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2019-2020 Winter Whale Watching Report

DateMorning CruiseAfternoon CruiseNotes
2/17/203 Gray Whales, 5 Pacific White-sided Dolphins2 Gray WhalesMorning Cruise: A foggy morning cleared to a sunny afternoon. We first spotted 2 southbound Gray Whales that we watched surface and fluke several times. We then headed north and spotted a few Pacific White-sided Dolphins, California sea lions, and even a few flying fish! We finished our morning cruise by watching an adult Gray Whale that was traveling south.

Afternoon Cruise: We watched a pair of Gray Whales. One of the whales breached twice right next to the boat! What a beautiful day!
2/16/203 Gray Whales, 300+ Common Dolphins6 Gray Whales, 300+ Common DolphinsMorning Cruise: It was a gorgeous calm, sparkling morning on the water! We watched a juvenile Gray Whale that flukes several times as it traveled south. We then watched a southbound adult Gray Whale for most of the cruise. We then passed through a large pod of Common Dolphins. We finished with a brief look at another juvenile Gray Whale that was heading north.

Afternoon Cruise: This afternoon was spectacular for whale watching! We first spotted a trio of Gray Whales that showed courtship behavior. We then encountered a large herd of Common Dolphins that surrounded the boat. We finished our day with two more Gray Whales that were traveling south.
2/14/206 Gray Whales4 Gray Whales, 100+ Risso's DolphinsMorning Cruise: An awesome Valentine's Day on the Adventure Hornblower! We found 6 Gray Whales including a mother-calf pair. One of the whales thrilled us by breaching 15 times!

Afternoon Cruise: Our awesome Valentine's Day continued with plenty of heart-shaped blows from Gray Whales. We spotted our first pair of whales just outside the kelp beds. Closer to Mission Bay, we came upon a large pod of Risso's Dolphins—a species we don't see very often, We then spotted another pair of Gray Whales traveling south.
2/13/207 Gray Whales, 30 Pacific White Sided Dolphins6 Gray Whales, 2 Humpback Whales, 200 Pacific White Sided Dolphins, 100 Common DolphinsMorning Cruise: A gorgeous day on water with lake-like, sunny conditions. We watched 7 Gray Whales along with Pacific White-sided Dolphins. All of the whales were traveling south. One of the whales was playing with dolphins with erratic swimming and rolling with its pectoral fin and fluke tip out of water.

Afternoon Cruise: What a bonanza of marine wild life all afternoon long! Right out of the bay, we encountered our first pair of Gray Whales, a mom traveling with her baby. Both were so close to the surface much of the time, that you could see the entire length of their body! Next there were two Humpback Whales! It was good to see the humpbacks with a dorsal fin and compare to the grays with no dorsal fin. In all, we spotted several pairs of Gray Whales swimming south. At times we were surrounded by dolphins that jumped and swam alongside the Adventure Hornblower. Right before Captain Rick had to return into the Bay, he countered a bait ball of fish which attracted more dolphins and lots of birds. Visitors joined us from France, UK, Netherlands, Canada, and parts of the US.
2/12/205 Gray Whales, 25+ Common Dolphins10 Gray Whales, 25+ Common DolphinsMorning Cruise: We spotted 5 Gray Whales this morning. First, we spotted a single whale and a pair that were northbound and also a southbound pair. The whales provided great viewing for all the guests.

Afternoon Cruise: An unbelievable afternoon of whale watching with a total of 10 Gray Whales including groups of 4 whales and a cow/calf pair all traveling south. One of the whales breached 5 times. Everyone was amazed!
2/11/205 Gray Whales, 2 Common Dolphins, 3 Pacific White-sided Dolphins5 Gray Whales, 25 Pacific White-sided Dolphins, 5 Bottlenose DolphinsMorning Cruise:
We had a beautiful cruise with international passengers from China, Japan, Poland and Mexico, in additional to many people from across the US. We observed 3 adult Gray Whales along with a cow/calf pair. We also saw two Common Dolphins and 3 Pacific White-sided Dolphins

Afternoon Cruise:
An incredible afternoon out on the water! Both weather and water were perfect. We saw 5 whales including a cow/calf pair that came right up to the boat! We also saw around 25 Pacific White-sided Dolphins and 5 Bottlenose Dolphins. These critters were very active and playful today and gave us an incredible "show".
2/10/209 Gray Whales9 Gray Whales, 50+ Common Dolphins, 25 Pacific White-sided DolphinsMorning Cruise: A rainy day with very smooth seas. We first briefly spotted a mother-calf pair of Gray Whales. Soon after we spotted 3 adults that snorkeled and fluked near the boat. As we turned towards Point Loma to head back in, we spotted 2 more adults close to the boat and another 2 juveniles nearby. We also spotted a small group of Common Dolphins in the distance.

Afternoon Cruise: The rain cleared to a beautiful, sunny afternoon. Guests from Canada, Mexico and across the United States enjoyed watching 7 southbound Gray Whales along with 2 juveniles. We also spotted a pod of Common Dolphins that were bowriding as well as a pod of Pacific White-sided Dolphins. Close to the kelp beds, brown pelicans and cormorants were diving to catch small fish from a bait ball.
2/9/205 Gray Whales, 25 Common Dolphins1 Minke WhaleMorning Cruise: In spite of drizzly weather, we spotted 5 Gray Whales this morning, 4 up close and 2 more in the distance. We also spotted a group of about 20 Common Dolphins with some even bow riding for about 20 minutes.

