A Whale Watch Report

Gray Whale Report for the 2014-15 Season

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Whale Watching Report for December 14 – Present

Gray Whale Season on Hornblower Cruises & Events, San Diego, CA 

Date Morning Cruise Afternoon Cruise Notes
2/20/2015 6 Gray Whales Spotted! 6 Gray Whales Spotted! AM Cruise: It was a great day with the warm sun and calm seas. There were 4 southbound Gray whales, and a while later saw 2 northbound whales. 

PM Cruise: There was a large crowd going out to sea today. We bumped into a group of 5-6 southbound whales while just leaving the bay. After turning north west, passengers saw a couple of small groups of Pacific White Sided dolphins.

2/19/2015 7 Gray Whales Spotted! 4 Gray Whales Spotted! AM Cruise: Highlight of the trip was seeing Gray whales, along with one Humpback whale! Saw hundreds of common dolphins. 

PM Cruise: On the trip we saw four Gray whales. The cruise was very enjoyable with great weather and views!

2/18/2015 3 Gray Whales Spotted! 7 Gray Whales Spotted! AM cruise: Fabulous whale watching. Two whales were breaching, spy-hopping & rolling for almost an hour.  A third smaller whale came closer to the boat and left.  A pod of about 50 Pacific White Sided dolphins were jumping alongside the boat and a few played in the bow wave.PM cruise: Cruise started slow, however Captain Nick persevered. We found 4 whales southbound and later 3 whales northbound. Over one hundred passengers with many kids. Everyone enjoyed the afternoon. Special thanks to Captain Nick.
2/17/2015 4 Gray Whales Spotted! 6 Gray Whales Spotted! AM cruise: Four southbound Gray whales were seen with one breach. 25 Pacific White Sided dolphins and 15 common dolphins on the trip.PM cruise: Observed various sea lions resting on the buoys and about 12 bottlenose dolphins as we cruised out of San Diego Bay. About 1-2 miles out of the bay we observed two pairs of Gray southbound whales. Also a pod of about 100 common feeding dolphins. The ship then re-positioned about 5-6 miles NW and observed another pair of southbound whales and 4 northbound whales.  About 15 separate blows were seen in this area that was 1-3 miles from our ship.   On the way back in we saw 3 Pacific White Sided dolphins.
2/16/2015 2 Gray Whales Spotted! 6 Gray Whales Spotted! AM cruise: A bit overcast but an overall exciting day. Two Gray whales were seen along with a pod of 15 Pacific White Sided dolphins.PM cruise: Saw six Gray whales, and a total of 100 common dolphins.
2/15/2015 5 Gray Whales Spotted! 2 Gray Whales Spotted! AM cruise: Beautiful weather and calm, glassy ocean. 5 Gray whales, while traveling south, came close to the boat for a great sighting. We was a group of 15-20 Pacific White Sided dolphins. A single humpback whale was sited, as we drew closer, this whale gave us a great view of body and flukes multiple times.PM cruise: Baby Gray whale and adult female separated and searching for each other. 20 common dolphins sighted and one active humpback whale. Did some whale spotting in a fog bank.
2/14/2015 1 Humpback Whale Spotted! 2 Gray Whales Spotted! AM cruise: There were two Gray whales that did lots of flukes! 100 common dolphins, 20 Pacific White Sided dolphins, and 6 bottlenose dolphins were seen!PM cruise: Saw 1 Humpback whale! Ton of fin slaps, flukes and rolls. Another Spectacular show!
2/13/2015 10 Gray Whales Spotted! 6 Gray Whales Spotted! AM cruise: Had 209 guests, we saw 10 Gray whales and 200 common dolphin.PM cruise: Had 193 guests, we saw 6 Gray whales and 20 common dolphin.  Both trips were excellent and it was a great day on board.
2/12/2015 6 Gray Whales Spotted! 4 Gray Whales Spotted! AM cruise: crew spotted one whale on the way south, and five more up north off Pacific Beach.PM cruise: followed a pair south to the boarder and then turned to the north.  An hour and a half and nothing.  We turned south from Pacific Beach and headed home.  Just as we got to SD1 two whales were spotted and we followed them a little way south. Suddenly one of the whales decides to give us a show. It breached four times within a couple of minutes!  A couple of the passengers got real good pictures!Great day, great weather, calm seas!
2/11/2015 10 Gray Whales Spotted! 6 Gray Whales Spotted! AM cruise: Bottlenose dolphins. Pod of 2 juveniles by buoy 1.  Then, another pod of 2 by kelp. Three more pods of 2 sighted while we were inbound. 10 total.PM cruise: was lots of scattered singles. 10-20 Pacific White Sided dolphins.  2 breaches from whales. Total of 6 whales.
2/10/2015 Cancelled due to rough seas Cancelled due to rough seas
2/9/2015 Cancelled due to rough seas Cancelled due to rough seas
2/8/2015 5 Gray Whales Spotted! 4 Gray Whales Spotted! AM cruise: just four miles off the coast of Point Loma, we spotted a pod of 5 Gray whales! It was quite the show, with the Grays’ flukes.PM cruise: just three miles off the coast, there was a pod of three Gray whales, plus an additional single.
2/7/2015 7 Gray Whales Spotted! 8 Gray Whales Spotted! AM cruise:  This was a special day to be out on the water.  Passengers, crew and the naturalists were given a treat from a Gray whale…  who breached 7 times!  This whale showed interest in the boat and didn’t mind giving us a close view of one of his/her breaches!  We also saw 2 other breaches from 2 different whales.  The total number of Grays sighted in the morning were 7 whales (all heading south)- not counting all the blows in the distance.  We also got glimpses of 4 brown booby birds.PM cruise:  During the afternoon cruise, the seas were somewhat rough, but Captain Nick did not have any problems spotting whales. We saw a total of 8 adult Gray whales (all heading south).  One of the whales breached 2 times and tail ‘slapped’ a couple of times.
