attracted to the Adventure Hornblower. What a great day whale watching!
|01/22/19||7 Gray Whales||n/a||Morning Cruise: We saw 7 whales today all in the morning. We started out with one pair of adults halfway up Pt. Loma just outside the kelp line. Both gave great spouts, flukes and even a spyhop. We followed these whales to the mouth of SD bay and then departed further out to sea. We spotted a single adult whale that also gave us great spouts and tail flukes. While|
watching this whale we saw a pair of spouts a short distance away which turned out to be a cow-calf pair. Everyone loved seeing the baby whale. We left this pair for two more adults
close to the border. This pair was swimming slowly giving us great views of the entire animals. Another amazing morning of whale watching!
|01/21/19||n/a||n/a||For the safety and comfort of our guests, high winds and seas turned our whale watching cruises into harbor cruises.|
|01/20/19||5 Gray Whales, 100+ Common Dolphins||5 Gray Whales||Morning Cruise: Our morning trip saw 5 Gray Whales: one juvenile, one adult pair and one cow-calf combination. All the whales gave great viewings, amazing all the guests onboard. We ended the trip with over 100 Common Dolphins, which seemed to be the highlight of the trip. |
Afternoon Cruise: The PM trip also saw 5 Gray Whales starting out with a trio of adults giving spectacular simultaneous spouts and flukes. This was followed up by two single whales again with fantastic views. All day long we saw additional spouts around the entire area of where we were. We even drove by spouts as we headed back into the harbor.
|01/19/19||3 Gray Whales, 3 Pacific White-sided Dolphins||5 Gray Whales||Morning Cruise: The day started out with quick views of a few Pacific White Sided dolphins. Then we came upon 3 gray whales- 2 adults and 1 subadult (Juvenile). They were all traveling south; but one of the adults was not boat shy! S/he was very curious of the vessels nearby, and came quite close to the Adventure at one point, which was a treat to the passengers. Great views and great video and photo opportunities! On top of that, toward the end of the cruise, someone pointed out the large military ship in the distant and a plane. It was quite far, but it didn’t prevent us from seeing 13 Navy Seal parachuters being launched from the plane into the ocean! You don’t see THAT every day. |
Afternoon Cruise: During the afternoon cruise, the conditions held up and the whales delivered. We came upon 3 different groups of Gray whales, a single and two doubles traveling together. Passengers got good views and for those watching in the right direction/angle got blessed with a “rain blow” - rainbow colors showing up in the spout/blow. The whales were fluking periodically. At the very end of the cruise, one of the other vessels had spotted a mother/calf Gray whale pair. As we came closer, the passengers on the Adventure took note that the calf was separated from mom— instead, checking out the smaller whale watch boat. According to the captain, the calf was rubbing against the hull and flip flopping around the boat. With all motors off, the smaller boat was just bouncing in the water; hoping that the calf would decide to go back to his/her mother. No such luck. The captain was eventually able to motor away; but the calf was still curious and came close to the Adventure Hornblower! The calf brought its' head up out of the water, fluking and rolling its body around. This was a very special encounter for ALL those on board. Captain Richard announced that we would have to leave the calf and expressed hope that the mother would show up. As soon as he said that, we heard a big sound as the mother gray whale surfaced at the front of the Adventure! She rounded up her calf and headed out as we concluded the cruise and headed into the bay.
|01/18/19||7 Gray Whales||no whales sighted||Morning Cruise: Beautiful sunny day with some swells. We began with a very friendly whale that fluked and zig-zagged, but gave us time to catch up. Then we saw a total of 6 more whales. People joined us from Italy, Ohio, Nevada, Iowa.|
Afternoon Cruise: A beautiful afternoon with some swells, but unfortunately we saw no whales or dolphins. We did see a lot of military ships and a Nuclear submarine entering the harbor.
