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Whale Watching Season Now Through April 23

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Whale Watching Report 2016 - 2017

DateMorning CruiseAfternoon CruiseNotes
02/20/20178 Gray Whales, 25 Pacific White-sided Dolphins, 100+ Common Dolphins4 Gray Whales, 500+ Common Dolphins

Morning Cruise:
It was a beautiful morning with moderate swells. It was an exciting trip where we saw 8 Gray Whales with lots of breaching, spy hopping, and some mating behavior. We also saw Common Dolphins and Pacific White Sided Dolphins. It was a very special morning.

Afternoon Cruise:
It was a beautiful sunny day and breezy with moderate swells. We saw one whale from a distance that fluked and left us. Then we came upon 3 Gray Whales traveling closely together. We we able to see them several times as they came up on one side of the boat then the other, even behind us before we had to head back. We also watched pelicans diving along with other seabirds feeding. A large group of Common Dolphins surfed the bow wave as we heading back to the bay to finish off a perfect afternoon.

02/19/2017N/AN/A

Cruises cancelled due to high sea swells.

02/18/2017N/AN/A

Cruises cancelled due to high sea swells.

02/17/2017N/AN/A

Cruises cancelled due to high sea swells.

02/16/20175 Gray Whales, 20 Common Dolphins3 Gray Whales, 20 Common Dolphins

Morning Cruise:
Guests from as far away as Korea and Canada enjoyed sightings of 4 adult and 2 juvenile Gray Whales. It was also exciting to watch a group of common dolphins and seabirds feasting on local fish.

Afternoon Cruise:
Everyone enjoyed a thrilling afternoon. One Gray Whale breached 6 times in a row! We also spotted two other southbound Gray Whales and a small group of playful Common Dolphins.

02/15/20178 Gray Whales, 50+ Pacific White-sided Dolphins6 Gray Whales

Morning Cruise:
A wonderful whale-filled morning! We observed courtship and mating behavior between two pairs of Gray Whales and spotted spouts of 4 other adult gray whales nearby. The whales were seen fluking, spy-hopping, and even breaching. Many Pacific White-Sided Dolphins were also seen in the vicinity of the mating whales as well as riding the waves at the bow of the boat.

Afternoon Cruise:
A breezy sunny afternoon on the water with sightings of 6 adult gray whales in 3 different pairs. Fluking and spy-hopping behaviors were observed, along with a breach. There was a lot of military activity as an added bonus for the passengers with planes, helicopters, and ships.

02/14/20177 Gray Whales, 30 Pacific White-sided Dolphins, 100 Common Dolphins4 Gray Whales, 10 Pacific White-sided Dolphins, 10 Common Dolphins

Morning Cruise:
A lovely, sunny day on the water. Just outside Point Loma we spotted a pair of elusive Gray Whales that slipped away. We then headed west and found Pacific White Sided and Common Dolphins. Just before returning to port we had close encounters with a trio of Gray Whales followed by another pair of Grays that showed us their flukes.

Afternoon Cruise:
We loved this Valentine's Day afternoon! Shortly after leaving the bay, we encountered a single Gray Whale. First there was one breach, then another, another, ... a total of five breaches in a row! We were so fortunate to have this behavior close up. Later we encountered Pacific White-sided Dolphins riding in the boat's bow wake. The sightings continued with Common Dolphins, and 3 additional Gray Whales traveling south.

02/13/20174 Gray Whales, 100+ Common Dolphins8 Gray Whales, 20 Pacific White-sided Dolphins, 100+ Common Dolphins

Morning Cruise:
Guests enjoyed a gorgeous sparkling, sunny morning with sightings of 4 southbound, adult Gray Whales. We also spotted several groups of Common Dolphins mixed in with the Gray Whales.

Afternoon Cruise:
What an exciting afternoon filled with sightings of 8 adult Gray Whales! Guests also enjoyed watching playful Common and Pacific White-sided Dolphins.

02/12/20175 Gray Whales, 25+ Common Dolphins, 25+ Pacific White-sided Dolphins5 Gray Whales, 2 Bottlenose Dolphins

Morning Cruise:
A sunny day on the water, although 6-foot swells made for rather rough conditions. We spotted 5 Gray Whales including an inquisitive juvenile who approached the ship a few times and also a spy hopped, barrel-rolled, and showed us its flukes. Two Gray Whale pairs approached close enough that we could clearly see the barnacles and whale lice on their heads. We also enjoyed watching Common Dolphins and Pacific White-sided Dolphins too!

Afternoon Cruise:
A awesome whale-filled afternoon. Guests were excited to see 5 Gray Whales near the boat in addition to many more blows in the distance. We also found two offshore Common Bottlenose Dolphins that were bow-riding right before we returned to San Diego bay.

02/11/20174 Gray Whales, 1 Humpback Whale, 100+ Pacific White-sided Dolphins5 Gray Whales, 100+ Pacific White-sided Dolphins

Morning Cruise:
Rainy conditions did not stop us from finding whales this morning. Captain Jules spotted 4 Gray Whales including a mother calf pair and another pair displaying courtship behaviors. The morning was capped off by a sighting of a Humpback Whale and some playful Pacific White-sided Dolphins.

Afternoon Cruise:
The rainy conditions cleared, although the ocean was a little bumpy from storm swells. We still enjoyed fantastic whale watching spotting 5 Gray Whales that were breaching, lunging, and rolling and displaying other courtship behaviors.

