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Whale Watching Season Now Through April 23

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Whale Watching Report 2016 - 2017

DateMorning CruiseAfternoon CruiseNotes
04/23/201730 Common DolphinsN/A

Morning Cruise:
A lovely last morning for our the Hornblower Whale Watching cruises! Most Gray Whales have already migrated north along the Southern California coast en route to their feeding grounds in the arctic seas. While we did not see any Gray Whales or other baleen whales today, we did enjoy watching about 30 energetic Common Dolphins on our way back into the bay.

No afternoon cruise.

04/22/20177 Gray WhalesN/A

Morning Cruise:
We enjoyed a whale-filled morning cruise with a total of 7 northbound Gray Whales including a mother-calf pair.

No afternoon Cruise.

04/21/2017N/AN/A

No whale watch cruises today.

04/20/2017N/AN/A

No whale watch cruises today.

04/19/2017N/AN/A

No whale watch cruises today.

04/18/2017N/AN/A

No whale watch cruises today.

04/17/2017N/AN/A

No whale watch cruises today.

04/16/20171 Humpback Whale, 200+ Common Dolphins1000+ Common Dolphins, 1 Mola mola

Morning Cruise:
The morning was beautiful with clear, calm seas. We enjoyed three sightings of Common Dolphins. A little later, we were then treated to several sightings of a large humpback whale and observed both rolling and diving behavior.

Afternoon Cruise:
The afternoon was still calm and sunny. We were excited to watch a large herd of over 1,000 Common Dolphins playing in the bow waves and surrounding the boat. We also spotted a Mola mola or Ocean Sunfish resting on the surface.. It was a lovely day on the ocean!

04/15/20171 Gray Whale, 150+ Common Dolphins2 Gray Whales, 1000+ Common Dolphins

Morning Cruise:
It was a spectacular day on the water....blue skies, sun shining, sea breezes.....a bit bumpy ride at times, but overall just a great morning and afternoon on the Hornblower Adventure. We saw a cow and calf Gray Whale pair in the morning heading north and lots of Common Dolphins.

Afternoon Cruise:
In the afternoon, we spotted two 2 juvenile Gray Whales in the afternoon that were migrating north. We also encountered an even larger herd of Common Dolphins that were very energetic with lots of leaps and tail slaps.

04/14/2017no whales spottedno whales spotted

Despite clear and sunny conditions, no whales were spotted today.

04/13/20171 Gray Whale, 500+ Common Dolphins1 Gray Whale, 500+ Common Dolphins

Morning Cruise:
We spotted a single Gray Whale this morning that was traveling north. We also found a large herd of Common Dolphins, which are always so much fun to watch!

Afternoon Cruise:
We spotted another large herd of Common Dolphins along with a very brief viewing of a juvenile Gray Whale.

04/12/2017no whales spottedno whales spotted

No whales were spotted on either cruise.

04/11/201730 Pacific White-sided Dolphins7 Gray Whales

Morning Cruise:
This morning the sea swells were still high, which made finding whales difficult. We did see a group of Pacific White-sided Dolphins—always a lovely species to see!

Afternoon Cruise:
Captain Michael headed out to 9-mile Bank where a trio of Gray Whales were reported by another boat. We found 4 adults that fluked and some even spyhopped. The best was when all four gray whales were lined up in a row at the surface, blowing and fluking! Later, we encountered a pair of large Gray Whales, and then a single one near the entrance to the bay. What a beautiful afternoon!

04/10/20171000+ Common Dolphins5 Gray Whales, 100+ Common Dolphins

Morning Cruise:
The weather was clear with choppy seas. We did not see any whales but came across a large herd of Common Dolphins located about 11 miles offshore. The dolphins were extremely active and the passengers had excellent viewing.

Afternoon Cruise:
In the afternoon, the ocean was much less choppy. We saw 5 Gray Whales which consisted of a group of 3 that joined up with 2 others. The whales were a little boat-shy, but we still had good viewing including tale flukes. These whales were located about 12 miles offshore. We also saw several small groups of Common Dolphins that only gave us very brief views.

