Sightings Every Day

Gray Whale Watching Season Begins December 9

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2017 - 2018 Winter Whale Watching

DateMorning CruiseAfternoon CruiseNotes
1/18/185 Gray Whales5 Gray WhalesMorning Cruise: Dense fog and slightly bumpy seas made finding whales a challenge today. In spite of this, Captain Jules found 5 southbound Gray Whales for the guests to watch.

Afternoon Cruise: We again spotted a total of 5 Gray Whales. Three of the Grays were engaged in mating behavior and rolling around at the surface, which is always exciting to watch.
1/17/185 Gray Whales, 10 Pacific White-sided Dolphins5 Gray WhalesMorning Cruise: Despite the fog and fairly large swells, we spotted 5 Gray Whales traveling south in a couple groups this morning. We also enjoyed a small group of Pacific White-sided Dolphins that rode the bow wave of the Adventure Hornblower.

Afternoon Cruise: The fog lifted giving us a beautiful, sunny afternoon. Among the 5 Gray Whales spotted this afternoon was a large whale that fluked often, letting us see the large white patches all over its tail flukes.
1/16/185 Gray Whales4 Gray Whales, 10 Common DolphinsMorning Cruise: We saw 5 Gray Whales on this sunny and calm morning. One of the whales was a juvenile that breached 8 times!

Afternoon Cruise: We found 4 Gray Whales this afternoon. We were able to get close looks at a solitary juvenile Gray Whale, which we followed as it traveled south. It finally fluked before making a deeper dive. We also had a small group of Common Dolphins that surfed the boat's bow waves.
1/15/188 Gray Whales3 Gray WhalesMorning Cruise: Our Gray Whale sightings continue as the southbound migration is in full swing! This morning, everyone got great looks at 2 pods of 4 Gray Whales each with more in the distance.

Afternoon Cruise: This afternoon, we had great looks at 3 southbound Gray Whales. All of these whales fluked several times.
1/14/181 Gray Whale, 100+ Risso's Dolphins5 Gray Whales, 3 Bottlenose DolphinsMorning Cruise: We had to travel far out, but it was worth it to see a pod of Risso's Dolphins. The pod was as interested in us as we were in them. A couple of the Risso's even breached! Upon our return to the docks, we saw a southbound juvenile Gray Whale. We enjoyed three surfacing sessions. The whale was pretty little with a little blow. A great day on the ocean!

Afternoon Cruise: We enjoyed clear skies and water as smooth as glass. We saw a few Bottlenose Dolphins in the bay. Shortly after leaving the bay, we spotted one solo and a pair of juvenile Gray Whales that fluked several times. We were also treated to a cow-calf pair of Gray Whales bonding on the surface.
1/13/1810 Gray Whales, 20+ Pacific White-sided Dolphins4 Gray WhalesMorning Cruise: What a whale-filled morning! Within minutes of leaving San Diego Bay a passenger spotted our first group of 2 Gray Whales. We had great looks of at least 10 Gray Whales for nearly all of our time out of the bay. While getting close look at the grays, we spotted many more spouts in the distance. We also spotted a few California sea lions along with a small group of Pacific White-sided Dolphins that rode the stern wake of the Adventure Hornblower.

Afternoon Cruise: The great viewing conditions continued with sightings of 4 Gray Whales including a cow-calf pair. The mom appeared to be an experienced mom- keeping a low profile and allowing her calf space. Everyone on the boat had great views and photos of the mother and calf with the San Diego coastline as a backdrop.
1/12/184 Gray WhalesNo whales spottedMorning Cruise: The fog began to roll in this morning making spotting whales difficult. Captain Jules did find four Gray Whales for us to watch.

Afternoon Cruise: No whales spotted due to heavy fog.
1/11/184 Gray Whales, 100+ Common Dolphins, 12 Risso's Dolphins7 Gray WhalesMorning Cruise: We had a great sightings of both toothed and baleen whales this morning. We began with sightings of 4 Gray Whales including a mother with her calf. We rounded out the sightings with Risso's Dolphins and Common Dolphins.

Afternoon Cruise: We had sunny weather with rough seas. We spotted the spouts of at least 13 Gray Whales and had close looks at 6 of the whales including of their tail flukes.
1/10/184 Gray Whales, 300+ Common Dolphins, 20 Risso's Dolphins7 Gray WhalesMorning Cruise: We set off with clearing skies and calm conditions to find 4 Gray whales including a cow-calf pair! As an added bonus, we also spotted a fairly large herd of Common Dolphins and a group of 20 Risso's Dolphins.