02/10/20171 Gray Whale3 Gray Whales, 1 Humpback Whale, 100+ Pacific White-sided Dolphins

Morning Cruise:
The thick, pea soup-like fog remained this morning making finding whales difficult. Captain Michael did find a single adult Gray Whale for guests to watch.

Afternoon Cruise:
The morning fog cleared to a beautiful, sunny afternoon filled with wildlife. We spotted 3 adult Gray Whales, a Humpback Whale and more than 100 Pacific White-sided Dolphins. Guests also enjoyed seeing California Sea Lions and many different seabirds including Double Crested Cormorants, Brown Pelicans and both Western and Heermann's Gulls.

02/09/201730 Common Dolphins, 10 Pacific White-sided Dolphins1 Mola mola

Morning Cruise:
Dense fog today hid gray whales from us today. Guests enjoyed seeing several groups of playful Common Dolphins mixed in with Pacific White-sided Dolphins and some California sea lions.

Afternoon Cruise:
Visibility was still hampered by dense fog this afternoon. Our only sighting was of a Mola mola (ocean sunfish) at the surface.

02/08/20172 Gray Whales, 100+ Common Dolphins, 100+ Pacific White-sided DolphinsCruise cancelled due to dense fog

Morning Cruise:
Shortly after leaving the Bay, we spotted two adult Gray Whales and a mixed herd of Pacific White-sided and Common Dolphins. A thick fog bank rolled in shortly after spotting the whales. We headed in early since the fog was too thick to find any more whales.

Afternoon Cruise:
Cancelled due to dense fog.

02/07/20173 Gray Whales, 150+ Pacific White-sided Dolphins, 100+ Common Dolphins, 1 Mola mola3 Gray Whales, 100+ Pacific White-sided Dolphins, 200+ Common Dolphins

Morning Cruise:
A stormy morning turned into a fascinating whale watching day. Captain Jules efforts resulted in a long period of watching 2 Gray Whales rolling around and displaying mating behavior at the surface! Along with these sightings, was a mixed group of both Common and Pacific White-sided dolphins. We then spotted a really large Mola mola (ocean sunfish); a couple of curious Pacific white-sided dolphins even swam up to check the Mola mola out.

Afternoon Cruise:
We were all amazed at the sunny afternoon—a beautiful one for whale watching. It wasn't long before leaving the bay that we spotted our first Gray Whales, which turned out to be a cow-calf pair. They stayed close together, near the surface. Nearby was another adult Gray Whale—spouting and fluking. Other highlights of the afternoon were groups of both Pacific White Sided and Common Dolphins swimming near the boat, diving, and leaping!

02/06/20179 Gray Whales, 50+ Common Dolphins1 Gray Whale

Morning Cruise:
Weather this morning was windy with whitecaps from an incoming storm. In spite of the weather, our Captain spotted a total of 9 Gray Whales—a real treat for our enthusiastic passengers.

Afternoon Cruise:
This afternoon the wind and waves picked up even more making spotting whales very difficult. Captain Earnesto did find us one Gray Whale that allowed all guests onboard a good look.

02/05/20175 Gray Whales11 Gray Whales, 10 Common Dolphins, 10 Pacific White-sided Dolphins

Morning Cruise:
A much calmer day with no whitecaps and perfect conditions for watching migrating Gray Whales. Guests enjoyed great sightings of two adult and two juvenile southbound Gray Whales.

Afternoon Cruise:
Another awesome afternoon filled with Gray Whales! We spotted whales throughout the cruise along with some scattered dolphins. The whales were very active again with lots of breaching, spyhopping, and courtship behaviors.

02/04/20179 Gray Whales, 1 Humpback Whale12 Gray Whales

Morning Cruise:
Another beautiful sunny morning filled with whales. Despite high sea swells, the waves were far enough apart to prevent most guests from getting sick. We spotted Gray Whales throughout the cruise and even spotted a lone Humpback Whale.

Afternoon Cruise:
What an afternoon! Captain Chad found a total of 12 Gray Whales! a group of 3 whales stayed by the boat for a long time—giving everyone fantastic, close up looks. At one point two of the whales flukes together! The whales also spy hopped and showed some courtship behaviors. We finally left this group to watch another pair of whales that also remained near the boat. Throughout the cruise, gray whale spouts could be seen in all directions!

02/03/20179 Gray Whales, 100+ Pacific White-sided Dolphins, 200+ Common Dolphins9 Gray Whales, 100+ Pacific White-sided Dolphins

Morning Cruise:
We began seeing whales as soon as we left the bay. We continued to see gray whales the entire morning along with both Common and Pacific White-sided dolphins. One gray whale breached 4 times!

Afternoon Cruise:
Our abundance of Gray Whale sightings continued this afternoon. At one point, we were surrounded by whales with spouts in every direction! One whale breached and spy hopped. We also enjoyed Pacific White-sided Dolphins playing in our bow wake. Another awesome day!

02/02/20179 Gray Whales, 100 Pacific White-sided Dolphins7 Gray Whales

Morning Cruise:
Great day for Gray Whale viewing! We were engaged in watching whales for the majority of the morning. Most of the whales' activities were close to the surface of the water. We saw spy hopping, flukes, and spouts! The whales were very active suggesting mating behavior.

Afternoon Cruise:
The afternoon's whale watching began shortly after we left the bay and headed out toward SD Buoy 1. A single whale spouted and fluked, and we followed for a while, then went off in search of more whales. All together we saw 3 groups of 2 whales traveling south. One whale in the third group had a big chunk taken out of his flukes. All whales spouted, some showing heart-shaped blows, and fluked. What a great afternoon of whale watching!