04/09/2017no whales spottedno whales spotted

No whales were spotted on either trip due to high sea swells.

04/08/20172000+ Common Dolphinsno whales spotted

Morning Cruise:
Our weather this morning was overcast with calm winds and a rolling sea. We did not see any baleen whales, but we saw two mega-herds of Common Dolphins spread out over several miles and were very active. The guests really enjoyed the sighting.

Afternoon Cruise:
The ocean's high swells and white caps made spotting difficult this afternoon. Unfortunately, We did not see any whales or dolphins during this trip.

04/07/20172 Gray Whales, 1000+ Common Dolphins2 Gray Whales

Morning Cruise:
We began our day with morning haze, which cleared into a sunny day. We traveled to 9-mile Bank, and guests were delighted to see a huge herd of more than 1,000 Common Dolphins that bow rode and stayed with the Hornblower for 1 1/2 miles. While at 9-mile Bank, we were lucky and found 2 Gray Whales swimming close-together and slowly. The water was clear so we were lucky to see the entire body, including the flukes, very clearly.

Afternoon Cruise:
It was a great day, nice weather with some wind. We traveled back out to 9-mile bBank and saw 2 more Gray Whales, a northbound mother-calf pair. The guests were excited to see the whales' blows and flukes.

04/06/2017125+ Common Dolphins3 Gray Whales, 100+ Pacific White-sided Dolphins, 200+ Common Dolphins

Morning Cruise:
A nice calm morning, but no whales in sight. We did have some playful Common Dolphins swim near the boat a few times. During this cruise, Captain Jules maneuvered the boat to remove some balloons floating on the surface—this is important since sea turtles can mistake them for a jellyfish meal and accidentally swallow the balloons which can be deadly.

Afternoon Cruise:
Staying close to shore and heading north, we encountered a mother and calf pair of Gray Whales keeping a low profile. The baby didn't appear to have many barnacles, so it was relatively young. We followed them for quite some time before having to return to port. Then, just outside the bay's entrance was a juvenile Gray Whale! What a nice afternoon!

04/05/20173 Gray Whales, 5 Pacific White-sided Dolphins2 Gray Whales, 2 Bottlenose Dolphins

Morning Cruise:
A great sampling of whales and dolphins this morning, which began with great sightings of a pair of juvenile Gray Whales along the kelp line off Point Loma. Next we watched a few Pacific White-sided Dolphins, and then another Gray Whale on the way in.

Afternoon Cruise:
We had a much tougher time spotting whales this afternoon with 2 northbound, juvenile Gray Whales spotted in the kelp line right as we needed to head back into the bay. We did see a couple of coastal Bottlenose Dolphins inside San Diego Bay as we headed back to the dock.

04/04/20172 Gray Whales6 Gray Whales

Morning Cruise:
Cruised 6 miles out west of Point Loma to find 2 northbound Gray Whales. All guests enjoyed wonderful views of the whales including flaking several times.

Afternoon Cruise:
The whales eluded us until the end of the trip when Captain Anthony spotted 2 Gray Whales traveling north. We were only able to get a few brief looks at the whales. Right as we were heading into San Diego Bay, we spotted 4 more Gray Whales in the distance.

04/03/20174 Gray Whales3 Gray Whales, 30 Common Dolphins

Morning Cruise:
We spent most of the calm , overcast morning searching for whales. Finally, just before we headed back into the Bay, we spotted 4 Gray Whales, which we watched for about 15 minutes.

Afternoon Cruise:
The sun came out later in the afternoon along with excellent looks at 3 northbound Gray Whales and a herd of playful Common Dolphins.

04/02/2017N/A1 Gray Whale, 5 Fin Whales, 500+ Common Dolphins

Morning Cruise cancelled.

Afternoon Cruise:
Wow! What an afternoon! We only spotted one Gray Whale, but spotted 5 Fin Whales! Fin Whales reach lengths of 85 feet (26 meters) and are only exceeded in size by the blue whale. In addition to baleen whales, we also enjoyed watching a large herd of about 500 Common Dolphins.