2/6/2015 8 Gray Whales Spotted! 8 Gray Whales Spotted! AM cruise: foggy, but lightened up half way though. We had come across some Pacific White Sided dolphins and ended up seeing 8 Gray whales on the trip!PM cruise: Beautiful. We saw a total of eight Gray whales off the coast of Point Loma.
2/5/2015 15 Gray Whales Spotted! 15 Gray Whales Spotted! AM cruise: The morning trip was a sight to see with over a dozen whales. We had the opportunity to see many breaches, as well as bottlenose dolphins!PM cruise: The afternoon trip was a delight as well. There were also over a dozen whales and Pacific White Sided dolphins.
2/4/2015 3 Gray Whales Spotted! 2 Gray Whales Spotted! AM cruise: Morning started out very overcast but conditions gradually improved.  Cruised generally northward.  Finally found whales around 10:45.  One whale swam very close to the ship, crossed right under the bow.  Last sighting was two Grays behind us.   Highlight of the trip:  two synchronized breaches!!PM cruise: We started the afternoon cruise with 50 feeding common dolphins.  Then we saw 2 single southbound Gray whales.
2/3/2015 Cancelled due to Fog 12 Gray Whales Spotted! AM cruise: We were fogged out and had to cancel.PM cruise: the fog lifted very nicely and we saw a group of 9 Gray whales, a pair, and a single for 12 whales total!  One humpback was seen at the end of the trip and got some really nice looks at it real close up. A great end to a wonderful trip complete with 50 plus bottlenose bow surfing dolphins on the way in.
2/2/2015 11 Gray Whales Spotted! 5 Gray Whales Spotted! AM cruise: The morning was a beautiful sunny day, and we were all anxious to go out into the water. We saw lots of whales during the trip! One had breached for us! We saw a total of 11 Gray whales.PM cruise: In the afternoon, it was a little drizzly but still warm. There were a few bottlenose dolphins on the way in from the harbor, and saw a total of five Gray whales!
2/1/2015 3 Gray Whales Spotted! 10 Gray Whales Spotted! AM cruise: The morning was a beautiful day, started with 3 adults and some flukes.  Went hunting for more as there were many blows across the horizon. Highlight at the end was a close up encounter with a cow/ calf pair… ahhhPM cruise: Afternoon cruise saw lots of fluking. 10 whales some very close to the boat.  A 5 time breach in the visible distance.  Spectacular day!  Terrific trip, a “wish you were here” trip.
1/31/2015 12 Gray Whales Spotted! 10 Gray Whales Spotted! AM cruise: The morning cruise was an amazing experience. There were a total of 12 Gray whales behaving intimately. We also saw over 200 common dolphins!One group of 4, another group of 3 then another group of 3 but lots of Gray whales observed in the distance. At one point we were surrounded by spouting Gray whales! But the big news – we spent about 45 minutes with a humpback whale. This whale put on quite a show!! We counted at least 30 breaches, 5 rounds of pec slapping comprised of 10-15 slaps each round, lobtailing and spy hopping! The whale was traveling south then headed west when we last parted. The humpback continued with its antics as we sped towards SD Bay.  There were many shouts/screams of passenger joy, people clapping and applause for Captain Joe!
1/30/2015 9 Gray Whales Spotted! 9 Gray Whales Spotted! AM cruise: The morning cruise was full of sea life! There were a total of nine Gray whales that were heading southbound from the boat. Guests saw two Pacific White Sided dolphins and 100 common dolphins!PM cruise: In the afternoon cruise, there were many breaches and tail flukes. A large circle of cormorants were on the bay water as well, along with 30 common dolphins and 3 bottlenose dolphins. A total of nine Gray whales were seen.
1/29/2015 6 Gray Whales Spotted! 4 Gray Whales Spotted! AM cruise: In the morning cruise, there were a total of six Gray whales and gave us quite the show is giving us lots of tail flukes.PM cruise: In the afternoon cruise, there was a group of four adult Gray whales mating for over an hour!
1/28/2014 11 Gray Whales Spotted! 6 Gray Whales Spotted! AM cruise: Today was a spectacular day out on the water. In the morning trip, there were a total of 11 Gray whales spotted, while 3 of them had breached! What an awesome experience.PM cruise: In the afternoon trip, guests saw a total of 6 Gray whales. The trip was an amazing show!
1/27/2015 15 Gray Whales Spotted! 7 Gray Whales Spotted! AM cruise: We had a spectacular morning of whale watching. We stayed with a group of 5 for a long time. They gave us a tremendous show, complete with courting/mating behavior, pectoral and tail slaps and a beautiful breach. We saw at least 15 whales and some dolphins too. Fabulous!PM cruise: In the Afternoon cruise, we had two separate groups of 3 Gray whales. The second group included one juvenile.
1/26/2015 10 Gray Whales Spotted! 3 Gray Whales Spotted! AM cruise: The morning cruise was cloudy and light rain, but that didn’t stop us from seeing numerous Gray whales! A total of ten gray whales were seen during the cruise, and what a sight to see!PM cruise: In the afternoon cruise, we sailed out and saw a Gray whale in the distance. Later, there was another pair of Grays near Point Loma. There were also over a dozen common dolphins and 15 Pacific White Sided dolphins!