02/01/20176 Gray Whales, 200+ Common Dolphins, 1 Minke Whale7 Gray Whales, 50+ Common Dolphins

Morning Cruise:
Dense morning fog turned into a gorgeous, sunny day for whale watching! We enjoyed viewing 6 Gray Whales and even were lucky enough to see a Minke Whale, which are often difficult to spot due to their smaller size and inconspicuous blow. Guests also enjoyed a herd of about 200 playful Common Dolphins.

Afternoon Cruise:
What a day! We spotted a duo of large Gray Whales as soon as we left San Diego Bay. This was followed by a mother and her young calf. At the mouth of the bay we caught up with a Gray Whale that was elusive at first then breached 12 times! Another pair of Grays swam off into the sunset as we headed into the bay. Truly a top 10 trip!

01/31/20175 Gray Whales, 1 Humpback Whale200+ Pacific White-sided Dolphins6 Gray Whales

Morning Cruise:
Nice sunny day! Shortly after leaving the bay we saw an individual gray whale. A little further out we saw a Gray Whale cow/calf pair, 3 juvenile Gray Whales wandering around, and a juvenile Humpback Whale that swam really close to the boat! We also spotted about 100 Pacific White-sided Dolphins.

Afternoon Cruise:
Calm seas, sunny afternoon, light breeze and a marine layer slowly moving onshore. Captain Jules found 5 Gray Whales down south. One of the whales was close enough to hear the blow each time it surfaced! We also spotted another Gray Whale on the way in for a total of 6 grey whales. The fog rolled in heavy right behind us!

01/30/20174 Gray Whales, 1 Humpback Whale, 300+ Common Dolphins9 Gray Whales, 1 Humpback Whale, 300+ Common Dolphins

Morning Cruise:
A beautiful start to the day. We quickly spotted two pairs of Gray Whales. The first pair was 2 large adults that fluked regularly. We also came across a few hundred very playful common dolphins all around the boat and a Humpback Whale that breached for us.

Afternoon Cruise:
We headed way out west and were rewarded with a group of 9 grey whales that were traveling slowly, spouting and tail fluking together at times. All guests enjoyed great views of the whales. As we headed in, we came across the same Humpback Whale we spotted in the morning and a large group of Common Dolphins.

01/29/20173 Gray Whales, 10 Pacific White-sided Dolphins5 Gray Whales, 1 Humpback Whale, 500 Common Dolphins, 10 Pacific White-sided dolphins, 10 Bottlenose Dolphins

Morning Cruise: We had a great day on the water. We saw 3 Gray whales and many flukes. There were Pacific White-sided Dolphins and California sea lions playing near the whales.

Afternoon Cruise:
We had a spectacularly clear day, water was a deep blue, and we had our first sighting of a gray whale just outside the bay. We were visited by dolphin species; Pacific White-sided, Bottlenose and Common Dolphins. We then spotted a Humpback whale and then a group of 3 Gray Whales displaying courtship behavior.

01/28/20171 Humpback Whale, 1 Gray Whale, 2,500 Common Dolphins1 Humpback Whale, 2 Gray Whales, 300 Pacific White-sided Dolphins

Morning Cruise:
Our whale sightings continue with both a Humpback Whale and a Gray Whale spotted soon after leaving San Diego Bay. We then found the same huge, playful, mega-herd of Common Dolphins that we saw yesterday.

Afternoon Cruise:
Another awesome afternoon! We began our trip with a blast by watching a breaching and tail-slapping Humpback Whale. We then spotted 2 Gray Whales and about 300 Pacific White-sided Dolphins.

01/27/20173 Gray Whales, 1 Fin Whale, 1,000+ Common Dolphins, 10 Pacific White-sided Dolphins1 Gray Whale, 1 Humpback Whale, 3,000+ Common Dolphins

Morning Cruise:
Just outside of the Bay we spotted two Gray Whales, an adult and a juvenile, which we followed for a half hour. We went out farther we spotted a mixed group of both Common and Pacific White-sided Dolphins. Just as we were heading back in the Bay we spotted our fourth cetacean species, a quickly moving Fin Whale.

Afternoon Cruise:
What a great day! We began our trip with a Gray Whale that we watched for about 30 minutes. Our captain spotted another blow nearby, which was a Humpback Whale diligently feeding. We then headed north to try and find the dolphins we watched in the morning. Soon a large mega-herd of Long-beaked Common Dolphins came splashing toward us. We were surrounded by more than 3,000 dolphins. At one point at least 20 dolphins were riding our bow. What a stunning and overwhelming experience!

01/26/20172 Gray Whales, 50 Common Dolphins3 Humpback Whales, 100+ Common Dolphins, 10 Pacific White-sided Dolphins

Morning Cruise:
Another beautiful, sunny morning perfect for Whale Watching! Captain Eric found us two southbound Gray Whales. Guests also enjoyed watching more than 50 Common Dolphins.

Afternoon:
Still sunny and clear, but chilly this afternoon as we headed out to find whales. While we did not find any Gray Whales, we did find 3 magnificent Humpback Whales that showed us their flukes. It is interesting that we have been spotting Humpbacks on many of our winter trips since this is a species we typically see more often in other seasons. We also spotted Common Dolphins and Pacific White-sided dolphins.