Afternoon Cruise: Wow! What an afternoon. We spotted 7 Gray Whales on this cruise bringing our total for the day to 11 grays. All of our guests today had great looks at these magnificent baleen whales as they migrate south.
1/9/18N/AN/ABoth Whale Watching Cruises cancelled due to heavy rainstorm.
1/8/184 Gray Whales, 100+ Common Dolphins, 6 Pacific White-sided Dolphins3 Gray WhalesMorning Cruise: Groups of Gray Whales continue to head south along the coast. This morning we spotted a total of 4 Gray Whales along with a playful group of Common Dolphins and some Pacific White-sided Dolphins.

Afternoon Cruise: Our sightings continued into the afternoon with great looks at 3 Gray Whales traveling south.
1/7/181 Gray Whale, 50+ Common Dolphins6 Gray Whales, 12 Common DolphinsMorning Cruise: We had a beautiful morning out on the water. We were able to experience a southbound Gray Whale that lifted its tail flukes before diving several times. We then encountered a group of about 50 Common Dolphins on our way back to the harbor.

Afternoon Cruise: Wow! What an afternoon! We had 6 Gray Whale sightings throughout our time on the water. The last group of 3 whales even exhibited mating behavior with circling, tail slapping and rolling at the surface.
1/6/187 Gray Whales, 100+ Common Dolphins1 Gray Whale, 30+ Common DolphinsMorning Cruise: The morning trip had overcast skies and calm winds. We came upon a group of 4 gray whales 4 miles west of Pt. Loma and had spectacular viewing for almost an hour. We left the whales and came upon a group of 100 common dolphin that were all around the boat. Shortly after, we came upon another group of 3 gray whales 2 miles off Pt. Loma that we followed back to the mouth of the harbor. It was a fantastic morning with 7 adult gray whales seen.

Afternoon Cruise: The afternoon trip saw breezy conditions with dense patchy fog. With reduced visibility we saw small pods of common dolphin, 10-12 animals per pod.
Very late in the trip we saw one gray whale who was very boat shy. We saw occasional views of the back of the whale.
1/5/184 Gray Whales, 30+ Common Dolphins3 Gray Whales, 50+ Common Dolphins, 10+ Pacific White-sided DolphinsMorning Cruise: This morning we spotted our first Gray Whale mother and calf pair along with 2 other Gray Whales.

Afternoon Cruise: Another great trip, with 3 Gray Whales spotted including one very large whale that was possibly a pregnant female. We also encountered scattered groups of Common Dolphins along with Pacific White-sided Dolphins mixed in.
1/4/183 Gray Whales, 30+ Common DolphinsNo whales spottedMorning Cruise: Our captain was able to find us 3 southbound Gray Whales this morning along with some scattered Common Dolphins feeding on large schools of bait fish.

Afternoon Cruise: Heavy fog rolled in making whale spotting impossible, so we remained in the San Diego harbor.
1/3/183 Gray Whales, 1000+ Common Dolphins2 Gray Whales, 100+ Common DolphinsMorning Cruise: In spite of the fog, Captain Jules spotted 3 adult Gray Whales. Everyone was able to get many close looks at this trio as they slowly swam south.

Afternoon Cruise: We set out south and came across a single Gray Whale along with a herd of playful Common Dolphins. As we cruised back to San Diego Bay, we encountered another Gray Whale.
1/2/184 Gray Whales, 50+3 Gray Whales, 100+ Common DolphinsMorning Cruise: We set out with Gray skies and calm seas. Immediately after leaving San Diego Bay, we encountered a group of about 50 Common Dolphins that swam by the boat. Then we came across 4 southbound Gray Whales swimming very slowly. We stayed with this quartet of whales for the rest of the trip since the viewing was so spectacular.

Afternoon Cruise: The wind picked up in the afternoon and the ocean became very choppy making viewing more difficult. We did see a large group of Common Dolphins along with brief looks at 3 elusive Gray Whales.
1/1/181 Gray Whale, 150+ Common Dolphins8 Gray Whales, 30+ Common DolphinsMorning Cruise: a very foggy morning turned into a sunny and calm cruise. About 150 Common Dolphins followed the Adventure Hornblower at one time, with many riding the bow and stern wakes of the boat. We then came upon a Gray Whale that gave us a great show of surfacing and fluking.

Afternoon Cruise: We encountered two groups of Gray Whales this afternoon. The first was a group of 3 southbound Gray Whales with possible pregnant females. We then came across a group of five Gray Whales that lifted their flukes above the water many times. What a great way to begin 2018!
12/31/173 Gray Whales3 Gray Whales, 12 Pacific White-sided DolphinsMorning Cruise: The fog burned off early giving us clear and calm conditions today. We spotted our first Gray Whale just outside of the bay. After watching this whale surface and fluke, we went out a little farther and spotted 2 more southbound Gray Whales just beyond the kelp line.