Afternoon Cruise: Increasing wind and waves made finding whales challenging this afternoon. We briefly spotted a couple blows, but were unable to see close enough to tell if they were Gray Whales. We also spotted an elusive Minke Whale (our first of the season) that we watched for a few surfacing cycles.
2/8/206 Gray Whales, 300+ Common Dolphins, 1 Pacific White-sided Dolphins.5 Gray Whales, 25 Common DolphinsMorning Cruise: Great weather and visibility today. As we headed out of the bay, we spotted gray whale spouts in the distance and came upon a group of 5 Gray Whales that were slowly traveling closely together. The whales fluked several times, yet we could see the blue glow of their bodies just below the surface. One whale breached twice, and the whales came very close to the Adventure Hornblower several times. The whales also showed courtship behavior with rolling right next to each other. We were able to watch this group for nearly an hour. We then went to see if we could see more whales and spotted scattered groups of Common Dolphins and one Pacific White-sided Dolphin along with a couple California Sea Lions. There were also hundreds of sea birds, including Brown Pelicans diving for fish in the area. Later we came upon a separate Gray Whale that was slowly swimming. We then came upon three of the whales that we watched earlier to finish out the morning cruise.

Afternoon Cruise: We had a wonderful afternoon on the water with clear skies and calm seas. Upon leaving the bay, we spotted a Gray Whale spouting right off Point Loma, the whale was in shallow water so we headed out to see what else we could find. Later we enjoyed many views of Gray Whales including one that surfaced right beside the Adventure Hornblower’s bow a couple times. We also spotted a few small groups of Common Dolphins that swam alongside the boat for a short time.
2/7/204 Gray Whales, 1 Bottlenose Dolphin4 Gray Whales, 3 Bottlenose DolphinsMorning Cruise: We spotted 4 Gray Whales and a single Common Bottlenose Dolphin.

Afternoon Cruise: In the bay we spotted a few Common Bottlenose Dolphins and then 4 Gray Whales offshore.
2/6/205 Gray Whales7 Gray Whales, 20 Bottlenose DolphinsMorning Cruise: A gorgeous day with flat water and clear, warm weather. We spotted 5 Gray Whales and enjoyed a close look at cow-calf pair of gray whales.
Afternoon Cruise: What a spectacular afternoon for whale watching! From the minute the Adventure Hornblower left the bay until we returned, we saw whales, whales, and more whales. The afternoon trip started with 20 bottle nose dolphin and a juvenile gray whale crossing the mouth of SD Bay. This was followed by a pair of juveniles and two pairs of adults. And more whales were spotted in the distance. Passengers from Germany, Canada, Israel, and all across the USA were delighted to see so many spouts and flukes. Seas were calm, skies blue. A wonderful time for all!
2/5/204 Gray Whales, 200+ Common Dolphins, 12 Pacific White-sided Dolphins6 Gray WhalesMorning Cruise: We left the harbor on a cold, crisp, clear morning with guests from Germany, Italy, Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. We saw a mother Gray Whale with her calf and 2 juvenile Gray Whales in the kelp beds. Hundreds of Common Dolphins played in our wake and later a dozen Pacific White-sided Dolphins swam by.

Afternoon Cruise: The Adventure Hornblower departed for the afternoon cruise under slightly cloudy skies with cool breezes. Captain Rick headed southward toward the Los Coronados Islands and just outside of the last shipping lane buoy we encountered our first single North Pacific Gray Whale that was heading south between the North Island and the Middle Island. After observing its spouting and tail fluking we sighted 2 more spouts about 1 mile away, so we cruised to observe a pair of Grays who seem to be snorkeling close to the surface of the water. The pair were elusively swimming in a zig zag manner. We were fortunate to hear their loud spouting and see them fluke several times. We sighted a number of spouts in the waters indicating that more Grays were in the area. We also spotted about 50 Cormorants and 10 Brown Pelicans on top of a bait ball near the tip of Point Loma. Captain Rick decided to head north to just off the coast of Point Loma near the Kelp Forest. We spotted a pair of Gray Whales and also noticed a single adult Gray Whale moving quickly through the area. Guests on board enjoyed the afternoon cruise and also commented about San Diego's awesome whale watching adventures. Cheers to all who were on board for the day!
2/4/202 Gray Whales5 Gray WhalesMorning Cruise: It was a lovely sunny day on the water, viewing 2 juvenile Gray whales travelling South. Water conditions allowed us to see the beautiful turquoise blue of the whales below the surface.

Afternoon Cruise: Very nice day, lots of sun and beautiful blue water. We saw about 5 Gray whales, mostly adults and one juvenile. Lots of amazing and curious guests including the members of “I love a clean San Diego”.
2/3/20n/an/aCruises cancelled due to high sea swells
2/2/203 Gray Whales, 50+ Common Dolphins, 15 Pacific White-sided Dolphins, 4 Bottlenose Dolphins5 Gray Whales, 400+ Common DolphinsMorning Cruise: We first spotted a few Bottlenose Dolphins in the harbor. Outside of the bay, we spotted 5 southbound Gray Whales along with a mixed group of Common Dolphins and Pacific White-sided Dolphins.

Afternoon Cruise: We spotted 4 adult Gray Whales and 1 juvenile. We spent several minutes watching a group of 3 whales spout and fluke. We also spotted a whale breaching in the distance a few times. We rounded out our afternoon watching a large group of Common Dolphins frolicking around the boat.
2/1/206 Gray Whales5 Gray Whales, 3 Common DolphinsMorning Cruise: Another beautiful day on the water with sunny skies and calm waters. We saw 3 pairs of Gray Whales, including a mother and calf pair! The third pair of adult whales gave us several big blows and double flukes! We saw a few California Sea Lions as well off shore. We had passengers from international locations such as France, and all areas of the US.

Afternoon Cruise: A gorgeous afternoon on the water, with clear skies, mild wind, smooth water and warm temperatures. Straight out of the channel markers we saw three Common Dolphins. Then we saw one juvenile Gray Whale snorkeling just below the surface. We followed this whale for about 20 minutes. We saw four more Gray Whales, and the last one showed us an amazing fluke, quite close to the boat. We had passengers from China, and Mexico, as well as from many States here in the US- Florida, Colorado, Missouri, and Michigan among them.
1/31/207 Gray Whales, 50+ Common Dolphins9 Gray Whales, 3 Bottlenose DolphinsMorning Cruise: Our morning was filled with whale watching including a sighting of a Mother-calf pair of Gray Whales. We also enjoyed watching a herd of Common Dolphins.