01/25/20175 Gray Whales, 1 Humpback Whale, 20 Common Dolphins, 7 Pacific White-sided Dolphins4 Gray Whales, 20 Common Dolphins, 10 Pacific White-sided Dolphins

Morning Cruise:
Heading out of San Diego Bay we spotted a single Gray Whale. Going farther out, we came across 4 Gray Whales traveling together. Captain Jules then spotted a nice-sized blow on the horizon, which ended up being a Humpback Whale—a beautiful, full-sized adult that showed us its impressively large flukes. Guests also enjoyed watching a group of playful Common Dolphins and some Pacific White-sided Dolphins.

Afternoon Cruise:
After days of rain, everyone looked forward to being out on the water on a sunny, clear afternoon. Shortly after leaving the harbor, we saw our first gray whale near San Diego Buoy 1! After following it for a while, Capt. Jules went farther out searching for more whales. In all we saw two pairs of Gray Whales migrating south, fluking and producing some lovely heart-shaped blows! Both Pacific White sided and Common Dolphins approached the boat, bow-riding, coming close enough to video. Another terrific Whale Watching trip!

01/24/2017N/AN/A

Cruises cancelled due to high sea swells.

01/23/2017N/AN/A

Cruises cancelled due to high sea swells.

01/22/2017N/AN/A

Cruises cancelled due to high sea swells.

01/21/2017N/AN/A

Cruises cancelled due to high sea swells.

01/20/2017N/AN/A

Cruises cancelled due to high sea swells.

01/19/2017N/AN/A

Cruises cancelled due to high sea swells.

01/18/20174 Gray Whales, 10 Pacific White-sided Dolphins4 Gray Whales

Morning Cruise:
A handful of Pacific White-sided Dolphins greeted us as we left San Diego Bay. We spotted a pair of southbound Gray Whales and two smaller juvenile whales traveling by themselves.

Afternoon Cruise:
A calm afternoon although clouds were building for the upcoming storm. Captain Jules found us two southbound Gray Whales traveling separately and a pair of very large adults traveling together.

01/17/201712 Gray Whales, 10 Pacific White-sided Dolphins, 50+ Common Dolphins6 Gray Whales,

Morning Cruise:
A terrific day! as we left the Bay we saw a small pod of Pacific White-sided Dolphins and a nicer-sized pod of playful Common Dolphins. We spotted 8 Gray Whales near the boat, with a lot of surface time. There were plenty more spouts north and west of us, but we spent our time mostly with a pair of Gray Whales that was engaging in courtship behavior with lots of spyhopping and rolling around. We also watched a mother-calf pair.

Afternoon Cruise:
Beautiful, calm conditions continued and Captain Jules found 6 Gray Whales. One whale didn’t dive deep, it just stayed on the surface for at least 45 minutes while we watched. This whale had a funny, slow swim pattern. but we had great looks at its whole body as it surfaced for a long time. We finished with a mother-calf pair on the way in.

01/16/20173 Gray Whales, 25 Pacific White-sided Dolphins, 5 Common Dolphins, 5 California Sea Lions8 Gray Whales, 25 Pacific White-sided Dolphins

Morning Cruise:
A beautiful sunny day with calm, glassy waters. As we left San Diego Bay we came across a mixed group of several types of sea birds, Pacific White-sided dolphins, and California Sea Lions. Shortly after we spotted a single gray whale that surfaced several times than fluked once. Captain Ricky decided to leave this shy whale and found a mother-calf pair of Gray Whales. The mother traveled slowly with her calf, which was probably only a couple days old. All guests were able to enjoy several very close looks at the pair when they surfaced close to the boat.

Afternoon Cruise:
Wow, what a great afternoon! We had some very close sightings of a cow-calf pair. We also saw a pair of adult gray whales and another group of 4 adult grays. The group of four adults showed us their flukes several times and also showed some mating behaviors. We also spotted about 25 Pacific White-sided Dolphins.

01/15/20173 Gray Whales, 4 Humpback Whales, 100+ Common Dolphins5 Gray Whales

Morning Cruise:
A perfect, sunny day! We came across 2 Gray Whales just outside of San Diego Bay. After heading west we came across a huge bait ball with 3 Humpback Whales feeding together along with California Sea Lions, Common Dolphins, and various sea birds. We also spotted one more Gray Whale on our way back in.

Afternoon Cruise:
This afternoon we spotted 3 individual and one pair of Gray Whales. The whales were very active and fun to watch with four breaches, some spyhopping, and a lot of rolling on the surface.

01/14/201710 Gray Whales, 20 Pacific White-sided Dolphins, 20 Common Dolphins5 Gray Whales, 100+ Common Dolphins, 20 Pacific White-sided Dolphins

Morning Cruise:
We started out with calm seas and sunny conditions. In the beginning of our trip we saw a group of 5 gray whales (4 adults and 1 juvenile). As we continued our cruise we spotted another group of 3 gray whales and an additional pair as we were heading into the Bay.

Afternoon Cruise:
We enjoyed another successful trip with 5 gray whale sightings, all adults. We followed each until they made their way into Mexican waters. The trip also included sightings of some playful Common and Pacific White-Sided Dolphins.

01/13/201711 Gray Whales, 50+ Pacific White-sided Dolphins18+ Gray Whales, 50+ Pacific White-sided Dolphins

Morning Cruise:
Captain Jules quickly found us a group of 5 Gray Whales that we watched for a while. A little later, we spotted another group of 6 Gray Whales. Guests also enjoyed the antics of Pacific White-sided Dolphins scattered throughout the area.

Afternoon Cruise:
Gray Whales were out in full force on this trip! We spotted at least 3 groups and a total of at least 18 Gray Whales with many more blows spotted in the distance. Some of the whales were slapping their pectoral flippers and rolling together at the surface, which are courtship/ mating behaviors. One whale even breached twice about a half mile in front of us! Also saw scattered Pacific White-sided Dolphins during the afternoon.