Afternoon Cruise: We finished 2017 with sightings of 3 more Gray Whales. The Gray's southward migration is in full swing! All the guests also enjoyed watching a dozen Pacific White-sided Dolphins.
12/30/171 Gray Whale, 200+ Common Dolphins, 25+ Pacific White-sided Dolphins1 Gray Whale, 400+ Common DolphinsMorning Cruise: Another perfect day for whale watching. After leaving San Diego Bay, we came across a large group of about 200 common dolphin about 2 miles off Point Loma. There were also about 25 Pacific White-sided dolphins mixed in with the other dolphins. We found a single Gray Whale heading south that gave everyone on the boat great views. We saw many spouts and tail flukes and were able to follow it for 45 min.

Afternoon Cruise: We started out with clear skies, but the fog crept in by the end of the day. During the trip we saw a large herd of about 400 Common Dolphins. Not long after, we spotted a solitary Gray Whale that put on a spectacular show breaching at least 6 times. Everyone on the boat was able to witness this spectacular behavior. Then the whale settled down into a slow swimming pattern and many spouts and flukes were observed.
12/29/175 Gray Whales, 10+ Pacific White-sided Dolphins4 Gray Whales, 10+ Pacific White-sided Dolphins, 10+ California Sea LionsMorning Cruise: A beautiful clear morning of whale watching. Our captain found us 5 Gray Whales this morning giving everyone great looks at these magnificent whales as they migrate south to the Baja lagoons.

Afternoon Cruise: Our luck was with us again this afternoon with 4 up-close sightings of Gray Whales. We also spotted scattered small groups of Pacific White-sided Dolphins along with a large raft of California Sea Lions relaxing on the water's surface.
12/28/174 Gray Whales, 100+ Common Dolphins1 Gray WhaleMorning Cruise: What a whale-filled morning Cruise! We first spotted a pair of southbound adult Gray Whales traveling together along with a third Gray Whale spouting nearby. All guests were able to get great looks at these whales. On our way back to the bay, we came across another Gray Whale.

Afternoon Cruise: This afternoon, Captain Jules found a single, southbound juvenile Gray Whale. We were only able to briefly watch this elusive whale.
12/27/171 Humpback Whale1 Gray Whale, 100+ Common DolphinsMorning Cruise: We headed offshore and spotted a Humpback Whale. Everyone had close looks at the whale as it surfaced and fluked.

Afternoon Cruise: We headed west and first encountered a group of Common Dolphins, including some that checked out the boat. We than found a Gray Whale and were able to watch the whale as it slowly traveled south.
12/26/176 Gray Whales, 100+ Common Dolphins4 Gray Whales, 100+ Common Dolphins, 25+ Pacific White-sided DolphinsMorning Cruise: If you weren't out on the boat today you missed seeing what lots of passengers from around the country and the world saw....Gray Whales migrating south to
the lagoons in Baja. We got great looks at both pregnant female and juvenile Gray Whales along with a group of playful Common Dolphins.

Afternoon Cruise: Our phenomenal whale sightings continued with a total of 4 Gray Whales spotted this afternoon. We also encountered both Pacific White-sided and Common Dolphins along with California Sea Lions and Brown Pelicans, What a beautiful day on the water!
12/25/172 Gray Whales, 500+ Common Dolphins, 20+ Pacific White-sided Dolphins500+ Common Dolphins, 20+ Pacific White-sided DolphinsMorning Cruise: Merry Christmas! We had the gift of 2 southbound Gray Whales this morning, which showed us their tail flukes many times. During the entire cruise, we were accompanied by a huge herd of Common Dolphins with some mixed in Pacific White-sided Dolphins.

Afternoon Cruise: While we didn't spot any baleen whales this beautiful Christmas afternoon, we did enjoy watching the antics of the megapod of Common and Pacific White-sided Dolphins.
12/24/176 Gray Whales, 100+ Common Dolphins, 50 Risso's Dolphins1 Gray Whale, 50+ Common Dolphins, 10+ Pacific White-sided DolphinsMorning Cruise: Calm seas and sunny skies brought a lot of activity to many vacationing guests. We passed a large herd of Common Dolphins as we set out to watch a group of whales in the distance. This turned out to be 5 adult, southbound Gray Whales traveling together. On the return trip to the bay, we encountered 50+ Risso's Dolphins along with a single Gray Whale headed south.