Afternoon Cruise: We spotted 9 Gray Whales along with a few Common Bottlenose Dolphins in the bay.
1/30/205 Gray Whales13 Gray Whales, 200+ Common Dolphins, 25 Pacific White-sided DolphinsMorning Cruise: We observed 5 Gray whales southbound in 3 groups. Visitors from Canada and Germany joined us for the cruise. It was a beautiful sunny morning.

Afternoon Cruise: The Hornblower Adventure sailed out southward under a bit of a breeze and a slightly hazy sky. We quickly came across a single Eastern North Pacific Gray Whale as it was crossing the shipping lane and headed toward the Los Coronado Islands pathway to the lagoons of Baja California, Mexico. We observed a few spouts and a couple of flukes from this Gray, however, Captain Rick decided to sail north in search of a few more Grays a couple of miles ahead. Within minutes of our turning in a northerly direction and just outside of our Kelp Forest near Point Loma we saw 2 spouts. The Adventure headed over to get a sighting and what a delight to see 2 large Grays continuing their journey south. Captain Rick was contacted by another whaling boat also out in the area and learned that there were 3 adult Grays exhibiting mating behavior along with a playful pod of about 25 Pacific White-sided dolphins so we head towards the action. Guests were delighted to observe the behaviors of the mixture of dolphins and Grays. Within a few moments one of the Whale Naturalists observe 3 more spouts about 1/2 mile away and Captain Rick decided to investigate this group and we observe their behavior for a while. Another sighting of a lot of spouting caught our attention and we headed further out about 2 miles off of Point Loma. Wowie!! We located 4 adult Grays that seem to swim in unison and spout frequently also heading south. Along with this sighting a pod of 200+ Common Dolphins joined us and guests were over the moon with excitement. As our time was running out, Captain Rick headed the Adventure back and another Gray was sighted about a quarter of a mile just outside of the entry to the bay. Many guests aboard stated that This by far was "The Best Whale Watching Company and Experience Ever!" Hats off to Captain Rick, 1st Mate Jayden, Crew members, Jarred and Daphne and Whale Naturalists Dee, Jack and Pam for all they do to make Whale Watching on the Hornblower Awesome!
1/29/20n/an/aWhale Watching Cancelled due to high sea swells.
1/28/2012 Gray Whalesn/aMorning Cruise: It was a beautiful, bright, sunny day, and about 72 degrees. We had visitors from England, China, Taiwan, Texas, New Jersey, and Georgia. We saw a dozen Gray Whales traveling south in groups of two to four, and we saw many flukes.

Afternoon Cruise: Cruise cancelled.
1/27/207 Gray Whales, 100+ Common Dolphins, 5 Pacific White-sided Dolphins7 Gray WhalesMorning Cruise: A beautiful morning! Guests from across the U.S. enjoyed watching 6 southbound Gray Whales including a cow/calf pair. We also spotted about 100 Common Dolphins with some Pacific White-sided Dolphins in the mix.

Afternoon Cruise: Perfect weather with sunny skies and calm seas. We watched a triad of whales for multiple sightings as they traveled south. We then spotted 2 groups of 2 whales.
1/26/2013 Gray Whales, 30 Common Dolphins, 30 Pacific White-sided Dolphins5 Gray WhalesMorning Cruise: The morning was overcast with one mile of visibility on departure. The skies opened up, and it was a terrific cruise. We spotted thirteen southbound gray whales in total. Some mating behavior among the whales was observed. We also spotted 30 common dolphins and 30 Pacific White-Sided Dolphins.

Afternoon Cruise: During the afternoon cruise, the sun peaked through the clouds illuminating the sea. The waters were very calm. We saw two juvenile Gray Whales swimming side-by-side in the southerly direction. Another three Gray Whales were spotted also swimming south.
1/25/2012 Gray Whales, 100+ Common Dolphins, 50+ Pacific White-sided Dolphins7 Gray Whales, Common Dolphins, 5 Pacific White-sided DolphinsMorning Cruise: Another amazing day of Whale watching! We had Gray Whale sightings throughout the morning with 2 solitary whales, 3 pairs of whales and a group of four whales that fluked near the boat. We also spotted more spouts in the distance. We also watched a herd of Common and Pacific White-sided Dolphins in the area. Whale watching doesn't get better than this!

Afternoon Cruise: We enjoyed watching several solitary Gray Whales and then had amazing sightings of a group of 4 adult whales that traveled close together. We also spotted a few Pacific White-sided Dolphins and California Sea Lions out on the ocean.
1/24/207 Gray Whales, 100+ Common Dolphins2 Gray Whales, 100+ Common DolphinsMorning Cruise: It was a beautiful sunny day on the water. We spotted 3 southbound adult Gray Whales a few miles offshore. Soon after, we spotted 2 more adult Gray Whales. Near the end of the trip we also spotted a cow/calf pair of Grays heading south. There were also lots of Common Dolphins and some pacific white sided dolphins as well.

Afternoon Cruise: A calm day on the water with a slight winter chill and a marine layer further out off shore. We saw plenty of marine activity including the Navy Seals. Once we had sailed into open waters just past Point Loma we came upon 2 adult Gray Whales migrating south in a zig-zag pattern. Along the way both Common and Pacific White-sided Dolphins kept us entertained along with a group of porpoising sea lions. Another great day on the Adventure Hornblower!
1/23/2023 Gray Whales, 100+ Common Dolphins, 25 Pacific White-sided Dolphins10 Gray Whales, 100+ Common Dolphins, 25+ Pacific White-sided DolphinsMorning Cruise: WHALE PALOOZA! Guest from Russia, Belgium, Utah, Minnesota, Pennsylvania and Florida enjoyed a "Whale of the Morning" We saw 17 south bound adult gray whales, 2 juveniles and 2 moms with their calves on the morning cruise. One highlight of the am cruise was a cow who came up close to the bow of the boat, while it was out of gear and had turned sideways and was cradling the calf in her flipper. We also sighted an estimate of 100 pelicans on the water, along with 25 Pacific White Sided dolphins and 100 Common Dolphins. WHO HOO - A spectacular day for all!