|01/17/19||4 Gray Whales||20 Pacific White-sided Dolphins||Morning Cruise: We saw two separate cow/calf pairs heading south. Both calves appeared very young. We saw a military submarine coming into the San Diego Bay. Passengers were from France, Germany and Canada.|
Afternoon Cruise: The Adventure Hornblower left San Diego Bay under light showers as we headed southward in search of Grey Whales whose migration route brings them along our San Diego coastline. Foggy conditions along with some wind and showers made our journey a bit difficult in sighting the whales. Captain Rick was able to locate a small pod of 20 Pacific White-sided Dolphins who were immediately attracted to the bow of the ship where they certainly delighted the guests on board with their swimming abilities. We continued to search the ocean waters, but no whales were sighted due to the continued weather conditions. Visiting military ship from Canada was sighted and also two US Coast Guard ships were present about two miles from our coastline.
|01/16/19||2 Gray Whales||8 Gray Whales||Morning Cruise: A Pleasant day with intermittent overcast skies which then became sunny. A large rainbow appeared. Visitors from Indiana, Illinois, North Carolina and China joined us on the cruise. We followed 2 Gray Whales heading south at a consistent pace.|
Afternoon Cruise: Upon leaving the bay, we had a few swells that subsided as the sun began to shine and it warmed up a bit. We spotted a couple of spouts about a half a mile out but, as we headed to see them, the whales became very elusive for us. Captain Mike then headed further out west in search of more Eastern Pacific Gray Whales. Just observing from the Hornblower about 2 miles out there was an incredible rainbow that spanned from Point Loma to Imperial Beach. It made us all think that it gave us such awesome luck with the Gray Whales. We encountered 2 Gray Whales who demonstrated mating behaviors. After observing them, our Captain decided to continue our journey westward. We were greatly rewarded as there were multiple sightings of Gray Whales in the area. We came upon a cow and a young calf who absolutely thrilled passengers on board. The cow and calf actually swam beneath the Adventure Hornblower as it was stopped and drifting- the cow and calf then came up directly next to the starboard side. Guests aboard were amazed to see the bodies of the cow and calf. Then for an extra thrill, the calf raised its head above the water to observe the humans on board. It was like this calf was saying "Hello Humans!" What an incredible experience for all on board! A total of 5 Gray Whales with a cow and calf combination just made everyone's day. On top of all that activity we spotted more than 5 spouts around the Hornblower. Unfortunately our time ran out. All guests aboard were extremely happy, lucky and very thrilled with today's experience off our San Diego Coast. Well Done!!! Captain Mike, First Mate Kaitlyn, and the fabulous Galley Crew! Thank you so much on behalf of the guests today and The Natural History Museum Whaler Staff, Dee and Pam on board today.
|01/15/19||1 Gray Whale||1 Gray Whale, 20 Pacific White-sided Dolphins||Morning Cruise: After a couple of showers the sun broke through. Passengers from Canada, England, China, and the US saw 1 southbound whale making its way to the Lagoons of Baja.|
Afternoon Cruise: The afternoon cruise had almost everything - 20 or more Pacific White Sided Dolphins jumping and playing near the boat, a full rainbow shining from end to end, one submarine, lots of Navy boats, and faint blows from an elusive gray whale. Seas were calm and enjoyed by all, some coming from as far away as Brazil.
|01/14/19||2 Gray Whales||no whales spotted||Morning Cruise: Blustery, rainy weather did not keep our guests back at the dock. Our captain Eric found 2 Gray Whales and one of them breached.|
Afternoon Cruise: A bit of clearing as we head out. We watched an amazing flight of hundreds of cormorants streaming into the Bay, all in single file. Later in the afternoon, unfortunately, the visibility decreased and the rough seas returned, preventing us from finding any migrating gray whales or dolphins.
|01/13/19||5 Gray Whales||2 Gray Whales||Morning Cruise: The Gray Whale migration is at full force. We enjoyed watching 5 Gray Whales this morning.|
Afternoon Cruise: Another good show with close looks at 2 Gray Whales.