04/01/20171 Gray Whale, 50 Common Dolphins, 10 Pacific White-sided Dolphins, 4 Bottlenose Dolphins4 Gray Whales

Morning Cruise:
This morning was dolphin-centered, with sighting of Common, Pacific White-sided, Bottlenose Dolphins.. We spotted a juvenile Gray Whale right just outside of San Diego Bay, right before we headed in. The whale was rather shy , but swam one time around the boat giving all the guests a few good looks.

Afternoon Cruise:
This afternoon the focus shifted back to Gray Whales with sightings of 4 northbound whales. The first sighting was of a pair of juveniles that we watched for about 45 minutes. Captain Rick then spotted 2 adults that gave us many outstanding views including a double tail fluke (2 whales fluking at the same time) at the end. What a great afternoon!

03/31/2017N/AN/A

Both cruises cancelled due to high sea swells.

03/30/20174 Gray Whales, 50+ Common Dolphins2 Gray Whales

Morning Cruise:
Our first sighting was a pod of approximately 50 Common Dolphins traveling fast. We saw a total of 4 Gray Whales. Two whales were traveling north by themselves and were very elusive . Luckily, we were able to get much better looks at a pair of Grays traveling together.

Afternoon Cruise:
The sea was very choppy in the afternoon. Captain Rick found 2 juvenile gray whales swimming together next to the kelp beds. We had great viewing including fluking that lasted about an hour.

03/29/2017100+ Common Dolphins, 5 Pacific White-sided Dolphins8 Gray Whales, 50+ Common Dolphins, Mola mola

Morning Cruise:
It was a beautiful sunny day on the water, but with a bumpy sea. No baleen whales were seen this morning, but we did see a large group of Common Dolphins that put on a great show and a few Pacific White-sided Dolphins.

Afternoon Cruise:
Our beautiful day continued and was made even more beautiful by the sighting of 8 Eastern Pacific Gray Whales, some showing their flukes on deep dives. Most of these whales were juveniles, three were traveling north, and five south....go figure! Additionally at least 50 Common Dolphins were observed and a Mola mola was briefly spotted.

03/28/2017500+ Common Dolphinsno whales spotted

Morning Cruise:
High sea swells again made it difficult to find any whales. We did encounter a large herd of common dolphins and various diving seabirds feeding along with the dolphins.

Afternoon:
No whales spotted this afternoon. Couldn't travel very far out of the Bay due to high sea swells.

03/27/2017200+ Common Dolphinsno whales spotted

Morning Cruise:
Very rough seas this morning made sighting whales difficult this morning. We did find 200+ Common Dolphins, but no larger whales were spotted.

Afternoon Cruise:
Because of increasingly rough seas, no whales were spotted on the afternoon trip.

03/26/20171 Fin Whale, 200+ Common Dolphins4 Gray Whales

Morning Cruise:
Although the weather was fairly calm today, we did have some seas swells which made whale watching challenging. Captain Richard managed to find a Fin Whale about 9 miles west of Point Loma. Shortly after, we encountered an energetic herd of Common Dolphins. The whale viewing was sporadic, but the dolphin watching was exceptional.

Afternoon Cruise:
The high sea swells continued into the afternoon. We saw 4 whales total. Our first sighting was a single Gray Whale swimming just outside the kelp beds. This whale was shy and viewing was minimal. Later we came upon a group of 3 whales approximately 4 miles offshore. They were easier to follow and we spent the rest of the voyage following this trio with many spectacular views.

03/25/20173 Gray Whales3 Gray Whales, 5 California Sea Lions

Morning Cruise:
A beautiful day on the water. We spotted a juvenile and 2 adult Gray Whales all traveling north, which we watched for about an hour.

Afternoon Cruise:
We started out with cloudy conditions that turned sunny in the late afternoon. Captain Mike found us 3 juvenile Gray Whales that we followed for about an hour. The whales were relaxed and rolling around. One even spyhopped!