1/25/2015 4 Gray Whales Spotted! 10 Gray Whales Spotted! AM cruise: The weather was warm, and a light breeze was present. Guests saw a pod of four Gray whales just 4 miles off Point Loma!PM cruise: In the afternoon cruise, just 6 miles off Point Loma, there was a pod of 9 Gray whales, plus an additional single whale. There were also several Pacific White Sided dolphins. Wonderful show!
1/24/2015 3 Gray Whales Spotted! 15 Gray Whales Spotted! AM cruise: We saw 3 southbound adult Gray whales close to the boat and happy to fluke. We also had the good fortune of seeing 125 Risso dolphins – that surrounded the boat.PM cruise: We saw 8 whales spouting and fluking in Mexican waters where we could not get close. Then we saw 1 whale breaching several times on our 3 o’clock position. The whale turned shy when we got close. We moved on and soon found 6 whales traveling very close together. They came very close to the boat and crossed back and forth in front of us a couple of times – lots of spouting and fluking by all of them. On the way back in we came upon 50 common dolphins right off the tip of Point Loma.
1/23/2015 4 Gray Whales Spotted! 4 Gray Whales Spotted! AM cruise: In the morning cruise, four whales were seen playing together with dolphins, scattered pods of dolphins, about 500 of them! The whales displayed some sideways moves, showing off their flippers.PM cruise: In the afternoon cruise, there were three to four bottlenose dolphins in the San Diego Harbor. One was identified as “Patches” by photographs taken by guests. There were also sightings of Pacific White Sided dolphins.  Finally, we saw one adult Gray whale, along with a group of three Gray whales traveling together exhibiting courting behavior.
1/22/2015 2 Gray Whales Spotted! 5 Gray Whales Spotted! AM cruise: This morning was clear and brisk. In the morning, we saw a pack of Pacific White Sided dolphins. Later in the cruise, we came across a pair of 2 Gray whales!PM cruise: In the afternoon cruise, there were a total of five Gray whales seen. We also saw almost a hundred Pacific White Sided dolphins. An overall wonderful experience!
1/21/2015 12 Gray Whales Spotted! 8 Gray Whales Spotted! AM cruise: Great trip! Twelve Gray whales, with several in groups of two. Near the end of the trip, we saw a humpback whale which breached twice making for an exciting finish to the day.PM cruise: In the afternoon cruise, we had one Gray whale early on in the trip. Later in the cruise, we found a group of 5 Grays. We finished the cruise with another pair of Grays near Point Loma.
1/20/2015 6 Gray Whales Spotted! 7 Gray Whales Spotted! AM cruise: The morning cruise was foggy but calm waters, 6 adults sighted.PM cruise: Afternoon cruise still foggy but excellent view of flat ocean. One cow with calf sighted right out of harbor. Lots of naval activity, including 2 subs. 11 adults in pods of three sighted and 4 Pacific White Sided dolphins. Awesome whaling!
1/19/2015 7 Gray Whales Spotted! 12 Gray Whales Spotted! Today was an extra special day out on the water. Even the Captain commented on numerous occasions that it was a “very good show”! We followed one guy for about twenty minutes and he kept fluking almost every breath.Then we pursued a ‘pod’ of whales which I think was seven.  At least  counted seven spouts in quick succession . . . but they were intermittent and it may have been more.  When we got closer to those suddenly we were in an enormous pod of what I thought was hundreds of common dolphins.  You could look off the bow and see dozens and dozens of dorsal fins and jumping dolphins to the left and right and ahead. Lastly, on the way back in, another pod that the captain said we just didn’t have time to go see, was off to our port, saw over a dozen spouts in quick succession.  They just kept spouting though so I don’t know if there were more or if by the time the last ones took a breath, the first ones were coming up again . . .  there were a constant succession of spouts that just kept happening there.Good day for marine life.  Quite a few sea lions and, of course, cormorants, gulls, and pelicans.
1/18/2015 8 Gray Whales Spotted! 7 Gray Whales Spotted! AM cruise: Beautiful morning – calm and clear. We spotted whales quickly. We saw 8 Gray whales before the cruise was over – 2 of them up close and personal. A good time was had by all.PM cruise: Beautiful afternoon – slightly warmer, calm and clear. It took a little longer to spot whales but then we were surrounded. We saw. 7 total. There was a lone juvenile and then 5 in a group that split to either side of us – 2 of them came close to the boat so we saw them up close and personal as well. A great ending to a great day.
1/17/2015 5 Gray Whales Spotted! 4 Gray Whales Spotted! AM cruise: This morning was a clear crystal day to go out on the water.  The passengers were excited and ready to go.  Once we just got past Point Loma, there were 2 adult Gray whales.  It was exciting to see them so soon once we got into the ocean.  We stayed with them for a while and then moved on to look for some more whales.  And more whales we found.  We had a total of 5 adult whales and one sub adult Gray whale all heading south to Mexico.PM cruise: In the afternoon cruise, we had a lot of passengers in line with lots of questions and ready to board the boat for the afternoon cruise.  It was so beautiful on the water and it felt like summer!  Once we got past Point Loma we headed north and came across our first whale of the afternoon.  And he showed us some great views of his fluke.  We stayed with him for a while and spotted another Gray whale not too far in the distance and watched him for a little bit.  And decided to head out and search for some more Gray whales.  And we found some!  We spotted 3 more Gray whales!Today was a great day to be on a boat, out In the ocean, in the sunshine.