01/12/20176 Gray Whales, 20 Common Dolphins8 Gray Whales, 20 Pacific White-sided Dolphins, 10 Common Dolphins

Morning Cruise:
Cloudy, chilly and rainy conditions didn't stop us from finding 6 southbound Gray Whales mixed in with about 20 Common Dolphins. By noon, the sun was peaking through the clouds. A great morning!

Afternoon Cruise:
The predicted afternoon rainstorm stayed away and it turned into a fabulous day! We quickly encountered a group of 3 Gray Whales and later came across a second group of 5 Gray Whales. Pacific White-sided Dolphins and Common Dolphins rode the bow of the Adventure Hornblower, delighting the guests.

01/11/20178 Gray Whales, 50+ Pacific White-sided Dolphins, California Sea Lions3 Gray Whales, 50+ Pacific White-sided Dolphins, 100+ Common Dolphins, 1 Mola Mola

Morning Cruise:
Although it was a drizzly morning, it was perfect conditions for whale watching. Captain Earnesto found us a total of 8 gray whales, with 2 separate cow-calf pairs. Guests were also excited to watch feeding activity that included seabirds, California Sea Lions, and Pacific White-sided Dolphins.

Afternoon Cruise:
Rainy conditions didn't stop us from finding 3 southbound Gray Whales. One very shy whale was found just outside San Diego Bay. Guests also enjoyed watching Pacific White-sided and Common Dolphins. We also spotted a Mola mola (ocean sunfish), which is an unusual sighting for this time of year.

01/10/20172 Gray Whales, 1 Humpback Whale, 50+ Pacific White-sided Dolphins, 50+ Common Dolphins1 Gray Whale, 1 Humpback Whale, 50+ Pacific White-sided Dolphins, 50+ Common Dolphins

Morning Cruise:
We ventured out in beautiful, calm seas to find 2 Gray Whales, a Humpback Whale and both Common and Pacific White-sided Dolphins.

Afternoon Cruise:
We first encountered a gray whale about a mile and a half from the shoreline. The whale gave us a great show, we could even see its eye and the barnacles and whale lice on its head. Guests also enjoyed watching Common Dolphins and Pacific White-sided Dolphins. We also spotted a Humpback Whale that slowly traveled south.

01/09/20174 Gray Whales, Common Dolphins, Pacific White-sided dolphins2 Gray Whales, Pacific White-sided Dolphins, Common Dolphins

Morning Cruise:
Although it was a drizzly and cloudy morning, conditions were still calm and great for whale watching. Guests enjoyed watching 4 Gray Whales and about 100 playful Common and Pacific White-sided Dolphins.

Afternoon Cruise:
Calm conditions continued as our captain found us 2 southbound Gray Whales and about 300 dolphins.

01/08/20175 Gray Whales3 Gray Whales, 5 Orcas

Morning Cruise:
We had two interesting encounters this morning. With sunny weather and calm waters, we saw two pairs of gray whales. The first an adult and juvenile with light playful behavior, the second a mom and newborn calf with mom using hips and flippers to support calf with breathing. In addition, we had scattered white sided dolphins totaling about 40.

Afternoon Cruise:
Very calm day on the water. Sighting of a cow calf pair and a solitary adult Gray whale. A rare sighting of 5 orcas, 4 female and 1 male were spotted near the boarder.

01/07/20177 Gray Whales, 2 Humpback Whales, 100+ Pacific White-sided Dolphins, 100+ Common Dolphins4 Gray Whales, 50+ Pacific White-sided Dolphins, 100+ Common Dolphins

Morning Cruise:
Today was one of the best days on the water! When we started out we found a Gray Whale mother and calf! The calf was very young and the mother swam slow to let the calf catch up. We watched the mom and baby for a bit then headed off in search of other whales. We had a lot of fun watching Gray Whales swim with Pacific White-sided Dolphins. Every time the whales dove so did the dolphins. Everyone enjoyed watching the whales rolling and diving We left those whales at the Mexican border and went to watch a couple of humpback whales. We also saw Common Dolphins, California sea lions, pelicans, cormorants, and terns.

Afternoon Cruise:
The weather became even clearer for the afternoon cruise. We found our first pair of Gray Whales just after leaving the harbor. The whales were fluking and snorkeling which is an elusive behavior. We then found another pair of whales that were easier to watch. We also enjoyed watching Pacific White-sided and common Dolphins. Throughout our cruise we also enjoyed wonderfully exciting people, most who never had seen whales. It was an amazing day watching whales!

01/06/20175 Humpback Whales, 3 Bottlenose Dolphins, 1,000 Common Dolphins, 35 Pacific White-sided Dolphins, California Sea Lions7 Gray Whales, 50 Pacific White-sided Dolphins, 1,000+ Common Dolphins

Morning Cruise:
Morning guests observed a few coastal bottlenose dolphins in San Diego Bay, followed by good looks at a juvenile humpback whale. Captain Eric moved on as a large flock of birds was observed feeding in the distance, and everyone was in for a real treat: Four adult humpback whales lunge feeding at the surface along with approximately 1,000 common dolphins in the area, 35 Pacific white-sided dolphins and hundreds of shearwaters, gulls, pelicans, and sea lions all involved in a feeding frenzy. One of the humpbacks approached the Adventure very close, took a dive and surfaced on the other side.