03/24/20174 Gray Whales, 1 Fin Whale, 10 Bottlenose Dolphins, 15 Common Dolphins4 Gray Whales, 5 Common Dolphins

Morning Cruise:
A fantastic day for whale watching! We spotted a Fin Whale soon after leaving the Bay. Our baleen whale sightings continued with with a trio of Gray Whales displaying mating behavior. We capped off our trip with 10 Bottlenose Dolphins and about 15 Common Dolphins.

Afternoon Cruise:
Our sightings continued with 4 northbound Gray Whales this afternoon including a mother-calf pair. We also had a few Common Dolphins swim by as we were watching the grays.

03/23/2017N/AN/A

Cruises cancelled due to high sea swells.

03/22/20172 Gray Whales, 12 Pacific White-sided Dolphins4 Gray Whales, 6 Pacific White-sided Dolphins, 200+ Common Dolphins

Morning Cruise:
Conditions were a bit blustery in the morning. That didn't stop our whale watchers from getting brief looks at two juvenile northbound Gray Whales, as well as 12 playful Pacific white-sided dolphins.

Afternoon Cruise:
We headed out west and spotted a wonderful group of Gray Whales that were fluking and engaging in mating and courtship behavior. We also got great looks at a cow-calf pair traveling north. We finished off with a couple hundred Common Dolphins and a few Pacific White-sided Dolphins on the way in.

03/21/20173 Gray Whales, 100+ Common Dolphins5 Gray Whales, 100+ Common Dolphins

Morning Cruise:
A lovely, sunny day. We spotted Common Dolphins both leaving and heading back in to the Bay. Our Captain spotted 3 Gray Whales that all the guests enjoyed watching for about a half hour.

Afternoon Cruise:
The calm conditions continued this afternoon. We spotted a Gray Whale soon after leaving San Diego Bay, but it was elusive so we went out farther. We were rewarded with a group of 3 northbound Gray Whales including a cow-calf pair. The whales were traveling slowly with lots of flaking and some rolling around. A great show!

03/20/20173 Gray Whales, 1000+ Common Dolphins, 1 Mola mola, 1 Thresher Shark2 Gray Whales, 1000+ Common Dolphins

Morning Cruise:
What an amazing morning! First, we found 3 adult Gray Whales displaying mating and courtship behavior. We then enjoyed watching the mega-herd of Common Dolphins. To round out the trip, we spotted a Mola mola (Ocean Sunfish) basking at the surface and even a Thresher Shark

Afternoon Cruise:
The afternoon cruise was a nail-biter! We headed way out west and found the huge group of Common Dolphins again. Right before heading back in to the Bay, we spotted a pair of Gray Whales that gave us some great views and even a breach really close to the boat.

03/19/20174 Gray Whales, 1000+ Common Dolphins3 Gray Whales, 500+ Common Dolphins

Morning Cruise:
We headed 6 miles out from Point Loma to find 4 Gray Whales that remained near the boat and gave everyone great looks. Later in the morning we found a mega-herd of Common Dolphins, which is always lots of fun to watch!

Afternoon Cruise:
Captain Chad headed the boat our west again this afternoon and we spotted 3 individual Gray Whales, all traveling north. We also came across another huge group of Common Dolphins.

03/18/20175 Gray Whales, 3 Bottlenose Dolphins3 Gray Whales, 50+ Common Dolphins

Morning Cruise:
In spite of a foggy beginning to the morning, Captain Eric managed to find 3 northbound Gray Whales. We also spotted a few Bottlenose Dolphins within the Bay.

Afternoon Cruise:
All guests enjoyed watching a trio of Gray Whales along with about 50 playful and acrobatic Common Dolphins.

03/17/20176 Gray Whales, 50+ Pacific White-sided Dolphins, 200+ Common Dolphins50+ Common Dolphins

Morning Cruise:
We headed out on a foggy morning. Captain Earnesto spotted 6 adult gray whales traveling together early in the trip. After watching these whales for awhile, we traveled farther out to find a group of Pacific White-sided Dolphins and a large herd of common Dolphins..

