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2019 Summer Whale Watching Report

DateMorning CruiseNotes
07/15/191 Humpback Whale, 1 Minke Whale, 500+ Common Dolphins, 25+ Bottlenose Dolphins, 1 Mola molaAhoy mates!! We had a very lucky day with sightings of a juvenile Humpback Whale feeding and doing a bit of bubble netting around several bait balls of schooling fish. We also spotted a Minke Whale amidst a pod of Common Dolphins that were Slap Hunting--guests thought they were applauding. A highlight today was a pod of offshore Bottlenose Dolphins that included "Patches," a Famous West Coast Dolphin! Patches is named for the patchy black and white coloration of his skin. We don't often see Patches and are always excited when we do. We rounded out our sightings with diving sea birds, including a Brown Booby, and a Mola mola fish.
07/14/191000+ Common Dolphins, 10 Bottlenose Dolphins, 3 Mola molasWe enjoyed a beautiful day on the water filled with dolphins! and other sea life! We soptted both Common and Bottlenose Dolphins along with a few Mola molas (ocean sunfish), a scattering of flying fish and even a couple sharks.
07/13/191 Humpback Whale, 400+ Common Dolphins, 12 Bottlenone Dolphins, 3 Mola molasSea life was abundant today with sightings of a juvenile Humpback Whale along with hundreds of Common Dolphins and 12 Bottlenose Dolphins. We also spotted 3 Mola Molas (ocean sunfish).
07/12/191 Minke Whale, 2,000+ Common Dolphins, 25 Risso's DolphinsBest Day Ever!!!! This was how we felt after leaving the cruise today. We got to be a part of a large feeding pod of Common Dolphins. I can only describe it as they were charging along in a large line and we got to be a part of it. The sound was amazing and they would surge all together as one to pursue their prey. This was just after we got to see a pod of Risso's dolphins which numbered about 25. They are one of the larger dolphin species in our area and not one we commonly see. We experienced all this amazingness at the 9-mile Bank. Earlier in our cruise we encountered a shy Minke Whale. We all left the cruise today realizing we had experienced a really special day out on the water.
07/08/192 Blue Whales, 500+ Common DolphinsAn overcast start of the day turned into a bright, sunny mid-morning for our guests from several areas of the U.S.A., as well as Baja California, Mexico. On our way out to look for whales we encountered dolphins on several occasions. And finally, toward the end of our time, offshore we saw two Blue Whales surface. Their tall blows caught the eyes of many passengers. It was a good day to be out on the water!
07/07/191 Humpback Whale, 1 Minke Whale, 300+ Common Dolphins, 1 Mola mola (ocean sunfish)Wonderful guests from all over today! Cruise started out with very little happening on or in the ocean then we started noticing lots of sea birds diving into the water, followed by a medium size pod of dolphin and even sea lions feasting on a bait ball. We headed north - about six miles off the coast of Pacific Beach - and saw more bird activity followed by a larger pod of dolphins. Then we saw a juvenile Humpback and a Minke whale closer to land. By the time we got closer, the Minke was gone but we followed the Humpback for about a half hour. At times, the sea was filled with pelicans, terns, cormorants, gulls, shearwaters, hundreds of common dolphin and the Humpback - all enjoying the large schools of very small fish (sardines perhaps?). Eventually we had to head back to land, but not without passing a Mola Mola on the way in. A very exciting day on the water with Captain Rick.
07/06/193 Minke Whales, 500+ Common Dolphins, 12 Pacific White-sided Dolphins, 2 Bottlenose Dolphins, 1 Mola mola (ocean sunfish)Passengers from India, Saudi Arabia, Austria, Arizona, Ohio, Illinois, Florida, Canada, China, and Taiwan joined us on the cruise. We spotted 3 Minke Whales, 500 Common Dolphins, 2 Bottle nose Dolphins, 12 Pacific White-sided Dolphins and 1 Mola mola fish. The seas were calm today.
07/05/191000+ Common DolphinsWe spotted a mega pod of 1,000 Common Dolphins were seen feeding on bait fish in a feeding frenzy with seabirds. The dolphins were also leaping and bow riding. We also observed dolphin courtship behavior as well as a nursery pod with cow/calf pairings and juveniles. The ocean was calm and beautiful.
07/01/191 Blue Whale, 500+ Common Dolphins, 50+ Bottlenose Dolphins, Brown Booby and Masked Booby (seabirds)What an excellent Whale Watching Day! Guests from India, UK, French-speaking Canada, and all over the US were amazed to see so many dolphins. We encountered the dolphins in groups of 10s, then 100s- the boat was surrounded by dolphins jumping and surfing in the boat’s bow wave. We also spotted a brown booby and a masked booby (both are offshore seabirds). The whales were elusive until Captain Rick spotted several blows in the distance. The Adventure Hornblower approached slowly to encounter a Blue Whale! It was visible from almost all sides of the boat, even coming close enough so visitors could hear the whale blowing! What a nice sunny way to start off July!
06/30/191 Minke Whale, 300+ Common DolphinsOur cruise started out with a fairly flat ocean and blue skies. We encountered pods of Common Dolphins feeding under diving sea birds. Some of the dolphins, came over to bow ride with the Adventure Hornblower. We also had a brief glimpse of an adult Minke whale that was also swimming amidst the dolphins. Visitors from a good section of Midwest and some French Canadians were aboard today.
06/29/19500+ Common DolphinsA calm ocean surface and no wind made for a smooth cruise this morning. While the baleen whales were elusive today, our guests from around the world enjoyed watching “hundreds and hundreds” of Common Dolphins
06/28/191 Humpback Whale, 700+ Common DolphinsWe sailed out of the bay under cloudy skies and headed southward then began our journey westward toward the 9 mile bank in search of Blue Whales. We encountered a pod of 100 Common Dolphins at mile 2 and that is when we saw a distinct blow of a Humpback about a mile away and decided to investigate. As we headed north we encountered a lot of bird activity on the water along with estimated pod of another 300 Common Dolphins. Then, the cry of "There She Blows!!" was heard all over the boat. We discovered a juvenile Humpback (about 32 feet long) feeding on fish from a bait ball of herring, mackerel and maybe anchovies. Guests were enthralled with hearing the Humpback spout and breathe which is something that one remembers in their memory forever! The juvenile Humpback stayed about 100-200 yards close to the boat and we followed the whale for a couple miles. It was amazing to see the whale zig zag all around the boat. Guests were able to catch a couple of tail flukes. Towards the end of our viewing, guests actually saw a very unique behavior where 2 Common Dolphins seem accompanied the Humpback while it ate its way through the mass of food that was present. Captain Rick decided to head further out to the 10 mile bank and we encountered another pod of about 300 more Common Dolphins which included a couple calves along with a couple of sea lions. A great day for guests aboard the Adventure Hornblower!!