Afternoon Cruise:
Afternoon guests also had a special trip. A total of seven gray whales were observed, four of which were adults traveling close together, exhibiting some mating behavior. Pacific white-sided dolphins accompanied the gray whales--appearing to leap out of the water, almost landing on the whale's heads! One of the whales even spy-hopped.

01/05/20172 Humpback Whales, Pacific White-sided Dolphins, Common Dolphins2 Gray Whales, Pacific White-sided Dolphins, Common Dolphins

Morning Cruise:
We had gray skies with intermittent showers as we searched for marine life most of the morning. Two humpbacks gave us a view of their flues and pectoral fins and a nice breach. We also spotted quite a few Common Dolphins and Pacific White-sided Dolphins.

Afternoon Cruise:
The rain didn't stop us from having a fun afternoon! We saw two Gray Whales traveling southbound, a group of Pacific White-sided Dolphins, and several large groups of common dolphins who were very active and bow-rode for a while!

01/04/20174 Gray Whales, 100 Pacific White-sided Dolphins10 Gray Whales, 50 Pacific White-sided Dolphins

Morning Cruise:
Beautiful calm day. ! southbound gray whale was spotted near the Mexican border and 2 more Gray Whales off of Point Loma that were diving and showing their flukes. The trip was capped off with a herd of about 100 Pacific White-sided Dolphins.

Afternoon Cruise:
Our beautiful, calm day continued with multiple sightings of Gray Whales. We saw a total of 10 Gray Whales including a cow-calf pair. As we headed back into San Diego Bay, we were escorted by about 50 Pacific White-sided Dolphins to everyone's delight!

01/03/201711+ Gray Whales, 20+Pacific White-sided Dolphins, 3 California Sea Lions2 Humpback Whales, 50+ Common Dolphins

Morning Cruise:
It was a nice clear day. Just as we approached Buoy SD1, we saw an individual whale and not too long after another one. As we went a little further, we found another group of whales and we counted nine in the pod. We stayed with them about 15 minutes and were able to see a few more individual whales at a distance. While observing the larger pod, we saw a few whales mating. In addition, while we watched the larger pod, we saw dolphins (Pacific white sided) playing, a few sea lions and lots of seabirds.

Afternoon Cruise:
While the ocean was smooth and not a lot of wind made for ideal conditions for spotting gray whales, we found none. A few small groups of common dolphins passed by us early in the cruise.
Late in the cruise, we spotted first one, then a second humpback whale. They were lunge feeding among two large concentrated food sources. Dolphins, sea lions and sea birds were also feeding with them. The long wait paid off with spectacular displays by the humpback whales and dolphins, some of whom followed the ship back towards the harbor at the end of the cruise.

01/02/20174 Gray Whales, 50 Common Dolphins, 50 Pacific White-sided Dolphins2 Gray Whales, 1 Humpback Whale, 1000+ Common Dolphins, 1 Red-footed Booby

Morning Cruise:
A beautiful morning with 4 south-bound whales, many flukes and one breach. 50 Common and 50 Pacific White-sided dolphins kept the boat company through out the cruise.

Afternoon Cruise:
An amazing day on the water! We followed 2 gray whales traveling together and got close up sightings of both at the same time. Later, we were treated to a humpback feeding along with a mega pod of Common Dolphins as hundreds of seabirds flew around. To cap it off, there was a beautiful sunset as we rode into the dock.

01/01/20173 Gray Whales, 10 Pacific White-sided Dolphins7 Gray Whales, 10 Pacific White-sided Dolphins

Morning Cruise:
Happy New Years! After the big storm yesterday the seas were still a little bumpy. Captain Chad found us 3 southbound Gray Whales. One whale was traveling at a fairly quick pace, approximately 6kmp. A large variety of birds were also seen.

Afternoon Cruise:
Guests were treated to a total of 7 Gray Whales. Multiple times whales could be seen on both sides of the boat at the same time. One whale showed very nice heart-shaped blows. There were even about 10 Pacific White-sided Dolphins.

12/31/20164 Gray Whales, 30 Pacific White-sided Dolphins3 Gray Whales

Morning Cruise:
About a mile offshore we spotted a pod of 4 southbound gray whales. Guests also enjoyed a good showing of about 30 Pacific White-sided Dolphins.

Afternoon Cruise:
Heavy rain decreased the visibility for most of the second cruise. We did spot a single gray whale about a mile off Point Loma and then spotted a pair of gray whales moving along the kelp line. One of the whales even breached!

12/30/20161 Humpback Whale, 2 Gray Whales, 100+ Pacific White-sided Dolphins, 100+ Common Dolphins, 1 Harbor Seal3 Gray Whales, 50 Pacific White-sided Dolphins, 200 Common Dolphins

Morning Cruise:
This morning's cruise started off raining, but ended up being a beautiful day to see whales and dolphins. We saw up to 120 Pacific White Sided dolphins. We also saw 2 individual gray whales traveling south. We saw multiple flukes and had a great day out on the water!

Afternoon Cruise:
We went out west pretty far and spotted some fluke prints, no spouts, but as we waited for something to come up, we saw a new born baby grey popping around the surface for about 30 seconds before the mother then surfaced underneath the calf lifting the calf to the surface on its back so it could breath. The calf may have only been a few hours old! Truly a breathtaking, unforgettable moment! The pair swam together like this for about 20 minutes, with the calf up on the moms back and breathing together. As we headed back in to the bay, we also saw another full grown grey on the way in with lots of tail flukes, and 200 commons, and 50 pacific white sides. Great day!!