Afternoon Cruise: A wonderful cruise with sightings of 10 Gray Whales. One pair of Gray Whales were spyhopping and rolling around with a lot of dolphins all around, probably showing courtship behavior. We also spotted several spouts in the distance along with Common and Pacific White-sided Dolphins.
1/22/2012 Gray Whales, 300+ Common Dolphins, 300+ Pacific White-sided Dolphins7 Gray Whales, 200+ Common Dolphins, 100+ Pacific White-sided DolphinsMorning Cruise: Today was spectacular! Heading out we saw whales breaching. We first came upon a Gray Whale rolling about with some Common and Pacific White-sided Dolphins. We then spotted another whale that breached five times! We then spotted a pod of 4 Gray Whales traveling together and then another group of three that were exhibiting mating behavior. More Gray Whales were spotted in the area along with more whales with straighter and taller blows just across the Mexican border.

Afternoon Cruise: This afternoon was beautiful. Passengers from Norway and from all over the country enjoyed watching 7 adult and 2 juvenile Gray Whales. We spotted more spouts in the distance. We also watched pelicans and dolphins feeding on school of fish in the area. We also spotted more spouts from 5 whales in the distance.
1/21/202 Gray Whales, 25 Common Dolphins, 25 Pacific White-sided Dolphins5 Gray Whales, 50+ Common Dolphins, 3 Pacific White-sided Dolphins, 7 Bottlenose DolphinsMorning Cruise: Wow! What an incredible day on the water! The morning clouds from the storm cleared Captain Eric took us out to sea. We spotted a couple of Gray Whales along with scattered Common and Pacific White-sided Dolphins. Along the way, Captain Eric also noticed and pointed out a Mola mola (ocean sunfish) about 4 feet wide! Guests from China and across the U.S. joined us on the cruise.

Afternoon Cruise: We spotted a group of 4 Gray Whales and another Gray Whale joined them for a short time. The cluster of whales stayed close to the surface and fluked often. We also spotted a herd of Common Dolphins with a few Pacific White-sided Dolphins mixed in. The dolphins thrilled us by bowriding. Several Brown Pelicans were also diving for fish in the area. As we entered the bay, we spotted a group of Bottlenose Dolphins. What an amazing day with amazing views of the ocean wildlife!
1/20/202 Gray Whalesn/aMorning Cruise: A windy and overcast day on the water. We spotted 2 Gray Whales that were quickly traveling south. We also spotted a few Bottlenose Dolphins in the bay at Ballast Point as well as some Pacific White-sided Dolphins and Common Dolphins just outside of the bay along with some California Sea Lions..

Afternoon Cruise cancelled due to mechanical boat issue.
1/19/209 Gray Whales, 1000+ Common Dolphins5 Gray Whales, 40+ Common Dolphins, 10 Pacific White-sided DolphinsMorning Cruise: Another incredible day on the water. This morning we spotted four pairs of Gray Whales and a single Gray Whale all traveling south. We also enjoyed watching a large school of Common Dolphins.

Afternoon Cruise: Our fantastic sightings continued with a trio of Gray Whales, made up of a mother-calf pair and another adult, along with 2 single Gray Whales with more spouts in the distance. We also had a scattering of Common and Pacific White-sided Dolphins.
1/18/204 Gray Whales, 100+ Common Dolphins6 Gray Whales, 100+ Common Dolphins, Birds: Brown Booby & Masked BoobyMorning Cruise: A wonderful clear day with calm waters. We spotted our first Gray Whale very soon after leaving the bay and spotted wildlife throughout the cruise. We spotted a Juvenile Gray Whale, then an adult, and then a mother with a very young calf. More spouts were seen in the distance. We also spotted California sea lions swimming along with a solitary Harbor Seal.

Afternoon Cruise: What a day! As we headed out of the bay, we spotted a submarine towed by a tug boat entering San Diego Bay with the crew standing in formation and saluting on the top. We also enjoyed wildlife sightings throughout the cruise. We spotted 6 Gray Whales with an adult southbound Gray Whale, then a mother-calf pair, then another adult and ended with another mother-calf pair. In between we encountered a pod of 100+ Common Dolphins that were bowriding. We also spotted California Sea Lions and diving seabirds. The birding highlight was a Brown Booby bird along with a rarely sighted Masked Booby that hovered over the pilot house in between a whale sighting.
1/17/208 Gray Whales, 250+ Common Dolphins8 Gray Whales, 8 Bottlenose Dolphins, 25+ Common Dolphins, 40+ Pacific White-sided DolphinsMorning Cruise: We spotted 6 Gray Whales along with a cow-calf pair (with a calf that was almost a newborn). Many of our guests had never seen a whale and it was wonderful to see their excitement when we came on the first whale. From the first sighting, it continued to be amazing with whales we could view throughout the cruise. We also noted that there were a lot of military ships moving about which gave us good views of them.
Afternoon Cruise: A beautiful sunny afternoon on the water. We observed 2 juvenile and 6 adult Eastern Pacific Gray Whales on their southbound migration. We also spotted 8 Bottlenose Dolphins in the bay and 25 Common and 50+ Pacific White-sided Dolphins in the ocean. It was a lovely afternoon to spend on the water observing nature.
1/16/203 Gray Whales, 200 Common Dolphins, 40+ Pacific White-sided Dolphins2 Gray WhalesMorning Cruise: A cloudy day with a moderately calm sea. We spotted 3 Gray Whales traveling together. We watched these whales until they reached the Mexican border. We also encountered about 200 Common Dolphins and 40 Pacific White-sided Dolphins.
Afternoon Cruise: Enjoyable calm waters. We first met a big sized (probably pregnant female) Gray Whale. We followed her south for 4 dives and she offered us beautiful sightings, flukes and even lifted her head out of water to give us a look (but not spy hoping). We then followed a few different spouts and spotted others on the distance.
1/15/2010 Gray Whales3 Gray Whales, 20 Common Dolphins, 50 Pacific White-sided DolphinsMorning Cruise: Beautiful sunny day- great conditions on the water. We had guests from Germany, China, Nebraska, Missouri and Ohio. We also had a class from Point Loma HS - special needs students enjoying the cruise. We saw 8 adult Gray Whales heading south and a cow/calf pair. What a wonderful morning!
Afternoon Cruise: We spotted 3 Gray Whales, one pair and one alone but very close to the other two. We also saw some feeding activity, where we saw around 50 Pacific white sided and around 20 commons.
1/14/203 Gray Whales, 4 Common Dolphins8 Gray Whales, 5 Common Dolphins, 5 Pacific White-sided DolphinsMorning Cruise: We left the dock on a beautiful January morning. Passengers joined us from Chile, Egypt, Korea, India, Mexico and across the US. We were all thrilled to watch 3 Gray Whales that were on the southbound migration along with a few Common Dolphins.