Afternoon Cruise:
Although it was sunny when we left the dock, the fog rolled back providing poor visibility for most of the cruise. We spotted a couple of small blows in the distance, but unfortunately weren't able to get any close looks at the whales. We did find about 50 common dolphins for a nice viewing.

03/16/20171 Gray Whale, 10 Pacific White-sided Dolphins, 500+ Common Dolphins2 Gray Whales

Morning Cruise:
We headed way out west this morning and spent some time watching a huge herd of Common Dolphins that were leaping, bowriding, and surfing along with a small pod of Pacific White-sided Dolphins. We briefly spotted a juvenile Gray Whale on the way in.

Afternoon Cruise:
Just as we approached the ocean by Pt. Loma and were leaving the Bay, we spotted two gray whales. Both were moving in random directions, and darting around the boats. One was a small juvenile and the second was much larger adult that swam right by the boat.

03/15/20173 Gray Whales, 10 Pacific White-sided Dolphins, 20-30 False Killer Whales4 Gray Whales, 100+ Common Dolphins

Morning Cruise:
In spite of heavy fog, our captain managed to find us 3 Gray Whales. The real excitement this morning was spending time with a pod of false-killer whales! We spent more than an hour watching these rarely-spotted whales until we had to head back in. What an exciting morning!

Afternoon Cruise:
This afternoon we were still limited by fog, but Captain Jules managed to find 4 Gray Whales — a single northbound juvenile and three adults displaying courtship behavior including a breach! We also enjoyed watching a herd of more than a hundred playful Common Dolphins!

03/14/20171 Gray Whale, 3 Bottlenose Dolphins300+ Common Dolphins

Morning Cruise:
A beautiful, sunny San Diego morning on the water. A surprise sightingof a southbound gray whale. Passengers, several families from out of state, enjoyed seeing coastal Bottlenose dolphins near the mouth of the bay.

Afternoon cruise:
Unfortunately we could not find any whales this afternoon due windy and choppy conditions. We had a great sighting of a pod of Common Dolphins, with several calves that swam alongside the boat near the kelp beds.

03/13/20173 Gray Whales, 20+ Pacific White-sided Dolphinsno whales spotted

Morning Cruise:
Heavy fog again this morning made finding whales a challenge. We did find 3 northbound Gray Whales exhibiting mating behavior including spyhopping, rolling, and fluking. On the way back in to the Bay, passengers were delighted to watch a group of 20 beautiful Pacific White-sided dolphins.

Afternoon Cruise:
Dense fog made finding whales even more difficult this afternoon and we were unable to see any whales on this trip.

03/12/20173 Gray Whales, 150+ Common Dolphins7 Gray Whales, 200+ Common Dolphins

Morning Cruise:
In spite of dense fog this morning, Captain Jules managed to find 3 juvenile Gray Whales for us to watch along with a herd of 150+ Common Dolphins. The whales were elusive and even snorkeling at times making them tough to get and good views of them.

Afternoon Cruise:
The fog was still heavy for the afternoon trip as well, but we managed to get off shore to watch a group of 5 adult Gray Whales and 2 juveniles all heading north. The adult whales were showing great tail flukes along with rolling around and other mating behaviors.

03/11/20179 Gray Whales, 100+ Common Dolphins6 Gray Whales, 200+ Common Dolphins

Morning Cruise:
An amazing morning! Captain Jules took us out to 9-mile Bank this morning in search of whales. On the way out we spotted a juvenile Gray Whale and then a cow-calf pair with great views of them near the surface. Next we spotted about 100 hundred Common Dolphins. We finished our trip with a group of 6 Gray Whales rolling around on the surface.

Afternoon Cruise:
The marine layer was definitely present but did not hinder visibility. It took a little time but we were able to spend some time with a group of 5 Gray Whales swimming in close proximity to each other first to the right of the boat and then to the left — sometimes close to the boat. They also exhibited mating behavior. On the way back, we came across 100 Common Dolphins that swam close to the boat. Shortly after that we saw a Gray Whale breach. A great day on the water!