1/16/2015 5 Gray Whales Spotted! 2 Gray Whales Spotted! AM cruise: The morning trip was fabulous! Guests saw a total of 5 Gray whales and 40 common dolphins! We saw lots of tail flukes, and everyone was excited!PM cruise: In the afternoon cruise, we saw 2 Gray whales. There was one that breached right off the bow of the boat! It was a wonderful day!
1/15/2015 4 Gray Whales Spotted! 7 Gray Whales Spotted! AM cruise: Beautiful weather for a morning Whale Watching cruise! Lots of sun and smooth sailing.  In the morning there were 7 whales which we followed.  One of the whales breached 2 times and 2 came close to the bow.  We could clearly hear the breath and had a close up look at the barnacles.PM cruise: In the afternoon we saw 8 whales with at least three more blows in the distance.  Once again a whale breached 2 times and then as we were leaving it breached once more.  2 whales also came very close on the starboard side giving all the passengers a very good photo opportunity.
1/14/2015 5 Gray Whales Spotted! 4 Gray Whales Spotted! AM cruise: 5 Gray whales and 20 Pacific White Sided dolphins,PM cruise: 4 Gray whales and 15 Pacific White Sided dolphins and a few common dolphins mixed in as well!PM cruise: Pm trip we spotted a single with its right fluke missing.
1/13/2015 4 Gray Whales Spotted! 4 Gray Whales Spotted! 4 single Gray whales in the morning, and 4 singles in the afternoon as well, on both trips we had good swimming whales and got great looks at them. Long periods on the surface real close by shore. An overall great trip! Narration provided by captain.
1/12/2015 3 Gray Whales Spotted! 4 Gray Whales Spotted! AM cruise: The crew saw 3 Grays heading south. They thought the whales were very lethargic. The where slow and lazy in their movements.PM cruise: In the Afternoon cruise, The day was sunny, The wind was blustery, and there were tourist from all over the world.We saw 3 or 4 single whales slowly migrating south, one wallowing and heading toward shore sometimes…this one seemed to be just “hanging” around. We had 3 bottlenose dolphins riding our bow for about 20 minutes. The later we saw about 10 Pacific White Sided dolphins that visited us as we were returning home.
1/11/2015 5 Gray Whales Spotted! 5 Gray Whales Spotted! AM cruise: This morning’s cruise saw 5 southbound adult Gray whales, and no dolphins.PM cruise: This afternoon’s cruise also saw 5 southbound adult Gray whales, as well as about 5 bow-riding bottlenose right outside of the bay and about 10 Pacific White Sided dolphins a little later in the cruise.The inclement weather did not seem to affect the sightings at all!
1/10/2015 8 Gray Whales Spotted! 10 Gray Whales Spotted! AM cruise: The morning cruise was clam and sunny. Immediately there was a whale spotted which stayed for quite some time. We came across another whale that loved to fluke every time it took a breath. Another whale was speeding along at about 6+ knots but stayed fairly close to the boat. The morning continued with very few minutes without a whale close in site.  In total we saw 8 whales that were all friendly and allowed us to stay with them for long periods of time, displaying lots of flukes.PM cruise: The afternoon was also met with calm seas. Just outside of the harbor we came across our first whale. We stayed with him/her but decided to find another when a couple more boats arrived. The afternoon continued with a set of two beautiful whales that stayed close enough to hear their exhale.  Another whale, which we thought might be a juvenile fluked at every breath and as soon as we turned away he/she breached two times with a third semi breach. We then a came across a mother and calf. Simply beautiful.
1/9/2015 12 Gray Whales Spotted! 5 Gray Whales Spotted! Gray clouds coming up from Baja California and hardly any swells resulted in a glassy ocean which made spotting the Gray whales very easy.  There were 12 whales in the morning with a group of 6 to 8 showing courtship behavior – their rolling around made it hard to be sure just how many there were.  There were 10 Pacific White Sided dolphins in the morning and 20 common dolphins on the afternoon cruise.  We saw 5 adults whales heading south in the afternoon – everyone had a great opportunity to see and take a picture of the multiple flukes on display.
1/8/2015 14 Gray Whales Spotted! 4 Gray Whales Spotted! AM cruise: The morning cruise saw much action with a total of 14 whales seen! Three breaches were up close and personal. There was also 1 Minke whale spotted and 400 common dolphins!PM Cruise: The afternoon saw a total of 4 Gray whales, all breaching, and a wonderful sight to see!
1/7/2015 7 Gray Whales Spotted! 11 Gray Whales Spotted! AM cruise: The seas were calm as we departed for the am cruise. There were 4 Gray whales close to the boat while there were other blows in the distance. There were a total of 10 common dolphins as well.PM cruise: In the pm cruise, there were many Gray whales seen, some up close while some were farther away. One pair of Grays were spyhopping – and guests were taking great pictures of this showing baleen!