Afternoon Cruise: We headed south out of the bay and spotted an adult Gray Whale traveling south that fluked often. We also spotted a mixed group of Common Dolphins and Pacific White-sided Dolphins and enjoyed watching several mother-calf pairs.
12/23/1740+ Common Dolphins, 20 Pacific White-sided Dolphins1 Gray Whale, 30+ Common Dolphins, 12 Pacific White-sided Dolphins.Morning Cruise: Our morning was filled with dolphins. We found a group of playful Common Dolphins along with some Pacific White-sided Dolphins. Although we didn't spot any baleen whales, everyone had a great time watching the dolphins.

Afternoon Cruise: We spotted a southbound juvenile Gray Whale about 3 miles off the tip of Point Loma. Everyone had great looks at this whale as it lifted its flukes out of the water several times. We also spotted bot Common and Pacific White-sided Dolphins.
12/22/171 Gray Whale, 40+ Common Dolphins2 Gray Whales, 20+ Common DolphinsMorning Cruise: The morning trip had clear skies and calm winds. We briefly watched a pod of about 40 Common Dolphins as we were making our way to a whale sighting. We found a large, southbound Gray Whale, which we followed about an hour and had great sightings with many tail flukes.

Afternoon Cruise: Again we passed through a small group of Common Dolphins en route to watch the same Gray Whale from the morning trip. We watched the whale for about 45 minutes until she headed through the Mexican border. On our return to San Diego Bay, we spotted a juvenile Gray Whale off Ballast Point that showed us its flukes a couple times before diving.
12/21/173 Gray Whales, 500+ Common Dolphins2 Gray Whales, 500+ Common DolphinsMorning Cruise: A beautiful Winter Solstice morning highlighted by 3 Gray Whales. Despite bumpy conditions on the sea, everyone enjoyed wonderful, close looks as the whales surfaced and even lifted their flukes above the water. We also had fun watching a group of 500+ active Common Dolphins.

Afternoon Cruise: On the way out of the bay, we spotted the same juvenile Gray Whale off Ballast Point that we saw yesterday. This whale barrel-rolled at the surface and even lifted its pectoral flippers out of the water. A bit farther north we came across a second Gray Whale that was very curious about the boat. This whale kept spy-hopping (lifting its head above the surface) and even opened its mouth giving us a rare look at its baleen. What an experience! We finished up enjoying the same pod of Common Dolphins from this morning.
12/20/171 Gray Whale, 100+, Common Dolphins, 10+ Pacific White-sided Dolphins1 Gray WhaleMorning Cruise: A beautiful calm, sunny day started off quickly with a juvenile gray whale off Ballast Point in San Diego Bay. We also found large pods of common and Pacific white-sided dolphins as we traveled offshore.

Afternoon Cruise: We sighted the same juvenile gray whale off Ballast Point as was seen on the morning cruise. Guests onboard were able to get great photos of flukes as the young whale dove. We were close enough to see its head covered in barnacles. As we headed offshore the wind picked up, the clouds rolled in and we had a light swell. Heading back to the dock,enjoyed gorgeous late afternoon cloud formations and the beginning of a colorful sunset.
12/19/17N/AN/ANo Whale Watch Cruises today
12/18/17N/AN/ANo Whale Watch Cruises today
12/17/17600+ Common Dolphins1 Gray Whale, 75+ Risso's Dolphins, 12 Pacific White-sided DolphinsMorning Cruise: While we didn't spot any baleen whales we encountered a mega-herd of Common Dolphins! These energetic dolphins are always crowd-pleasers with their acrobatic leaps and antics in the waters surrounding the boat.

Afternoon Cruise: What an afternoon! We began with a southbound Gray Whale, which we slowly followed almost to the Mexican border. The later afternoon was filled with dolphins. A huge pod of Risso's dolphins breached and milled around near the Adventure Hornblower giving everyone onboard fantastic views of this rarely-spotted species. A group of Pacific White-sided dolphins also were spotted among the Risso's!
12/16/17200+ Common DolphinsN/AMorning Cruise: We searched far and wide off San Diego for whale, but didn't see any baleen whales today. We did enjoy a large pod of Common Dolphins that rode the bow of the Adventure Hornblower.

Afternoon Cruise:
No afternoon cruise.
12/15/171 Gray Whale1 Gray Whale, 500+ Common DolphinsMorning Cruise: The morning had clear skies and calm conditions. After searching for most of the cruise, Captain Richard found a juvenile Gray Whale that was very slowly swimming South. Everyone was able to get close looks at this whale.