03/10/20172 Gray Whales, 500+ Common Dolphins7 gray Whales, 700+ Common Dolphins

Morning Cruise:
A beautiful, sunny, calm, clear day on the water. We spotted a pair of Gray Whales showing potential mating behavior and a large herd of more then 500 Common Dolphins.

Afternoon Cruise:
Captain Eric took us out about 13 miles off Point Loma to find whales this afternoon. We did see 7 northbound Gray Whales. Five of these whales were in a single group displaying very active behavior that was possibly mating behavior. More than 700 Common Dolphins were mixed in with the whales and spread out over a wide area.

03/09/20176 Gray Whales, 150+ Common Dolphins6 Gray Whales, Harbor Seals

Morning Cruise:
We were treated with a very calm ocean and sunny skies this morning. Our first sighting was a pod of about 150 Common Dolphins.
From there, we spotted 3 juvenile Gray Whales that we followed for quite some time as they gave us a great show. After that we saw a pair which we followed easily as well, followed by a single whale that rounded out the trip and made a great morning of whale watching.

Afternoon Cruise:
The ocean was the calmest it’s been in the past week and made for a great day of whale watching. We saw Harbor Seals on the way out followed by seeing 6 Gray Whales for the afternoon. The first sighting was a pair of juveniles that were almost white in color and easy to follow. After that, we saw 3 adult whales that gave us some great views of their tails as they sounded. Our last whale was a single and we followed him a short while until we ran out of time.

03/08/20173 Gray Whales1 Gray Whale, 50+ Pacific White-sided Dolphins, 25+ California Sea Lions

Morning Cruise:
We found 3 Gray Whales on the morning trip. 1 lone calf/juvenile early on and then 2 large adult Gray Whales traveling north.

Afternoon Cruise:
Nice sunny conditions this afternoon for whale watching. Captain Mike found a southbound adult Gray Whale which we watched for awhile. We also spotted approximately 25 California Sealions and 50 PWS dolphins and gulls, which all seemed to be feeding on a bait ball.

03/07/20174 Gray Whales, 300+ Common Dolphins2 Gray Whales, 10 Pacific White-sided Dolphins, 2 Bottlenose Dolphins

Morning Cruise:
A beautiful day out on the ocean. Guests were delighted to see 2 pairs of juvenile Gray Whales travelling north, enjoying each others company. We also enjoyed an awesome display of Common Dolphins, that fed upon small fish, along with loads of birds. Many of the dolphins were bowriding close to Hornblower.

Afternoon Cruise:
Afternoon had very gusty winds and lots of chop, making Gray Whale blows hard to discern. Did see 2 separate blows heading north, but lost both as they never surfaced again. We did have small group of Pacific White-sided dolphins and 2 Bottlenose Dolphins on the bow just outside of the harbor.

03/06/20176 Gray Whales, 30 Pacific White-sided5 Gray Whales

Morning Cruise:
Clear skies and calm winds, but a very large rolling sea today. We saw 6 Gray Whales which were 2 pairs and 2 singles. We followed one pair for 45 minutes and we had great viewing. We also saw 30 Pacific White-sided Dolphins. All the guests enjoyed the viewing despite the rough ride.

Afternoon Cruise:
This afternoon we had clear skies with a stiff wind. The seas were down a bit from the morning, but still rough. We saw 5 Gray Whales, 3 were singles and one pair. Our best viewing was on a single whale for approximately an hour. Again the passengers enjoyed the viewing despite the weather.

03/05/20172 Gray Whales, 200+ Common Dolphins, 100+ Risso's Dolphins3 Gray Whales

Morning Cruise:
Clear visibility, the cruise began with a sighting of a cow / calf pair of Gray Whales heading north. We were treated to a large pod of Common Dolphins who actively jumped out of the water. On the return trip we stopped and watched in awe of nearly a hundred Risso's Dolphins who formed a line in front of the boat.

Afternoon Cruise:
Quiet day on the water. We followed a juevenille southbound Gray Whale who was snorkeling and fluking. We had a storm behind us and a storm in front of us but a wonderful time was had between them.