1/6/2015 10 Gray Whales Spotted! 12 Gray Whales Spotted! AM cruise: We saw ten adult Gray whales heading south.  There was possible mating behavior and lots of rolling around.PM cruise: There were 12 Gray whales spotted on the trip. Lots of flukes to see and there were many whales in the distance. Calm waters and a warm day!
1/5/2015 12 Gray Whales Spotted! 8 Gray Whales Spotted! AM cruise: Wow, what a beautiful morning! The water was calm and the sun was warm. In the morning cruise, guests spotted 5 bottlenose dolphins and several pods of two, along with single whales, south to the border. There were also 12 Pacific White Sided dolphins by the buoy. Later, we saw a pod of 5 whales just three miles from the boat.PM cruise: There were pods of two whales in the west. There were also 60 common dolphins. What a great sight to see!
1/4/2015 5 Gray Whales Spotted! 15 Gray Whales Spotted! AM cruise: Today was a beautiful day with a cool breeze. In the morning cruise, just two miles off Point Loma, guests spotted a pod of three singles that merged into a triple.  Great show with lots of flukes!PM cruise: Three miles from the boat, there was a quad pod totaling 15 Gray whales! It was a successful trip by far, and guests were very pleased!
1/3/2015 6 Gray Whales Spotted! 5 Gray Whales Spotted! AM cruise: This Morning was a beautiful day out on the water.  The seas were calm, and the sunshine felt good on our faces.  And the passengers were ready to see some whales.  And we were in for a treat!  We saw 4 adult Gray whales.  And then we saw 2 different pairs of cows/calf’s.  One pair was really too close to the boat, with the calf just a few days old.  It was exciting!  We also saw about 12 bottlenose dolphins and 30 common dolphins.PM cruise: We had a nice big crowd ready to board the boat and go out and see some whales! We saw one single Gray whale just a couple of miles off the tip of Point Loma, and stayed with him for awhile, he showed us some nice flukes.  Then we saw about 100 common dolphins, then another single Gray whale.  As we headed back to port, just about a mile or two from shore we saw three Gray whales together and they gave us a great show, close to the boat.  Then a fourth whale joined the group, and then here came a fifth whale.  What a fantastic end to a great day!!
1/2/2015 8 Gray Whales Spotted! 1 Gray Whale Spotted! AM cruise: Gray whales didn’t seem to mind the cold weather as whale spouts were spotted in all directions. A count of 10 Gray whales was agreed on, and the captain made sure the guests had some close glimpses of several different whales. On the trip back, many common dolphins came to swim by the boat.PM cruise: Because the weather was warmer and the day was beautiful, there were many other boats out, including one submarine. Whales were more difficult to spot however, but determined Captain Eric found a Gray to delight the guests. Guests today ranged from Spain, Sweden, Denmark, Czechoslovakia, Germany, Minnesota, Ohio, and Michigan.
1/1/2015 9 Gray Whales Spotted! AM cruise: Amazing day on the water. We first spotted a single whale and then a group of 3 whales. We stayed with the trio of whales for quite some time. We then spotted a group of 6 whales.  By the time we got closer to the group, 3 of the whales had left.  We observed the 3 whales until it was time to head back to the bay. The whales showed us beautiful flukes and blows; close enough for the passengers to hear the sound!  We also saw a minimum of 8-12 additional blows in the distance.
12/31/2014 4 Gray Whales Spotted! 3 Gray Whales Spotted! AM cruise:  There were 4 Gray whales and 6 Pacific White Sided dolphins.  Seas were much calmer than indicated online.In the afternoon there were 2 separate pairs of Grays. One trio with 2 adults and 1 juvenile.  Lots of flukes and great views of the whales.  Weather was much calmer and more clear than we expected.  Saw common dolphins just before getting back into the bay.
12/30/2014 8 Gray Whales Spotted! 3 Gray Whales Spotted! AM cruise:  It proved to be a cold, windy, and Gray day that turned out the most amazing Gray whale sightings! While there were sightings of 8 Gray whales, Hornblower guests that ranged from Nebraska, Missouri, Ohio, Japan, Finland and Russia got a treat when Captain Nick brought the boat alongside four Gray whales, one of which decided to put on a show, probably for the other whales, but the guests delighted in it as well. He breached about 4 times, showing his head and flippers, and also displayed lunges, spyhops and pectoral slaps. As the whales made their way to Mexico, Captain Nick had to head the boat back to San Diego, right in time to see common dolphins diving alongside the boat.PM cruise: The weather on the afternoon cruise also proved to be Gray with occasional rain and large ocean swells. Captain Nick used his skills to drive through the swells and find 5 Gray whales, who were slowly making their way to Mexico. The guests saw some amazing tail flukes before the boat had to make its way back to San Diego port.
12/29/2014 8 Gray Whales Spotted! 11 Gray Whales Spotted! AM cruise: 190 guests.  We saw 8 Gray whales, we saw one humpback whale and 200 common dolphins.  Multiple tail flukes and guests had a blast.PM Cruise: 11 Gray whales and 200 common dolphins.  Guests were treated to a great day of whale watching!
12/28/2014 1 Gray Whale Spotted! 2 Gray Whales Spotted! Both cruises were a great show with lots of flukes!AM cruise: 2 miles out, there was a single Gray whale, along with over 50 common dolphins!