Afternoon Cruise: We found the same Gray Whale from the morning cruise. After spending some time watching this whale, we came across a mega-herd of Common Dolphins. It was especially fun to see some mother-calf pairs of these energetic dolphins near the boat.
12/14/173 Gray Whales100+ Common Dolphins, 5 Pacific White-sided DolphinsMorning Cruise: Another beautiful day for whale watching. As soon as we left the bay, Captain Jules spotted 3 southbound Gray Whales, which we watched for awhile. We then headed west,but didn't see any whales for the rest of the afternoon.
Afternoon Cruise: We were not able to find any Gray Whales on the afternoon trip. We did see a playful herd of Common Dolphins with some Pacific White-sided Dolphins in the mix.
12/13/172 Gray Whales, 3 Humpback Whales, 200+ Common Dolphins, 10+ Pacific White-sided DolphinsNo whales sightedMorning Cruise: It was a cetacean spectacular this morning! Captain Jules spotted 2 southbound Gray Whales right outside of San Diego Bay. We then headed north and found 3 Humpback Whales! Along with all of the baleen whales, we encountered hundreds of Common Dolphins and Pacific White-sided Dolphins. What an incredible morning!

Afternoon Cruise: Despite perfect weather conditions, the ocean was quiet this afternoon and we didn't spot any whales or dolphins.
12/12/177 Humpback Whales, 500+ Common Dolphins1 Gray Whale, 1000+ Common DolphinsMorning Cruise: After leaving San Diego Bay, we headed north past La Jolla and were rewarded with a spectacular group of 7 Humpback Whales! Everyone enjoyed fantastic views of the whales surfacing and fluking!

Afternoon Cruise: Our baleen whale of the afternoon was a single, southbound Gray Whale. We enjoyed several close looks at the whale. The highlight of the afternoon, was a super-sized herd of Common Dolphins! Hundreds of these playful toothed whales rode the bow of the Adventure Hornblower-always such a fun experience!
12/11/17No whales sighted1 Gray Whale, 5 Common DolphinsMorning Cruise: Although conditions were perfect- no whales were spotted during the morning cruise.

Afternoon Cruise: Beautiful conditions continued and we found a juvenile Gray Whale that was oddly heading north (most Grays are migrating south this time of year). We were able to get great views of the whale including several of its tail flukes. During the afternoon, we also spotted a scattered, small group of Common Dolphins.
12/10/171 Humpback Whale, 300+ Common Dolphins1 Gray Whale, 12+ Pacific White-sided DolphinsMorning Cruise: Beautiful and calm seas with great viewing conditions. Captain Chad located a Humpback Whale , which we watched surface several times and even lift its gorgeous tail flukes above the surface. A little later we encountered a playful group of Common Dolphins that leaped and played near the boat. We also spotted a Mola mola (ocean sunfish) and a brown boobie (seabird).

Afternoon Cruise: The warm and calm conditions continued into the afternoon. Soon after leaving San Diego Bay, we spotted a Gray Whale and spent nearly 2 hours watching this beautiful baleen whale. We also spotted a group of Pacific White-sided Dolphins. Hooray for the first Gray Whale of the season!
12/09/175 Common Dolphins, 10+ Bottlenose Dolphins, Harbor Seal, 6 California Sea Lions, 1 Mola molaN/AMorning Cruise: A gorgeous, calm and sunny first day of winter whale watching! Despite the perfect conditions, we didn't see any baleen whales today. We did briefly spot about 5 common dolphins that briefly swam over to the bow of the Adventure Hornblower along with some Bottlenose Dolphins in the distance. Sightings of California Sea lions were scattered throughout the cruise along with a Harbor Seal resting at the surface in a kelp paddy. In a few areas small groups gulls, terns, brown pelicans, cormorants, shearwaters, auklets and other sea birds dove, rested and flew above the water's surface.

Afternoon Cruise: No afternoon Cruise.
11/20/171 Gray WhaleN/AOn one of our Harbor Tour Cruises Monday, we spotted the same juvenile Gray Whale as yesterday under the Coronado Bay Bridge. The whale spouted and then breached then spyhopped to have a look around. It breached a couple more times giving us a great look at the youngster's darker gray coloration and then headed farther into the bay. The San Diego Harbor Police are remaining with the whale to prevent boats from getting to close to the whale while it is in the bay.
11/19/171 Gray Whale, 4 Bottlenose DolphinsN/AOur Harbor Tours became Whale Watching Tours on November 19 and 20. On Sunday, Guests on one of our Harbor Tours were treated to fantastic views of a juvenile Gray Whale — the first of the season for us — entering San Diego Bay! A couple hours later a group of 4 Bottlenose Dolphins crossed the bow of the boat in the same location.

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