Afternoon Cruise: Another stellar afternoon on the ocean. We had up to 8 Gray Whales spotted around the boat along with a smattering on Pacific White-sided and Common Dolphins.
1/13/202 Gray Whales, 500+ Common Dolphins6 Gray Whales, 150+ Common Dolphins, 50+ Pacific White-sided DolphinsMorning Cruise: It was a clear day with calm seas. We encountered a large herd of about 500 Common Dolphins that were bowriding and remained near the Adventure Hornblower for a while. We also spotted 3 separate whale spouts and were able to watch 2 subadult Gray Whales up close.

Afternoon Cruise: It was a glorious afternoon on the water. We spotted 6 Gray Whales, all traveling south. We also saw about 50 Pacific White-sided Dolphins and 150 Common Dolphins. We finished our cruise with a spectacular sunset.
1/12/202 Gray Whales, 50+ Common Dolphins1 Gray Whale, 500+ Common DolphinsMorning Cruise: We spotted 2 Gray Whales and also enjoyed watching a herd of Common Dolphins.

Afternoon Cruise: We spotted a pair of Gray Whales just outside of the kelpline. We also spotted a large herd of Common Dolphins.
1/11/203 Gray Whales, 100+ Common Dolphins20 Pacific White-sided DolphinsMorning Cruise: Fabulous day with blue skies and calm seas. Plenty of wildlife. We were able to watch a Gray Whale juvenile fluking multiple times just outside of the kelp beds. Luckily, not long after we came upon 2 separate adult Gray Whales, also on the side of that fluke! Impressive. A pod of Common Dolphins ,100 strong, entertained us bow riding and then later a small pod of Pacific White Sides. Let's not forget the pelicans, cormorants and gulls. What a Day!

Afternoon Cruise: While we didn’t see any Gray Whales, we did see a surprise smattering of a pod of 20 Pacific White Sides with 6 sea lions looking as if a feeding activity was going on. They were in a forward motion and not wanting to play or curious of our boat. This leading to the assumption there was some food out there. There was a community of 50 gulls floating but no diving or fishing behavior.
1/10/205 Gray Whales, 50+ Common Dolphins3 Gray WhalesMorning Cruise:
It was a clear crisp morning. After leaving the harbor we came upon a cow-calf pair of Gray Whales. Then we saw three other Gray Whales heading south. One surfaced close to the boat. We could hear the strong blow and then the whales fluked. As we headed to the bay, we encountered a pod of about 50 Common Dolphins feeding on a bait ball.

Afternoon Cruise:
The Hornblower Adventure sailed out of San Diego Bay under clear skies and a slight wind condition. Captain Eric noted to guests that one of the largest nuclear submarines was coming into its port along with 3 Navy escorts and 3 tugs that were assisting with the exchange of crew and also guests could see that supplies were being carried on to the sub. Guests on board were in awe as this was an opportunity to see a submarine up close and conducting its business. The Adventure sailed southward towards the Los Coronados Islands, and we were lucky to see our first Pacific Eastern Gray Whale who was also heading to its pathway between the Middle and North Los Coronados Islands. We observed the whale spouting an estimated 13 times and it seemed to continue its journey close to the surface with no fluking occurring. We noted from the ship that this was an older whale because of the many barnacles that could be seen on its body which indicated that it had been in the lagoons of Baja California, Mexico. As we began our journey back to the bay, we were very lucky to see 2 adult Gray whales. Spouts were heard loudly and fluking was seen by all on board as the whales continued their steady journey south. A beautiful day in our waters off Point Loma and to see the amazing day end with a stunning sunset as we head back to port.
1/9/206 Common Dolphinsn/aMorning Cruise:
We started with happy passengers from Denmark, Germany, Wisconsin, Utah, and Michigan. Guests enjoyed being on the ocean on a blustery day. Six Common Dolphins were seen.

Afternoon Cruise:
A very windy day…. Once leaving the bay, the captain decided to turn around and head back to the dock due to high sea swells. No sightings of whales or dolphins; just sea lions in the bay.
1/8/203 Gray Whales, Pacific White-sided Dolphins4 Gray Whales, 500+ Common Dolphins, 50+ Pacific White-sided DolphinsMorning Cruise: A beautiful day in the water off San Diego. We watched a mother-calf pair of Gray Whales that were escorted by a dolphin. Several times the calf was on its mom's back when it surfaced. We were able to watch the pair for a long time. A second whale was observed off Ocean Beach. We also spotted a scattering of Pacific White-sided Dolphins throughout the morning.

Afternoon Cruise: An exciting afternoon on the water. We spotted over 500 Common Dolphins and 50 Pacific White-sided Dolphins. We also watched a juvenile Gray Whale, and later, 3 adults traveling south together.
1/7/206 Gray Whales, 25 Common Dolphins, 25 Pacific White-sided Dolphins4 Gray Whales (1 cow-calf pair), 25 Common Dolphins, 25 Pacific White-sided DolphinsMorning Cruise: Throughout the beautiful, sunny morning, there were sightings of six gray whales traveling south. Some fluked, and even spy hopped. Also, common dolphins and Pacific white sided dolphins were sighted. Lovely!