PM cruise: 3 miles off Point Loma, were a pair of 2 Gray Whales. Guests were very pleased!

12/27/2014 8 Gray Whales Spotted! 7 Gray Whales Spotted! AM cruise: What a beautiful, clear morning.Saw 2 groups of 2 Gray whales.  And we saw 1 group of 3 Gray whales.  And another Gray whale a little while later.  With a total of 8 Gray whales!  We also saw 10 common dolphins.PM cruise: We had a huge crowd of over 260 passengers ready to go out and see some whales. We only had to go a couple of miles out in the ocean from the tip of Point Loma and we spotted our first Gray whale of the afternoon.  Much to the delight of the crowd, this whale was proud to show us his fluke several times!  We ended up seeing 7 Gray whales by the end of the day.  And as we headed back to the dock, to our surprise, just outside the tip of Point Loma, a Gray whale popped up about 10 feet from our boat!  It was fantastic!  Yes, this was a great day on the water.
12/26/2014 15 Gray Whales Spotted! 5 Gray Whales Spotted! What a great day on the ocean for whale watching! The morning cruise saw 15 whales and the afternoon cruise saw 5…some really good views of our beloved Grays!
12/25/2014 7 Gray Whales Spotted! Cruise Canceled AM cruise: Today the seas were choppy, 10 – 12 feet at times, however the whales were out! Saw 7 of them, 6 close ones so that we heard them spout. We saw several flukes without deep dives and some curiosity on their part, not spooked by the boat. All of them looked to be adults heading south. We saw 2 of them lunge out of the water.The passengers were happy with the sightings.Afternoon cruise was canceled.
12/24/2014 2 Gray Whales Spotted! 4 Gray Whales Spotted! AM cruise: Guests had a great day out there today, an awesome way to spend Christmas Eve.  All in all, guests saw 2 Gray whales, (1 lunge fluking), 20 Pacific White Sided, 200 common dolphins playing with the boats, and 7-9 boobies birds.PM cruise: there were 4 great whales with several others in the distance. One of our whales we dubbed “Sir Flukes-a-lot”.  Saw a couple of Pacific White Sided dolphins that rode the bow and also a large “nursery” pod of common dolphins with LOTS of really small babies, some as small as 2 feet in length.
12/23/2014 20 Gray Whales Spotted! 6 Gray Whales Spotted! Today, there was very little swell. The weather was clear and nice. The morning excursion was thrilling with seeing whales everywhere! There were pods of 2,3, and several of 4.  Guest also witnessed a Pacific White Sided dolphin and one Harbor Seal in the Bay.Gorgeous day and calm seas.  Guests were treated to a pair of active whales right off the batWe stayed with them enjoying their spouts and flukes until too many boats stirred Captain Rich to leave allowing them some peace.We headed north where we encountered 2 juvenile’s heading slowly south and then moved on to find 2 more adults.The day was topped off by the visit of a bottlenose dolphin who stayed with us for all to see.
12/22/2014 2 Gray Whales Spotted! 5 Gray Whales Spotted! AM cruise: The weather was clear all day. The morning trip consisted of seeing 2 Gray whales.PM cruise: Guests saw 5 Gray whales, along with one Pacific White Sided dolphin.
12/21/2014 1 Whale Spotted! AM cruise: This morning’s cruise saw us get up close and personal with a juvenile whale. We spotted him/her off the kelp beds and followed him south for about 1.5 hours. He fluked many times and was very comfortable with our boat and another whale watching boat. Seas were calm with 3′ swells. Very relaxing cruise. Not much else aside from sea birds; cormorants, pelicans and sea gulls. Lots of sea lions.
12/20/2014 4 Gray Whales Spotted! 4 Gray Whales Spotted! AM cruise: We had wonderful calm seas.  We saw 4 Gray whales, and we saw some flukes.  But the big surprise, we saw two breaches!!PM cruise: We left shore with passengers ready to see some whales. And we did not disappoint.  Just past Point Loma we saw about 20 common dolphins which got everyone excited.  Then about 5 miles out, we saw quite a show.  We saw a total of 4 Gray whales heading south.  3 whales stayed very close to us.  And they truly entertained us with their flukes!  They kept diving and showing their flukes over and over again.  Everybody got great photos and had great smiles on their faces.  It was a great day on the water!
12/19/2014 2 Gray Whales Spotted! Glad to see two Gray whales! The storm passed by in the morning but there was still a lot of swells and wind.   We still spotted the two Grays headed toward the Los Coronados islands.  There were passengers from Texas, Arizona and two groups from Europe who still had a great time.
12/18/2014 2 Gray Whales Spotted! 3 Gray Whales Spotted! AM cruise: The seas were calm and the weather was warm. In the morning cruise, there were 2 Gray whales we spotted, plus a pod of common dolphins.PM cruise: We saw 3 Gray whales and were very interactive with us! We also encountered a huge pod of common dolphins. Gorgeous weather, and an overall wonderful experience!
12/17/2014 Cruise Cancelled 3 Gray Whales Spotted! PM cruise: was a bit chilly, but worth the trip.  Passengers spotted 3 Gray whales and 15 common dolphins. Good views!
12/16/2014 Cruise Cancelled 3 Gray Whales Spotted!
12/15/2014 Cruise Cancelled 2 Gray Whales  Spotted! High Storm Swells
12/14/2014 Cruise Cancelled Cruise Cancelled High Storm Swells