|01/12/19||5 Gray Whales, 10 Pacific White-sided Dolphins, 250 Common Dolphins||4 Gray Whales, 35 Pacific White-sided Dolphins, 20 Common Dolphins||Morning Cruise: It was a cold, rainy morning, but surprisingly once we got out in the ocean on the boat, there were great water conditions with the sun shining! Approximately 5 miles from shore we found a group of 5 adult Gray Whales traveling together! Our passengers had great views of the whales, they were so happy! Later on we saw about 10 Pacific White-sided Dolphins. And then here were about 250 Common Dolphins, much to the delight of the passengers. It was a great morning on the water!|
Afternoon Cruise: The clouds were really starting to part, with blue skies above us as we boarded the boat. We had some excited passengers ready to see some whales. We had passengers from Australia, New Zealand, North and South Carolina, Texas, Arizona, Minnesota, and a lot from right here in San Diego. And none of them had ever seen a whale! They were in for a treat. Once we got out about 3 miles from the tip of Pt. Loma we found two Gray Whales! One of them even swam really close and was only about 20 feet from the boat at one point, The passengers were thrilled and even more excited when the whale took a deep dive and showed us its fluke! Once we were out about 6 miles we found 2 more adult Gray Whales and we enjoyed really close looks at them also. We had some really fantastic views of their barnacles as they got close to the boat. To top off the afternoon we came across about 35 Pacific White-sided Dolphins and about 20 Common Dolphins. On the way back to shore we came across a big huge submarine that was close to our boat. We had some navy veterans on board that told us that was their highlight of the day. What a great afternoon to be in San Diego out in the ocean!
|01/11/19||5 Gray Whales||3 Gray Whales||Morning Cruise: Great viewing conditions today with calm seas and overcast skies. We spotted 5 Gray Whales this morning, a cow-calf pair and a trio of adults. We enjoyed excellent views of the cow-calf pair with both animals on the surface for the entire viewing. The trio of adults were a little more boat shy swimming in a zig-zag manner giving us our views at a little more distant. It was still very exciting to see three spouts at a time as well as multi-tail flukes. |
Afternoon Cruise: We spotted another trio of Gray Whales which we watched for most of the afternoon. The viewing was amazing with the whales swimming just below the surface in very clear water so we could see the entire animal swimming along! Eight Grey whales. What an amazing day!
|01/10/19||4 Gray Whales||4 Gray Whales, 5 Pacific White-sided Dolphins, 2 Common Dolphins||Morning Cruise: A lovely cruise with sunny and clear weather. We spotted 3 adult Gray Whales and a calf that stayed very close to its mother. The whales appeared to be traveling south together. We also a few Common Dolphins during the cruise. We had guests from as far away as Switzerland, as well as WI, MN and other states. At least 20 children were on board from ages 6 to 12 that were part of the Golden Hill Camp.|
Afternoon Cruise: The afternoon saw calm seas with swells at 15 second intervals, it was clear and not too cold. After some searching, we found 4 adult Gray Whales, traveling in two groups of two. Pacific White-sided dolphins rode our bow on the return trip, delighting the guests. We also spotted a pair of Common Dolphins during the trip. We had guests on board from China, Austria, and many East Coast states.
|01/09/19||2 Gray Whales||7 Gray Whales||Morning Cruise: A bright and beautiful, calm but brisk morning. Just after exiting San Diego Bay, we encountered one Gray Whale. It appeared to be a juvenile from its very small size. We remained in the area to observe it and then set off to find more whales. We then found a rather large adult Gray Whale moving at a rapid pace (for a Gray Whale). Each time she came up to blow, she dove showing her fluke (even on very brief dives), giving the cruise passengers excellent photo opportunities.|
Afternoon Cruise: Breezy and brisk, but clear skies as we set out for the afternoon tour. As we approached the mouth of San Diego Bay at Cabrillo National Monument, Captain Mike announced that in communications with the America, about 4 miles out to our south, they reported seeing several whales, and so we headed in a southerly direction. Sure enough, we began seeing Gray Whale blow spouts due south of Point Loma, close to the U.S.-Mexico maritime border. We encountered one juvenile Gray Whale heading south which skimmed the surface of the water the entire time, never diving. We paced that whale slowly from a distance for a short time before turning west to seek out more whales. And they were everywhere! We identified no fewer than 7 Gray Whales, and saw at least 3 more spouts in the distance which we could not positively identify, having only seen the spouts. Reluctantly, our time was up and we needed to return, but not for lack of spotting whales! The visitors on board were very excited and had many questions for the Whalers on board after the NHM presentation. Nearly everyone on board attended –it was a full house in the forward lounge during the presentation. It was a marvelous afternoon out on the water. Notable for their absence: dolphins (none sighted at all).