12/29/20165 Gray Whales, 1,000+ Common Dolphins5 Gray Whales, 20 Pacific White-sided Dolphins, 25 Common Dolphins, 30 Bottlenose Dolphins

Morning Cruise:
Spectacular sunny day with flat seas. We watched 5 very active Gray Whales as they were heading south at the Mexican border. We also saw a mega pod of Common Dolphins (~1,000) that surrounded the boat.

Afternoon Cruise:
A beautiful, sunny, warm, calm day. We saw a group of 3 gray whales and a group of 2 Gray Whales, all heading southbound. From the latter group, we saw mating behavior accompanied by a handful of Pacific White-Sided Dolphins. We also had about 20 Pacific White-Sided Dolphins, 25 Common Dolphins, and 30 Bottlenose Dolphins riding the bow of the boat.

12/28/20161 Gray Whale, 35 Pacific White-sided Dolphins, 10 Common Dolphins5 Gray Whales, 1 Humpback Whale, 250 Common Dolphins

Morning Cruise:
A beautiful sunny morning provided our guests with sightings of 1 southbound gray whale with additional blows in the distance. We had 35 Pacific White Sided dolphins and 10 Common dolphins. At one point, a couple of the Pacific White Sided dolphins were 'bow riding' the gray whale! There were also many seabirds feeding, including brown pelicans dive bombing into the water!

Afternoon Cruise:
The beautiful sunny day continued with guests sighting 5 southbound gray whales (3 different groups) and 250 common dolphins. As we were headed back to the bay, a report of a humpback in the area resulted in the boat taking a detour back to the south. The humpback was quite elusive, but passengers were thrilled to have seen 3 different cetaceans during the cruise!

12/27/20164 gray whales2 gray whales

Morning Cruise:
We headed out with calm seas and great conditions for sighting 4 gray whales.

Afternoon Cruise:
Captain Mike found us a mother-calf pair of gray whales. It is always a treat to see newborn calves, which are often born during the southward migration past the southern California coast. The mothers guide their calves to the protected lagoons in Baja California, Mexico. In these lagoons, the calves to grow and gain strength for the journey north in a few months.

12/26/20163 Gray Whales, 150 Common Dolphins5 Gray Whales, 30 Common Dolphins, 25 Pacific White-sided Dolphins, 2 California Sea Lions

Morning Cruise:
A beautiful sunny morning with a slight breeze provided our guests with sightings of 3 southbound gray whales (2 together and one single.) The whales were accompanied by 150 common dolphins. There were also many seabirds feeding in the kelp beds.

Afternoon Cruise:
The beautiful sunny day continued with guests sighting 5 southbound gray whales (3 different groups), 30 common dolphins, and 25 Pacific White-Sided dolphins. Not to be outdone, were two California Sea Lions in the mix with the dolphins.

12/25/2016NANA

Cruises cancelled due to high sea swells.

12/24/2016NANA

Cruises cancelled due to high sea swells.

12/23/20166 Gray Whales6 Gray Whales, 200 Common Dolphins

Morning Cruise:
The morning was cool and cloudy with calm seas. We saw a single gray whale close to Point Loma, then a group of three gray whales snorkeling close to the surface. A pair of gray whales were moving south parallel to the boat. The whales stayed close with frequent blows and tail flukes for well over an hour.

Afternoon Cruise:
We were treated to a constant flow of whale groupings ( one single, then in twos and threes). We also saw various groupings of dolphins. The passengers were delighted when some of the dolphins rode the waves from the boat.

12/22/20161 Gray Whale, 100+ Common Dolphinsno whales spotted

Morning Cruise:
Windy and rainy conditions prevailed today. Captain Jules was able to find one Gray Whale and more than 100 playful Common Dolphins.

Afternoon Cruise:
Unfortunately conditions worsened to very low visibility and no whales or dolphins were spotted on this cruise.

12/21/20163 Gray Whales, 100 Pacific White-sided Dolphins, 3 California Sea Lions5 Gray Whales, 80 Common Dolphins

Morning Cruise:
Observed 3 adult Gray Whales that were headed south along with lots of Pacific White-sided dolphins that were interacting with the whales. Due to the overcast sky, we were able to clearly see the beautiful white markings on the sides of the dolphins. A few California sea lions were also in the same area.

Afternoon Cruise:
Captain Earnesto headed north and found us 5 Gray Whales including a calf! One of the whales breached 5 times in a row. Everyone on the boat got a spectacular view! We also saw about 80 common dolphins on our way out.

12/20/20161 Humpback Whale, 500 Common Dolphins, 10 Pacific White-sided Dolphins1 Humpback Whale, 500 Common Dolphins

Morning Cruise:
Captain Eric headed out west to find a young humpback whale, a very large pod of Common dolphins and 10 Pacific White-sided dolphins.

Afternoon Cruise:
Lovely PM cruise. Saw a humpback, a calm juvenile with barnacle markings in tips of flukes.Guests were also thrilled to see a large pod of common dolphins feeding and putting on a grand show.

12/19/20162 Gray Whales, 2 Humpback Whales, 10 Pacific White-sided Dolphins1 Humpback Whale, 10 Pacific White-sided Dolphins

Morning Cruise:
Guests on board the Hornblower Adventure this morning were treated to great looks at two humpback whales, two gray whales, and about 10 bow-riding Pacific white-sided dolphins. Some even got to see a bottlenose dolphin that was being trained by Navy personnel, as we exited the harbor.