 

*If whales are not sighted during your cruise you will receive a “whale check” good for another Hornblower Whale and Dolphin Watching Adventure or Harbor Cruise

 

Thar be Whales! Gray Whale Watching Season is off to stormy start!

With the Southern California storms mostly behind us along with the unusual swells, we are off on the start of another exciting Gray Whale Watching season. Captain Richard Goben, Port Captain is San Diego for Hornblower Cruises & Events called in Monday, Dec. 15 with the Whale Report.

“Good news, we have spotted gray whales today along with a pod of white sided dolphins, for a successful first cruise of the season!” Goben reported.

Whale watching is mid December through the end of April. Hornblower reported two of the most successful whale watching seasons in history for the past two years and are anticipating another outstanding year. Two cruises are offered daily in San Diego with convenient boarding in the heart of downtown San Diego at 970 N. Harbor Drive, San Diego, Ca 92101. Reservations are recommended especially during the weekends on whale watching as a very popular San Diego attraction.

San Diego BLUE Whale Watching 2014 Season

Hornblower Cruises & Events San Diego Whale Watching

blue whale size

July 6, 2014 – August 31, 2014

Date # of Blue Whales Spotted Additional Sightings News and Notes
8/31/14 3 Blue Whales Spotted! 500 Common Dolphins AM whale watch had 197 guests and we saw 3 blue whales and 500 common dolphins. It was a great way to finish off the inaugural blue whale season.
8/30/14 4 Blue Whales spotted! 40 Common Dolphins The day was beautiful. We had cloud cover on the way out so it was not too hot. In fact it was a perfect comfortable cruise out about 5 miles. We saw 4 blue whales. One came up literally about 15 feet from our boat! The were feeding it seemed… the were very calm and stayed near the surface. A pod of 40 common dolphin came and rode the wake from the boat. We also saw some 50 jellyfish. (Blue “By-the-wind sailor” jellyfish, otherwise known by their scientific name Velella velella, have been washing up on West Coast beaches. Scientists say in the billions—over the last two months, with sightings reported as far north as Oregon and far south as here is San Diego.) The tourists were from all over the world include some salty sailors that were from the Tall Ships Festival here is San Diego this weekend. – Mike Stewart
8/24/14 4 Blue Whales Spotted! 150 Common Dolphins

Great day, one blue just swam and swam alongside of us for over 15 min. Not a bit afraid, great day. We saw four different blues and probably 150 dolphins, The Captain did a great job!

(Courtesy of Terry Baird)

8/23/14 4 Blue Whales Spotted! 150 Common Dolphins Saw 4-Blue whales in feeding mood. Great views, one of them came very close to the boat while we were drifting! Great show of common dolphins, 3 separate groups 50-150, lots of babies. A lot of bird life and tons of bait/feed.
8/17/14 4 Blue Whales Spotted! 1,000 Common Dolphins Many of the buoys on the way out of the harbor were covered with sea lines, a tease of what was to come. Sea birds could be seen in large numbers indicating the waters were full of fish. Just three miles out we spotted our first blow. Then another. Two blue whales close together. Captain Nick did a great job approaching the two without making them nervous so we were able to stay with them for some time and get some great pictures of the giants. More spouts could be seen in the distance so we moved further out encountering a small group of 25 common dolphins. As we continued we encountered another pod of 60 common dolphins but no whales. As sometimes happens, the whales had moved on. We did too. We turned around and returned to the original two whales and encountered two more blues on the way. Then the passengers were treated to a wondrous sight – a pod of at least 1,000 common dolphins, some with young. Our vessel was soon surrounded by the dolphins delighting the children and adults alike. In their midst was a sea lion jumping through the water chasing fish. Four blues and 1,000+ dolphins made for a perfect day.(Courtesy of Pam Garcia)
8/16/14 6 Blue Whales Spotted! 50+ Common Dolphins Today was a wonderful and clear day. In total, there were 6 blue whales that were close to the boat and over 50 common dolphins swimming alongside. Guests were thrilled with the sights! The narration along with the friendly staff made it a day to remember.
8/10/14 8-10 Blue Whales Spotted! 1,000 Common Dolphins It was a great day on Sunday. In my 5 years as a whaler I haven’t seen anything like what we saw today. We got into a group of about 8-10 blue whales. They stayed in a group for over an hour. They were feeding on krill and sardines. Lunge feeding and rolling over to swallow there food.

Nick needs a bonus for saving fuel. He put the boat in neutral and just drifted for about 45 minutes. There was a dozen fishing boats in the area and the whales were having a feeding fest.
Felt sorry for some of the fishermen in small boats (the red one was maybe 20′ if they were lucky.) After one of the whales came within ten feet they left.
There were probably twenty whales in the area that we stayed in. We saw lots of blows in the distance besides the whales that we stayed with.
All in all one of the greatest days on the water that I have ever had.
(Courtesy of Terry Baird – Whaler)

8/9/14

8 Blue Whales Spotted! 50 Common Dolphins4 Bottlenose Dolphins It was a great day out on the water today. We had guests from Belgium, England, from several states, and a lot of local folks from San Diego. And the majority of them have never seen a whale in his natural environment, out in the ocean! Boy were they in for a treat! We had a slight overcast day, the seas were calm, and the excitement was in the air.As we headed to the nine mile bank, Captain Bill received a call from the navy “Mercy Ship” that was also in the area, that they had a multiple number of Blue Whales near their ship. So we headed towards their ship. And on the way, to our surprise, a big Blue Whale popped up right next to our boat, to the delight of everyone! This was just the beginning of a fantastic day. As we got closer to the Mercy Ship, all of a sudden we were surrounded with big Blue Whales! Then the Common Dolphins showed up, then here came a couple of sea lions to entertain us. You could hear the cameras snapping everywhere. Today we saw 8 Blue Whales very close to the boat, and several blows in the distance. We saw a total of about 50 Common Dolphins and 4 Bottle nose dolphins in the bay. It was a perfect summer day out on the water!