|01/08/19||3 Gray Whales, 100+ Common Dolphins||3 Gray Whales, 100+ Common Dolphins||Morning Cruise: Nice calm conditions for whale watching today. Captain Eric found us 3 southbound Gray Whales and an energetic school of 100 Common Dolphins for guests to watch.|
Afternoon Cruise: We spotted Bottlenose Dolphins leaving the bay along with 2 Gray Whales headed south.
|01/07/19||5 Gray Whales, 5 Bottlenose Dolphins||2 Gray Whales||Morning Cruise: Excellent sea conditions and light winds made for superior spotting of five Gray Whales which included a cow and calf pair (our first of the season), a pregnant female and 3 adults all heading southward to the lagoons of Baja California, Mexico.|
Afternoon Cruise: A continuation of excellent sea conditions with a slight breeze. Sightings of large batches of sea birds were seen feeding on small schooling fish. Two Gray Whales were spotted at the 9 mile bank. They zig-zagged and possibly showed mating behaviors. What a great day out on the ocean!
|01/06/19||2 Gray Whales, 3 Pacific White-sided Dolphins||1 Gray Whale, 5 Bottlenose Dolphins||Morning Cruise: Shortly after leaving the bay we spotted our first Gray Whale. After a short time watching, this whale eluded us. We were next greeted by several Pacific White Sided dolphins. We then came across a juvenile Gray Whale that we watched diving while showing each knuckle and its flukes.|
Afternoon Cruise: Conditions made it difficult to spot whales again this afternoon. We were greeted by Bottlenose Dolphins as we left the bay. Shortly before it was time top head back in, Captain Chad spotted a Gray Whale spout in the distance, yet the whale was rather elusive.
|01/05/19||1 Gray Whale||2 Gray Whales, 25 Pacific White-sided Dolphins, 25 Common Dolphins||Morning Cruise: Even though it was overcast with a storm on the way, it was relatively calm on the water. We started the cruise by passing by the bait docks to watch the California Sea Lions and birds and the passengers were excited! We later found an adult Gray Whale heading south much to the delight of our passengers! And the whale brought us a couple of flukes, which brought much joy to everyone.|
Afternoon Cruise: In the afternoon the skies were getting darker with a hint of rain on the way, but it did not rob our passengers of enthusiasm! They were all excited to find whales! We had people on board from India, Argentina, Japan, and many states from around the country. Captain Joe did a fantastic job in finding us a couple of adult Gray Whales heading south near the kelp beds just about 2-3 miles from PT. Loma. All the passengers were so excited! And when we saw their flukes, people applauded! When we made a turn to head back to the dock all of a sudden here were some dolphins! We had about 25 Common Dolphins and then about 25 Pacific White Sided Dolphins, everyone was thrilled. It was a great day on the water, in spite of the rain.
|01/04/19||5 Gray Whales||1 Gray Whale. 40 Common Dolphins||Morning Cruise: It was a beautiful day on the ocean, with calm winds, and smooth seas for both morning and afternoon cruises. Guests from Israel, Utah, Washington, Chicago, Las Vegas and Maryland joined us. The morning saw 5 Gray Whales, with great looks at 4. We started with a single adult Gray Whale that was swimming very quickly but gave us great spouts and tail flukes. The view ended with 3 spectacular breaches right next to the boat. We left for a pair of spouts off in the distance which were another pair of adult Gray Whales. We followed this pair all the way to the border again giving us great spouts and flukes. Our last whale was a very small juvenile that was swimming slowly on the surface as well as just beneath. The size difference was a great contrast for all the guests to see. We called it a day and then headed back to the dock.|
Afternoon Cruise: The afternoon trip saw one Gray Whale and about 40 Common Dolphins. The whale was a mature adult giving us spouts and flukes but swimming very erratic. The whale stayed down 10-12 minutes between showings and would pop up a good distance away from the boat. We did get one great showing when the whale came up right next to the boat. Heading back up Pt. Loma we came across a group of about 40 Common Dolphins that gave everyone a great show. After that we called it a day and headed in. Another amazing day of whale watching for Hornblower guests!