Afternoon Cruise: Another delightful afternoon for whale watching - clear, calm waters, sun, and a wide variety of marine mammals. First there were a few dolphins, then a gray whale mother with baby calf-our first sighting of the season! The Adventure Hornblower followed the pair staying a safe distance. The mother protectively kept the calf close by, but neither whale had big blows. The next sighting was a raft of about a dozen sea lions. Then common dolphins, Pacific white sided dolphins, one adult gray whale, and another gray. Very nice afternoon. Visitors were from England, Germany, China, Canada, and all over the U.S.
1/6/203 Gray Whales, 150 Common Dolphins2 Gray Whales, 30+ Pacific White-sided DolphinsMorning Cruise: A beautiful day on the ocean. We almost immediately found a pod of about 25 Common Dolphins and, just a little farther offshore, a single Gray Whale. We then headed north looking for more whales and spotted two other pods of about 100 Common Dolphins and 25 Common Dolphins. As we headed south, we spotted 2 more Gray Whales.

Afternoon Cruise: A gorgeous afternoon on the water. We spotted about 30 Pacific White-sided Dolphins and in the late afternoon two juvenile Gray Whales off the kelp bed. One of the whales fluked, but the highlight was when one of the whales popped its head out of the water and showed us its baleen!
1/5/20n/a2 Gray WhalesMorning Cruise: Whale watching cruise cancelled

Afternoon Cruise: A lovely afternoon of Whale Watching with great views of 2 migrating Gray Whales.
1/4/202 Fin Whales, 50 Common Dolphins5 Gray WhalesMorning Cruise: We enjoyed a beautiful day on the water watching 2 Fin Whales and about 50 Common Dolphins. We had international visitors from Romania, India, and the Netherlands.

Afternoon Cruise: Wow!!! What an absolutely incredible whale watching cruise on the Hornblower Adventure today. Captain Rick cruised out of the San Diego Bay in search of the Eastern Pacific Gray Whale who are currently migrating south to the lagoons of Baja California, Mexico to give birth to their calves. Under slightly cloudy skies we headed westward and within 2 miles out we encounter 1 adult Gray Whale. Guests on board were so excited and thrilled to see this beautiful whale in our waters so quickly. All so enjoyed hearing and seeing this whale's beautiful heart shaped spout. Oohhs!! and Aawws!! from all aboard. After spending some time Captain Rick decided to head further north in search of a couple of Fin whales that were also in our waters, however they seem to elude us. Along the way, we did see some birds feeding on a bait ball, mostly like sardines or anchovies. As we headed north we heard that a couple of Grays were not far from us and we went to observe. How exciting to see 2 adults and 1 juvenile heading south. Lots of spouts and tail flukes for all to see!! As our time seemed to become short we began our journey back to San Diego Bay. To our surprised we sighted a couple of more spouts about 3/4 quarters a mile away, and suddenly, within 500 yards from the boat, there was a Gray spouting and diving that was also traveling south. What an incredible day it was aboard the Hornblower Adventure!
1/3/202 Gray Whales, 1 Pygmy Sperm Whale, 30 Pacific White-sided Dolphins3 Gray Whales, 40 Pacific White-sided Dolphins.Morning Cruise: A beautiful morning on the water. We had a rare sighting of a pygmy or dwarf sperm whale early in our cruise. We also encountered two migrating Gray Whales. We were fortunate to also encounter 30 Pacific White-sided Dolphins. What a wonderful day!

Afternoon Cruise: We enjoyed a beautiful afternoon and were joined with guests from Utah, Japan, Russia and the Midwest. We spotted 3 Gray Whales traveling together. The whales engaged in some courtship behavior. We also spotted 40-50 Pacific White-sided Dolphins.
1/2/202 Gray Whalesno whale sightingsMorning Cruise: We enjoyed an active morning of sightings with a group of Gray Whales exhibiting courtship behaviors along with views of several groups of Pacific White-sided Dolphins.

Afternoon Cruise: Although we searched, we found no whales or dolphins during our cruise.
1/1/201 Gray Whalen/aBeing in the bay and ocean is a terrific way to start the New Year! Sunny skies and calm seas were enjoyed by all. We found a southbound juvenile Gray Whale that changed direction a couple of times and showed its flukes before deep dives. Looking forward to more days of whale watching!

Afternoon Cruise cancelled.
12/31/192 Gray Whales3 Gray Whales, 100+ Common DolphinsMorning Cruise: Guests from Mexico City and all over the U.S. joined us onboard for a clear, beautiful day with excellent conditions for whale sightings. We spotted a pair of Gray Whales that dove for up to 8 minutes. One of the whales fluked just before a longer dive. We also spotted California sea lion on a navigation buoy.

Afternoon Cruise: Guests from Germany, Austria, Singapore, Italy and all over the U.S. joined us to watch whales. We were lucky to have sightings almost the entire trip including sightings of 3 Gray Whales and 100+ Common Dolphins all around the boat.
12/30/1950 Common Dolphins1 Gray Whale, 25 Common Dolphins, 5 Pacific White-sided DolphinsMorning Cruise:
We spotted about 50 Common Dolphins, but no baleen whales.