03/04/20175 Gray Whales, 20+ Pacific White-sided Dolphins, 12 Common Dolphins4 Gray Whales

Morning Cruise:
We enjoyed calm seas and great conditions for whale watching this morning and spotted a total of 5 Gray Whales. Two were individual pairs and a one was a solitary whale. All of the whales moved quickly which made following them more difficult but we still had good viewing. We also saw about 20 white-sided dolphins and rounded out the trip with 12 common dolphins. Everyone had a great morning!

Afternoon Cruise:
We still had overcast skies this afternoon, but the seas were calm. We were able to see a group of 2 Gray Whales, which we followed for over an hour and 2 single whales which were travelling much faster. We had many children and all the families said they had a great time.

03/03/20171 Gray Whale, 1000+ Common Dolphins, 50+ Pacific White-sided Dolphins6 Gray Whales

Morning Cruise:
The morning cruise saw beautiful weather with great visibility and happy passengers. Only one adult Gray Whale was found, along with 500 Common Dolphins and 50 Pacific White-sided Dolphins.

Afternoon Cruise:
Calm seas and sunshine continued into the afternoon cruise. A Cow/Calf pair, as well as 4 adult Gray Whales and a juvenile were spotted, all heading in a northbound direction.

03/02/20176 Gray Whales, 2 Bottlenose Dolphins3 Gray Whales, 400+ Common Dolphins, 2 Bottlenose Dolphins

Morning Cruise:
It was a calm sunny day, but the water was a bit murky from the storm on Monday. We viewed whales throughout the morning- one right after another!

Afternoon Cruise:
What a fabulous, sunny afternoon! We spotted our first Gray Whales shortly after leaving the Bay. What at first appeared to be a juvenile, turned out to be a cow/calf pair. The baby stayed very close to its mom, never diving very deep. Our next whale sighting was at the edge of the kelp bed north of Point Loma. This Gray Whale appeared to be logging, resting and sleeping near the surface. It surfaced only to breathe. Following reports of pods of dolphins nearby, the Hornblower went in search. What a sight! Approximately 400 Common Dolphins were porpoising and swimming near the boat. Delightful!

03/01/20171 Gray Whale5 Gray Whales, 10 Bottlenose Dolphins

Morning Cruise:
A beautiful morning, but seas were still a little rough. Captain Eric spotted a juvenile Gray Whale that was very hard to follow.

Afternoon Cruise:
Better whale watching conditions this afternoon! We had better luck with handful of Bottlenose Dolphins on the way out. We spotted a couple of single Gray Whales, but no real good looks at them. Luckily, we finished up with a great trio, which we had great looks at and quiet a few tail flukes. And then some more bow-surfing Bottlenose Dolphins on the way in.

02/28/20171 Humpback Whale, 200+ Common Dolphins4 Gray Whales

Morning Cruise:
Seas were still rough after yesterday's storm. Captain Eric did find us a Humpback Whale that gave us several good views and showed us its flukes. We also spotted more than 200 Common Dolphins.

Afternoon Cruise:
Despite the rough seas, we spotted 4 Gray Whales and were able to get close looks at these migrating animals.

02/27/2017N/AN/A

Cruises cancelled due to high sea swells.

02/26/20171 Fin Whale, 50+ Common Dolphins, 2 Bottlenose Dolphins4 Gray Whales, 500+ Common Dolphins. 10 Pacific White-sided Dolphins

Morning Cruise:
Beautiful rainbow on way out of the bay. Treated to a juvenile Fin whale surfacing close to the boat! In addition to the Fin, there were sightings 50 Common dolphins scattered throughout the cruise & a pair of Bottlenose dolphins in Navy training on the way back.

Afternoon Cruise:
Passengers saw a mega-pod of 500 Common dolphins. Then a sighting of 4 Gray whales traveling north. This group included a cow-calf pair, a juvenile & 1 adult. A few Pacific White-sided dolphins rode the bow wave with the boat.

02/25/20171 Gray Whale, 150+ Common Dolphins2 Gray whales, 50+ Common Dolphins

Morning Cruise:
Beautiful morning, sunny & bright. We saw 1 Gray Whale & about 150 Common Dolphins.