|01/03/19||n/a||3 Gray Whales, 60+ Common Dolphins||Afternoon Cruise: We departed under perfect, clear skies and calm seas. The first thing we found were 3 small pods of common dolphin with about 20 per pod. We had good viewing but only stayed with them for a few minutes to head out for a whale spotted 4 miles away. We found a single adult Gray Whale swimming slowly along the surface giving us spectacular views of its back and tail flukes. We followed this whale to the Mexican border and then turned north. A very short time later we came across 2 more Gray Whales, an adult and juvenile. These whales were milling in one area and would give 3-4 spouts before fluking and disappearing for about 10 minutes. We got 3 great shows from this pair and then it was time to call it a day and return to the dock. What a fabulous day of whale and dolphin watching!|
|01/02/19||1 Gray Whale, 1000+ Common Dolphins||4 Gray Whales, California Sea Lions||Morning Cruise: We enjoyed an amazing day on the water joined by guests from Sweden, London, Japan, China, and Canada as well as many U.S. states. Guests were delighted with a sighting of a solitary Gray Whale along with a huge group of Common Dolphins, |
Afternoon Cruise: The day continued to be beautiful and mild with calm seas. We spotted and followed 4 separate Gray Whales. We also spotted 2 more whale spouts behind us in the distance. We watched numerous blows and flukes as the whales traveled south. Visitors from Peru, England and China were aboard.
|01/01/19||50 Common Dolphins||n/a||Morning Cruise: A lovely, sunny morning to begin the New Year! We observed Common Dolphins playing in the Adventure Hornblower's bow wake. Looking forward to a robust whale watching season!|
|12/31/18||25 Bottlenose Dolphins||25 Bottlenose Dolphins||Morning Cruise: We encountered a large pod of bottle-nosed dolphins. We had international guests from Holland, Germany, China, Japan and Mexico as well as guests from throughout the U.S.|
Afternoon Cruise: We started out of the bay under over-cast skies. The sea became choppy so the captain returned to the harbor. On the way back in we spotted 25 bottle-nosed dolphins, sea lions near the bate dock and lots of birds.
|12/30/18||1 Gray Whale||2 Pacific White-sided Dolphins||Morning Cruise: We enjoyed another beautiful day on the water. During the cruise we encountered a solo southbound Gray Whale. We spent some time observing blows and fluking from the whale. Passengers were on board from UK, Australia, Peru and Utah.|
Afternoon Cruise: The sunny, calm conditions continued into the afternoon. We encountered two Pacific White Sided Dolphins during the cruise, but did not spot any baleen whales. Passengers joined us from Australia, New York, and Texas.
|12/29/18||3 Gray Whales, 200+ Common Dolphins||2 Gray Whales, 600+ Common Dolphins||Morning Cruise: A beautiful day on the water. We first sighted a single Gray Whale, and then a pair of Grays headed south.|
Afternoon Cruise: It continued to be a beautiful day on the water. We spotted 2 Gray Whales (southbound) early in the voyage and one even fluked before they moved out moved on. We also enjoyed watching about 600 Common Dolphins in a large herd later on in the cruise. Guests from Germany, India, SE Asia, and San Diego joined us on the cruise.
|12/28/18||4 Gray Whales||2 Pacific White-sided Dolphins||Morning Cruise: As we cruised out of the bay, we soon found 3 gray whales traveling together. The passengers were blessed with amazing views. Even with a sold out cruise, everyone had a chance to see these beautiful marine mammals. After a while, the captain decided to venture north to find other marine life. We came upon a slowly moving gray whale along the Kelp forest. S/he stayed near the surface for quite some time and even fluked! |
Afternoon Cruise: In the afternoon, the conditions were nice. Even with all eyes looking for the large marine mammals, none were sighted in the San Diego area. We did find a couple of Pacific White Sided dolphins.