Afternoon Cruise:
Captain Eric guided the Adventure Hornblower out of the bay under a bit of cloudy skies, slight wind and headed southward towards the Los Coronado Islands. The captain had heard information about a couple of Humpbacks that were headed south at the end of the AM cruise so the captain decided to see if we could possibly relocate them within a few miles out of the bay. We could see a couple of spouts in the distance, however, Captain Eric, was bound to rules of the International Waters boundary with Mexico. So we continued our journey further northward in search of the Gray Whales who migrate along our coastline. We did encounter a small pod of 25 Long-beaked Common Dolphins that guests were very excited to see bow riding. As we continued our cruise a slight wind picked up and some white caps were visible which made it a bit difficult for sightings. The Adventure cruised out to the 9 mile bank and still the whales eluded us. Upon return about 1 mile off of Point Loma we finally encountered 1 adult Gray Whale along with 5 Pacific White-sided Dolphins. All guests on board enjoyed the encounter and the beautiful sunset that was occurring. Lovely day it was to be on the water!!!!
12/29/193 Gray Whales3 Gray WhalesMorning Cruise: Beautiful sunny and calm day on the water. Early sightings of an adult gray whale headed southbound. Later, two separate sightings of frisky juvenile gray whales. Some Pacific white-sided dolphins came along side of our boat for excellent views.

Afternoon Cruise: Absolutely gorgeous day! Perfectly calm with hardly any wind. Saw at least 3 rather shy gray whales about 9 miles out. They showed just the very tops of their backs before doing their dives. They stayed down approximately 6 minutes/dive before resurfacing so we got to watch them do a series of three dives before they seemingly disappeared. One lone sea lion was playing in the water near the area where we first spotted these whales. We did manage to spot this small group of whales again on our way back to the harbor. This time they provided great views of blows as they surfaced.
12/28/1910 Pacific White-sided Dolphins1 Gray Whale, 1 Humpback WhaleMorning Cruise: Although we searched, no baleen whales were spotted this morning. We did see a small group of Pacific White-sided Dolphins.

Afternoon Cruise: The PM trip had mostly sunny skies with visibility all the way to tabletop in Mexico with clear views of the Coronado Islands. We were blessed with a great Humpback whale who was moving at about 6 knots according to Captain Richard. Being a Humpback he was sited near the boat and at a further distance throughout the cruise. We had some very close encounters of what appeared to be a Juvenal due to size with a clear view of his small dorsal fin. He arched every third breath with no flukes to be seen and was down for about 3.5 minutes before we saw another blow. Multiple blows were auditable from the boat! Along the way there were hundreds of Turns on the water that could have indicated why the Humpback was in the area possibly feeding or pursuing a snack. Towards the end of the trip we were able to see a grey whale in addition to the Humpback. We only spent a short time with the Grey whale but were able to see two cycles with flukes! All in all it was a beautiful day on the water.
12/27/191 Gray Whale22 Risso's DolphinsMorning Cruise: Beautiful sunny day, no clouds. Full vessel with estimated 280 guests on board the Hornblower Adventure. Encountered one juvenile gray whale. Observed Pacific White-Sided Dolphins and Common Dolphins.

Afternoon Cruise: The Adventure departed the dock with a very large group of passengers some from as far away as Italy, Germany, Japan, China, Taiwan, India and Australia. Captain Ernesto headed southward out of the San Diego Bay under slightly cloudy skies towards and decided to head west in search of the Pacific Eastern Gray Whale. We traveled diligently in search of the Grays but, they eluded us on this cruise. We were very fortunate to come across a pod of 22, which also included 6 juveniles, that were feeding on squid in our waters about 4 miles out from the coast of Point Loma area. Guests were very engaged with the sighting and were delighted to observe the behaviors of the Risso's which included, 48 breaches, tail slapping, spyhopping, partial mating behavior, and flipper slapping. Everyone was amazed to see that the Risso's took a few deep dives leaving a very distinct dolphin footprint on the water's surface. Many said that they were in awe of how the Risso's seem very synchronize as they swam next to each other. It was simply amazing for all to see this incredible dolphin today.
12/26/19n/an/aCruises cancelled due to high sea swells
12/25/19100+ Common Dolphins150+ Common DolphinsMorning Cruise: Although the weather forecast rain, we enjoyed great weather today. Guests from India, china and across the US joined us today. We started off our trip with a rainbow just before boarding. Although we didn't see any whales, we came across a megapod of dolphins with lots of acrobatics and bowriding- lots of fun for our guests!

Afternoon Cruise: Guests from Germany, Mexico and Japan joined us as we searched for whales. While we didn't see any baleen whales, we spotted a herd of about 150 Common Dolphins.
12/24/19no sightingsn/aMorning Cruise: Passengers from around the US and lots of children joined us for the cruise. Although it was a mostly clear day with good viewing conditions, not whales or dolphins were spotted today.

Afternoon Cruise: Cruise cancelled due to rough sea conditions.
12/23/19no sightings20 Common DolphinsMorning Cruise: No whales or dolphins were spotted during this morning's cruise.

Afternoon Cruise: We encountered about 20 Common Dolphins during the cruise along with a dazzling rainbow.
12/22/19500+ Common Dolphins500+ Common DolphinsMorning Cruise: The seas were calm with great visibility. Diverse passengers from Europe, the Midwest, and Japan joined us on the cruise- all to experience the sea. Although we did not spot baleen whales, passengers were treated to a large pod of Common Dolphins, many who rode the bow with us. As we came near to shore, they clustered together and jumped in unison, pursuing the boat to bow ride.

Afternoon Cruise: Beautiful water today, with good visibility. There were tons of pelicans looking for fish on our way out. On our return journey, we saw a large pod of Common Dolphins feeding on bait fish below the surface. There were many shearwaters also flying over the dolphins. We enjoyed a great view with the afternoon sun! The dolphins were mixed with juveniles and adults. A great day on the water overall!
12/21/19800+ Common Dolphins500+ Common DolphinsMorning Cruise: Great weather today with lots of sun and gentle sea swells. While searching for whales, we spotted scattered California sea lions, a couple harbor seals, a couple of Common Dolphins and sea birds. Although we didn't spot any baleen whales, we encountered a large pod of Long-beaked Common Dolphins that rode the bow to the delight of all of our guests.