8/3/14

6 Blue Whales Spotted! 1 Mola Mola 400 Common Dolphins Great trip! Saw 6 whales, a couple of Mola Mola, and a couple hundred dolphins. Great day – weather was beautiful. Overcast and cool all day. The captain Nick guided to the only blue whale around, we stayed with it for over an hour. Saw 1 mola, and 300-400 dolphins. Great weather, and a great crowd.

8/2/14

5 Blue Whales Spotted! 550 Common Dolphins6 Mola Mola
The sky was overcast and silver gray, but humid and wonderfully pleasant. The water looked like mercury and very glassy. After heading out towards the 9 mile bank, we spotted 5 Blue Whales. Two kept with the boat, one fairly close, close enough to hear the breath when it surfaced, which is always very exciting. We spotted 6 Molamolas and approximately 550 Common Dolphins at various times. They were on a big feeding frenzy and were clustered very densely at one point surrounding a small boat. Several of them were bow riding and everyone got a big kick out of seeing them up close. A wonderful Brown Booby bird was spotted. Towards the end of the trip we had a squall come through which was tropical and refreshing. All in all it was another great Hornblower trip!
Credit to: Jan Newell – Whaler

7/27/14

1 Blue Whale Spotted with several other sea creatures 7 Risso Dolphins 150 Common Dolphins 7 Bottlenose DolphinsSeveral Sea LionsMola Mola fish A single blue whale thrilled viewers with several fluke views and many back shots. The blue stayed fairly close to the boat, surfacing numerous times. Then another treat – a small pod of 7 Risso dolphins entertained viewers. Several pods of common dolphins, some with young pups, came to say hi, totaling around 150 common dolphins. Also a pod of 7 bottlenose. Three small rafts of sea lions also seen swimming through the ocean. Several passengers saw a mola mola. A few short showers could not dampen the excitement on the boat at seeing so many sea creatures.
7/26/14 8 Blue Whales Spotted! Captain’s Report: Spotted 8 blue whales today! The weather was clear and a great cruise overall. Blue Whale Trivia: Blue whales may be found in all oceans of the world. They migrate to tropical-to-temperate waters during winter months to mate and give birth to calves. They can feed throughout their range, in polar, temperate, or even tropical waters.

7/20/14

6 Blue Whales Spotted! 150 Common Dolphins Our guests were excited as we left the harbor, ready to see some Blue Whales! As we headed out towards the 9 mile bank, we passed a mola mola, then came across a pod of about 150 common dolphins, much to the delight of the passengers. After being about 8 miles off shore, we saw our first blow of a Blue Whale. Then we started seeing blows all around us. As we got closer to the whales, we just cut the engine and drifted. And we got quite a show. We got to see about six whales up close and personal. One of the whales came pretty close to us and we got to see his huge back and then he showed off his fluke, everybody cheered!! It was a great day on the calm seas and everybody left with a smile on their face as we came back to the dock
7/19/14 4 Blue Whale Sightings Up Close Plus 15+ Whales on US side of Border Surprised at first by a blue who popped up without warning close to the ship’s bow. We then spent the morning with the magnificent mother and calf as they treated us to close views including a fluke and traveled from one side of the boat to the next. The sea was calm as a lake today and the overhead clouds allowed the easy detection of the blue below the water’s surface. Saw total of 4 blue whales today up close and personal!
7/13/14 6 Blue Whales spotted! 100 Common Dolphins CAPTAIN’S REPORT: Nick says the water and weather was clear and warm. The guests had a great day and sighted 6 blue whales! The passengers also saw common dolphins swimming and jumping towards the bow.Blue Whale Trivia: The largest mammal to ever inhabit the earth, these blue-gray mammoths of the sea average 75-80 feet in length in this hemisphere and weigh in excess of 100 tons!
7/12/14 20 Blue Whales!!! 200 Common Dolphins Beautiful, clear day on the water. Our first encounter was a small pod of bottlenose dolphins. But soon there was a cry of “There she blows!” as we ventured only about five miles out. Blue whales spouts began to appear everywhere. Soon we had blues on the port and starboard sides. Several swam beneath the boat and emerged with a loud bellow fairly close to the boat, often startling the passengers who shouted in glee. The passengers were treated to a rare sight of whale poop. Then to make the day even more perfect, we encountered two more pods of dolphins as we began our journey back.
7/6/14 6 Blue Whales just five miles offshore! 100 Common Dolphins Last week a small boat was capsized off the SD coast near Tijuana with two passengers on board. No injuries to the whale or passengers occurred. The boat was totaled! See the clip. From the Captains Erik and Bill: We had a stellar day, with 6 blues just 5 miles offshore. Our guests had thrilling views, as a couple if the Big Blues came right near us to wave a big hello. Spectacular views, nice calm seas. Warm summer breeze ” It doesn’t get any better” Bill REPORT: 6 blue whales, close views, 1 tail fluke. 100 Common dolphin. Whale spotters of the day: Riley, Aaron and Miah Alvarez from Oklahoma, spotted today’s 1st blue whales.Judy Lawrence, a seasoned and trained Whaler from the Natural History Museum posted: “Beautiful summer weather and great whales for Adventure’s first blue whale trip.–Pictures and notes from Judy Lawrence.

*If a whale is not sighted during cruise as a courtesy from Hornblower, you will receive a “whale check” good for a 1 or 2 hour Harbor Cruise! For reservations: http://www.hornblower.com/port/category/sd+tours blue-whale