|12/27/18||2 Gray Whales, 15 Pacific White-sided Dolphins||2 Gray Whales, 400+ Common Dolphins||Morning Cruise: The cruise started out with sun, light wind and warm weather. We spotted 2 adult Gray Whales heading south. Many different passengers joined us from all over the world (Japan, Taiwan, India, and Canada). Everyone enjoyed the open ocean and the color of the sea. Near the end of the tour, we spotted 15 Pacific White-sided Dolphins. |
Afternoon Cruise: Sunny, clear skies with clear water made whale and dolphin watching easy. Our first sighting was of more than 100 dolphins joyfully swimming and playing near the boat. Passengers young and old delighted in watching them. As the boat traveled looking for whales, more and more dolphins approached, some jumping high in the air. All together there were about 400 Common Dolphins sighted! And then we spotted one, then another Gray Whale traveling south. Overhead one booby (bird) flew nearby. What a day! Passengers were from the US, Japan, Canada, Austria.
|12/26/18||1 Gray Whale||1 Gray Whale||Morning Cruise: It was a beautiful sunny day on the ocean with large, gentle swells. We spotted one adult gray whale heading south.|
Afternoon Cruise: The wonderful sunny day continued, with large rolling swells and a stiff breeze reminding the passengers of the season. We tracked one juvenile Gray Whale and the passengers were rewarded with some great views of this magnificent animal. A school of flying fish briefly entertained us as well. Passengers from Canada, Singapore, and Sri Lanka enjoyed the trip, as well as those from many states.
|12/25/18||n/a||n/a||Cruises cancelled due to stormy weather.|
|12/24/18||4 Pacific White-sided Dolphins, 300+ Common Dolphins||500+ Common Dolphins||Morning Cruise: We had passengers from all over - Texas, Washington state, Canada, Utah, and Arizona. We first spotted 4 Pacific White-sided Dolphins and then later saw 300 Common Dolphins. Most of the cruise was smooth water, but foggy with low visibility. |
Afternoon Cruise: The afternoon was warm and sunny with calm seas. We spotted about 500 common dolphins and lots of seabirds feeding.
|12/23/18||1 Gray Whale, 1 Humpback Whale||1 Gray Whale, 6 Pacific White-sided Dolphins||Morning Cruise: We enjoyed an overcast Sunday morning with calm seas. We observed one juvenile southbound Gray Whale that snorkeled and continued on a constant direction and speed. Additionally, we saw a Humpback Whale, which fluked on a regular basis. A nice outing, enjoyed by all.|
Afternoon Cruise: A beautiful, sunny afternoon with calm seas. We observed one southbound juvenile Gray Whale and 6 dolphins. We stayed with the Gray Whale to observe for quite some time. The dolphins were observed in the distance as the sun was setting.
|12/22/18||30 Pacific White-sided Dolphins||1 Gray Whale, 2 Pacific White-sided Dolphins||Morning Cruise: The ocean was calm and the skies clear for the morning cruise. As the Captain was on his mission to find the large marine mammals, he instead came upon Pacific White-sided dolphins- who delighted the passengers with bow riding and wake riding views. With the crystal clear water visibility, it was easy to see the distinguishing features of these beautiful dolphins. A lot of bird activity was also seen throughout the morning. |
The calm water conditions continued into the afternoon, resulting in a nice ride on the ocean. The Captain took a northern route and with the help of the whale watch tour community, everyone was treated with a long encounter with a small juvenile Gray Whale. This whale was somewhat “elusive’, but with the water visibility, the passengers were able to get good views of the whale. A few passengers got to see 2 Pacific White-sided Dolphins.
|12/21/18||1 Gray Whale, 1 Humpback Whale, 75+ Pacific White-sided Dolphins||2 Gray Whales, 500+ Common Dolphins||Morning Cruise: We spotted an adult Gray Whale and an adult Humpback Whale. We also spotted a large group of about 75 Pacific White-sided Dolphins. During the cruise we also spotted numerous California Sea Lions, Brown Pelicans, Seagulls, and Cormorants. |
Afternoon Cruise: We saw two adult Gray Whales swimming in southward direction. A little later, about 500 Common Dolphins swam around the boat. What a spectacular sight! One Brown Booby was spotted in flight right off the side of the boat.