Afternoon Cruise: A gorgeous afternoon with calm glassy water. We again encountered a large herd of Long-beaked Common Dolphins that played around the boat. Many of the dolphins were feeding on baitfish along with hundreds of diving sea birds and some California Sea Lions mixed in the feeding group. What a beautiful way to spend the Winter Solstice!
12/20/191 Gray Whale, 6 Pacific White-sided Dolphins3 Gray Whales, 6 Pacific White-sided Dolphins, 6 Bottlenose DolphinsMorning Cruise: We spotted a juvenile Gray Whale about 3 miles south of Pt. Loma. The whale swam slowly beneath the surface coming up to spout frequently. We were able to follow the whale for 15 minutes before returning back to the dock. We also saw 6 Pacific White-sided dolphins early in the trip.

Afternoon Cruise: During the afternoon trip we found 3 adult Gray Whales, 6 to 10 Pacific White-sided Dolphins and 6 Bottlenose Dolphins that were in the bay. The whales were 6 miles south of Pt. Loma. Two whales were swimming together and the third was close-by. The whales stayed down 8 to 10 minutes between sightings, but we got spectacular views of spouts and tail flukes as the whales surfaced next to the boat six to eight times. The whales were so close you could even hear them breathe!
12/19/19n/a10+ Pacific White-sided Dolphins, 10+ Common Dolphins, 4 Bottlenose DolphinsMorning Cruise: Cancelled due to high sea swells

Afternoon Cruise: It was a chilly, clear day out on the beautiful Pacific! The ride was a bit rocky,but not for our first signting of 4 Bottlenose Dolphins in the bay. As we traveled north, we encountered approximately 10 each of Pacific White-sided Dolphins and Common Dolphins. Today just being under the sun and in the swells felt like a hug!
12/18/19n/an/aCruises cancelled due to high sea swells
12/17/191 Gray Whale, 1,000 Common Dolphins, 10 Pacific White-sided Dolphins550+ Common Dolphins, 50+ Pacific White-sided DolphinsMorning Cruise: It was a clear crisp morning as we left the harbor and watched the Navy interactive training one of their Bottlenose Dolphins. Soon after, Captain Rick spotted a spout in the distance. It was an Eastern Pacific Gray Whale heading south towards the lagoons in Baja California, Mexico. We followed the whale and guests aboard were able to watch it surface, blow and dive a number of times. The Gray whale fluke (tail) glistened in the sunlight as the Gray was headed down into the water for another dive. Lots of passengers were able to take great photos as the sea was relatively calm. We were also greeted by a very active and large (approximately 1,000) pod of Long-beaked Common Dolphins. What a delight to see them swimming under the water close to the ship. About 10 Pacific White-sided Dolphins also swam by for a visit. It was an amazing trip-great weather, great sightings and great information given by the Captain Rick, First Mate Kaitylin and the Whale Naturalists from the San Diego Natural History Museum.

Afternoon Cruise: The Hornblower Adventure sailed out of San Diego Bay under slightly cloudy skies southward toward the Los Coronados Islands. Captain Rick changed directions and begin our journey heading north along the 3 mile area along the coast of Point Loma. In the distance we could see Navy air drop training activity with helicopters perhaps dropping sonar devices into the water and the US Coast Guard stationed close by. As Captain Rick continued our northbound journey, we saw a lot of bird activity in the distance and a lot of splashing which indicated the dolphins were in the area. Captain Rick headed the Hornblower towards the active area and guests aboard were thrilled to see numerous (approximately 550) Long-beaked Common Dolphins hunting for their food. It looked to be herring and sardines that interested the Dolphins and birds. We also saw 2 pods of Pacific White-sided Dolphins (approximately 50) join the Commons in the eating frenzy. Many of the Dolphins decided that they wanted to bow ride the Hornblower which delighted the guests on board. There were a few juveniles that accompanied the pod with their mothers. Captain Rick decided to continue our journey in search of the Gray Whales. Unfortunately, the winds started to pick up and we could see a lot of white caps appearing which indicated that swells were coming towards us and the Gray Whales had eluded us. As we begin our journey back to the San Diego Bay, we did sight a lone sea lion who most likely had visited the bait ball area where the dolphins were feeding. Our journey end with an incredible sunset with colorful shades of orange, red, pink that definitely was a photographer's dream picture moment!!!
12/16/1920 Pacific White-sided Dolphins1 Gray Whale, 100+ Pacific White-sided DolphinsMorning Cruise: Although Gray Whales eluded us this morning, we did encounter a pod of Pacific White-sided Dolphins.

Afternoon Cruise: We departed under sunny skies and a gentle sea swell once we left the bay, sea life was scarce until we encountered a juvenile Gray Whale off of Ocean Beach that was headed north- unusual for this time of year. We watched the whale for about a half hour as it surfaced and even fluked once. As we headed back toward San Diego Bay, we came across a bait ball of small fish that were visible "boiling" just below the surface. Shortly after, we encountered lots of diving seabirds, a few California Sea Lions, and even a scattered pod of about 100+ Pacific White-sided Dolphins all feeding on the baitfish. Some of the dolphins briefly rode the bow and stern wake of the boat. We finished our cruise with a spectacular sunset with postcard views of the Downtown San Diego skyline!
12/15/19n/an/aCruises cancelled due to high sea swells
12/14/192 Humpback Whales, 3 Bottlenose Dolphins1 Gray Whale, 6 Common Dolphins, 6 Pacific White-sided Dolphins, 2 Bottlenose DolphinsMorning Cruise: A beautiful first day of the season on the water with lots of sunshine and some sea swells. As we left the bay, a few whalers and guests spotted 3 Bottlenose Dolphins. The highlight of our morning, was a mother Humpback Whale with her newborn calf. It was such a treat to see such a young Humpback calf in Southern California waters since they are typically only seen much farther south!

Afternoon Cruise: The afternoon cruise was perfect! We had our first Gray Whale surface right beside the Adventure Hornblower and then right behind the boat. The whale even fluked several times! We also had Common Dolphins bowriding for a long time and spotted both Bottlenose Dolphins and California Sea Lions.

 
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