Afternoon Cruise:
Afternoon guests watched a young humpback whale, and also got to see the beautiful Pacific white-sided dolphins bow riding, as well. Conditions on the water were excellent; San Clemente Island could be seen in the distance.

12/18/20162 Gray Whales, 2 Humpback Whales, 30 Pacific White-sided Dolphins, 1 Mola Mola2 Humpback Whales, Common Dolphins, 50 Pacific White-sided dolphins, California sea lions

Morning Cruise:
A beautiful morning cruise with two gray whales heading south, snorkeling and fluking while the boat stayed with them for about an hour. A pod of about 30 Pacific White-sided dolphins surfed with the boat, and a mola mola made a short appearance!

Afternoon Cruise:
This afternoon we encountered a small pod of common dolphins soon after exiting the bay. While we did not see any gray whales, we were able to observe two Humpback whales who appeared to be feeding with a pod of roughly 50 Pacific White-sided dolphins, some sea lions and hundreds of feeding seagulls. Passengers were thrilled to see this wonderful sight!

12/17/2016NANA

Cruises cancelled due to high sea swells.

12/16/2016NANA

Cruises cancelled due to high sea swells.

12/15/2016Common Dolphins, Pacific White-sided Dolphins, 3 Harbor Seals, 2 Mola Mola, 1 Brown Booby1 Humpback Whale, 2 Gray Whales, 400+ Common Dolphins, Pacific White-sided Dolphins

Morning Cruise:
The morning was overcast and foggy with calm seas. While we didn't spot any large whales, guests did enjoy watching a diverse group of ocean wildlife. We spotted a Mola mola both on the way in and out of San Diego Bay. We also spotted a Brown Booby again on buoy 3 and 3 Harbor Seals just outside the Bay. We did see two dolphin species; Pacific White-sided and a group of playful Common dolphins that were bow-riding.

Afternoon Cruise:
What a difference from the morning cruise! We saw a young Humpback Whale fluking and feeding along with hundreds of Common Dolphins near 9-mile Bank. We also had multiple sightings Common dolphins and Pacific White-sided dolphins. On our way in we lucked out even more with a sighting of a pair of southbound gray whales.

12/14/2016500 Common Dolphins1 Humpback Whale, 20 Pacific White-sided Dolphins

Morning Cruise:
Although no large whales were spotted, guests enjoyed watching a large herd of 500+ Common Dolphins.

Afternoon Cruise:
Captain Eric found a very active humpback whale and 20 Pacific White-sided dolphins on the afternoon cruise. Guests were excited to watch the humpback whale rolling and lob tailing (slapping its flukes on the water's surface.

12/13/20163 Humpback Whales, Common Dolphins, Pacific White-sided Dolphins, 2 Bottlenose Dolphins, Bonaparte's Gulls1 Humpback Whale, 1 Brown Booby

Morning Cruise:
We were treated to see Bonaparte’s Gulls, as well as three types of dolphins, a couple pods of Common dolphin with some Pacific White Sided and even a couple Bottlenose dolphin in the mix. No Gray Whales spotted this morning, instead we saw 3 giant Humpback Whales with beautiful tail flukes.

Afternoon Cruise:
The conditions on the water were good, although the winds made it a bit chilly. A Brown Booby was spotted on a buoy. Other birds were also seen, which appeared to be feeding on fish near the surface. No Gray Whales were sighted, but after going approximately 9 miles out, we found a Humpback Whale fluking and snorkeling.

12/12/201620 Pacific White Sided Dolphins, 25 Common Dolphins4 Gray Whales, 20 Pacific White Sided Dolphins

Morning Cruise:
Although no gray whales were spotted on the morning cruise, guests enjoyed watching two species of playful dolphins; Pacific White-sided and Common dolphins.

Afternoon Cruise:
We found 4 Gray Whales, with some beautiful viewing. Also about 20 Pacific White Sided dolphins.

12/11/20161 Gray WhaleCommon dolphins & Pacific White Sided dolphins

Morning Cruise:
42 Whalers from the NAT joined guests aboard the Adventure Hornblower for the beginning of the season. Captain spotted one Gray Whale about 6 miles offshore for guests to enjoy watching.

Afternoon Cruise:
Flat seas but unfortunately no whales. Saw some pods of Common dolphins & Pacific White Sided dolphins.

12/10/20161 Gray Whale, Common dolphinsNA

Morning Cruise:
Captain Chad spotted a Gray whale, our first whale sighting of the season, about 2 miles off the Crystal Pier. Guests enjoyed watching the whale and a small pod of Common dolphins during the cruise.

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Gray Whale Watching Report for the 2016-2017 Season

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Pacific White-sided Dolphins interacting with Gray Whales

On a recent Hornblower Whale Watch trip, guests watched as a pair of Pacific White-sided dolphins played in front of a trio of Gray Whales. Many dolphin species, including Pacific White-sided Dolphins, are often seen interacting with their larger cousins, the baleen whales. The dolphins may be clustered in the same area following a bait ball of tiny, schooling fishes or riding in the pressure wave the larger whales make as they travel. This behavior of dolphins riding the pressure waves of whales and surfing ocean waves may even be why dolphins commonly ride the bow waves and stern wakes of boats today. Scientists believe that wave riding is a type of play behavior in dolphins. Whatever the reason, wave or wake riding dolphins are always tons of fun to watch.

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One of the highlights of the gray whale migration is watching mothers tend to their tiny, newborn calves as they travel south. As of January 26,  The American Cetacean Society’s Gray Whale Census has reported 40 newborn calves spotted so far this season along the Southern California Coast. The mothers and calves are traveling to one of…