|12/20/18||1 Gray Whale, 20 Pacific White-sided Dolphins, 20 Bottlenose Dolphins||3 Gray Whales||Morning Cruise: Although we had some large, smooth swells, we had great visibility and Captain Earnesto found a large Gray Whale for us to watch. He also found an unusual mixed pod of offshore Bottlenose dolphins and Pacific White-sided Dolphins that frolicked with the boat so everyone could enjoy watching them. It looks like Gray Whales have arrived!|
Afternoon Cruise: Ocean conditions persisted, but our Captain was able to locate a pair of large, Gray Whales heading south. As we followed the whales, one fluked several times. On the way back into the bay, we spotted a third Gray Whale. Many of our guests saw their first baleen whales today!
|12/19/18||No whales sighted||2 Gray Whales||Morning Cruise: We searched near and far and did not see any whales this morning.|
Afternoon Cruise: Luck was with us this afternoon, as we spotted two Gray Whales traveling south.
|12/18/18||1 Humpback Whale||3 Gray Whales||Morning Cruise: We went out to the 9 mile bank with slightly bumpy seas. On the way back in to the bay, we sighted a Humpback Whale in the distance. We had passengers from many states and The Netherlands, UK, and Singapore join us this morning. |
Afternoon Cruise: Our delightful, sunny afternoon was made even better when we sighted not one but two southbound, Gray Whales that stayed near the boat for about 40 minutes. They kept themselves hidden staying low in the water with small blows. At first it seemed to be a mother and her calf. However, both whales had good sized barnacles indicating the “calf” was actually a juvenile. They also rolled in the water and raised a flipper now and then. On our way back in we saw a third juvenile Gray Whale who fluked, spy-hopped, and breached several times. School is out for some, so there were many delightful families with curious children on board. Another terrific day!
|12/17/18||2 Common Dolphins, 3 California Sea Lions||no whales spotted||Morning Cruise: Great spotting conditions for whale watching today. While we spotted a couple dolphins and a few sea lions, whales eluded us today.|
Afternoon Cruise: A beautiful afternoon on the sea with gentle waves and abundant sunshine. Unfortunately, we didn't spot any whales or dolphins while out on the ocean.
|12/16/18||250+ Common Dolphins||no whales spotted||Morning Cruise: This morning we had a beautiful cruise with sunny and calm seas. We observed 250 common dolphins, including many dolphin calves, jumping all the way out of the water.|
Afternoon Cruise: A beautiful, calm, sunny cruise. We had a delightful group of people from Canada, Korea, as well as from all over the U.S. We didn't sight any Whales today, but are looking forward to when they arrive in full force.
|12/15/18||no whales spotted||1 Gray Whale||Morning Cruise: A gorgeous sunny day with calm seas. As we were leaving the bay, two tug boats escorted in a Navy sub. We sailed out to the nine-mile bank, but no whales were seen. One lone Sea Lion swam close to the boat.|
Afternoon Cruise: Beautiful day on the water, light breeze and calm conditions. A little slow at first cruising up to Mission Bay. Upon return to the harbor, a juvenile gray whale spouted near the entrance buoy. The whale snorkeled and dove a couple times, and even showed its tail flukes delighting all the passengers on board.
|12/14/18||1 Gray Whale, 20 Pacific White-sided Dolphins, 100+ Common Dolphins||3 Gray Whales||Morning Cruise: Off La Jolla Point, we spotted a Gray Whale heading south. During the cruise we also saw a pod of about 20 Pacific White-sided Dolphins and 100 Common Dolphins. |
Afternoon Cruise: Captain Rick was hoping to find the Gray Whale that had been spotted a few hours before and he was successful! Off the coast of Point Loma we watched this incredible mammal for about 20 minutes. The whale seemed to be in no hurry heading south and stayed very near the surface for most of the time. It finally did a beautiful deep dive and, just when we assumed it would stay submerged for a while, it breached not once but four times! We eventually headed a little bit north and saw 2 more whales - possibly a mom and a baby, but we weren't close enough to confirm. We also saw many Brown Pelicans and a few Heermann's Gulls. What a great way to start the season!
|12/13/18||no whales spotted||n/a||Morning Cruise: A beautiful day on the ocean with gentle waves, clear skies and warm weather. A few birds were sighted upon leaving the bay. Unfortunately, we did not spot any whales or dolphins.|
|12/12/18||n/a||no whales spotted||Afternoon Cruise: Although we searched and conditions were good, we did not see any whales.|
|12/11/18||1 Gray Whale||40+ Pacific White-sided Dolphins, 5 Common Dolphins, 1 Southern Sea Otter||Morning Cruise: We spotted a Gray Whale heading south along the kelp beds just outside of Mission Bay. We enjoyed watching this whale for about 30 minutes until it was time to head back to the dock. Birders also spotted phalaropes, auklets and egrets. Guests from Japan, Pennsylvania, Washington D.C., Colorado, Arizona, and the U.K. joined us this morning.|
Afternoon Cruise: A beautiful, sunny afternoon graced the enthusiastic whale watchers (from Spain, Colombia, U.K., Colorado, Idaho, NJ, Ohio, California). While we didn't spot any baleen whales, we enjoyed many encounters with dolphins bowriding alongside the Adventure Hornblower. First there was a lone Pacific White-sided Dolphin that kept up with the boat for 5 to 10 minutes. Then there were 5 Common Dolphins intermixed with about 40 Pacific White-sided Dolphins. The most unusual sighting was a Sea Otter swimming by and rolling onto its back in typical otter fashion.
|12/10/18||1 Gray Whale, 20 Pacific White-sided Dolphins||5 Pacific White-sided Dolphins, 1 Common Dolphin, 2 California Sea Lions, Cormorants||Morning Cruise: Although it was a cool and cloudy morning, we enjoyed fantastic sightings on our cruise including our first Gray Whale of the season- a juvenile that breached and fluked at the end of the morning. We also enjoyed watching two pods of Pacific White-sided Dolphins that were bow-riding for over a half hour.|
Afternoon Cruise: We followed a submarine out of the harbor and noticed a lot of cormorants (sea birds) at the mouth of the bay. While out on the ocean, we spotted Pacific White-sided Dolphins, a Common Dolphin and a couple of sea lions.
- BLUE WHALE Balaenoptera musculus The blue whale a rorqual, a family that also includes the humpback whale, fin whale, Bryde’s whale, sei whale, Omura’s whale, and minke whale. On land an animal the size of a blue whale would be crushed by its own weight without the support of large heavy bones. Because its body is supported by water, the need for heavy bones disappeared. This, plus the availability of a large…
- Description: The average size of a gray whale is approximately 11 to 15 meters (36–50 feet) long, and it may weigh up to 45,000 kg (49.6 tons). Like other baleen whales, females grow larger than males. Seen from above, a gray whale’s body tapers at both ends, and is a dark slate color that can appear mottled gray. Generally, so many barnacles and whitish scars appear on older whales that…
- In the past few weeks, Blue Whales have been regularly spotted of the coast of San Diego. Soon, Hornblower Cruises & Events will offer Whale Watching cruises that head out to sea in search of Blues and other baleen whales. Our summer whale watching cruises begin June 28 and run from Fridays to Mondays through Labor Day. Why are Blue Whales so exciting to watch? These giants are the largest…
- View whale watching videos in San Diego by a Hornblower Tour. From grey whales to blue whales, it’s surely a moment you’ll never forget! Hornblower Whale Watching featured on KNSD-TV Hornblower Captain Rich Goben
- Captain Chad Cummings Captain Chad has been working for Hornblower Cruises & Events for nearly 20 years since 1998. Prior to that Captain Chad was in the Navy for 4 years. He loves whale watching, and you can hear it in his narration on the whale watching cruise and with the way he handles the customers who are experiencing whale watching for the first time! Captain Chad was the original catalyst for Hornblower…