Afternoon Cruise:
This afternoon we had a full boat of passengers, who were all ready for an adventure. About 7 miles out, we came upon a mother & baby Gray Whale, we stayed with them for quite a while to everyone's delight. On the way back, we saw about 50 Common Dolphins.

02/24/20174 Gray Whales, 8 Bottlenose Dolphins, 10 Pacific White-sided Dolphins, 10 Common Dolphins5 Gray Whales, 20 Pacific White-sided Dolphins, 3 Bottlenose Dolphins

Morning Cruise:
Saw 8 Bottlenose dolphins at the mouth of the bay. We saw a Gray Whale cow/calf pair this morning & followed them for several breath cycles. We also saw 2 individual adults & 1 juvenile near the kelp beds in La Jolla. Also spotted Pacific White Sided and common dolphins.

Afternoon Cruise:
We saw 1 adult Gray Whale, but it went down & not seen again. We then saw a large & small cow/calf pair, then turned north to see 1 adult, 1 juvenile moving in random circles, eventually in a south direction. We encountered 1 large Gray whale heading south. We saw a small pod of Pacific White Sided & Common dolphins. As we entered the bay, 3 Bottlenose dolphins greeted us.

02/23/2017N/AN/A

Cruises cancelled due to high sea swells

02/22/20173 Gray Whales10 Pacific White-sided Dolphins

Morning Cruise:
Shortly after leaving San Diego Bay, we spotted an elusive trio of juvenile Gray Whales, Conditions were very rough with a high sea swell so we cancelled the rest of the cruise.

Afternoon Cruise:
Conditions worsened in the afternoon, and white caps and high swells made it difficult to find any blows. We were fortunate to locate a small pod of about 10 Pacific white-sided dolphins. Captain Jules definitely was a hero, tossing a line to a stranded whale watch RIB which had lost power out on the rocky Pacific. The captain and passengers on the RIB were grateful to be towed out of the rough sea into the calm of San Diego Bay.

02/21/20172 Humpback Whales, 1 Gray Whale, 500+ Common Dolphins11 Gray Whales, 50+ Common Dolphins, 50+ Pacific White-sided Dolphins

Morning Cruise:
This morning we enjoyed watching a mixture of baleen whale species. First a Humpback Whale spent quite a bit of time with us, fluking and performing pectoral fin slaps. A second Humpback Whale was seen briefly. As we headed back to the Bay, a Gray Whale heading north was observed along with a playful herd of Common Dolphins.

Afternoon Cruise:
After all the crazy wind and rain we've had recently, it was such a joy to be out in the warmth of the sun again. The wind picked up (like it usually does in the afternoon) as we headed into the open ocean. Captain Mike was fabulous! He located 4 Gray Whales heading south within the first hour. Then we started following 3 more southbound Gray Whales. Unfortunately, it got a little congested with a tug pulling another vessel, and a sailboat who got way to close to the whales, so we headed farther north to avoid making the situation worse. A couple small groups of Pacific White-Sided Dolphins and Common Dolphins zipped by and then we soon located two more pairs of Gray Whales heading south. Our guests really enjoyed themselves. It's not every day you see 11 whales on one cruise!

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

Morning Cruise
It was a beautiful morning with moderate swells. We were excited to see 6 breaches by Gray Whales, as well as 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 afternoon, breezy, with moderate swells. We saw one Gray Whale from a distance that fluked then 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 brown pelicans diving along with other birds feeding. A large herd of Common Dolphins also was spotted and many came over to the Adventure surf the bow wave. A very good day on the water.

02/19/2017N/AN/A

Both Cruises cancelled due to high sea swells.

02/18/2017N/AN/A

Both Cruises cancelled due to high sea swells.

02/17/2017N/AN/A

Both Cruises cancelled due to high sea swells.

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

Morning Cruise:
We enjoyed sighting of 5 whales this morning, including 2 juveniles. As an added bonus, we spotted a group of Common Dolphins feasting on schooling fish and California sea lions basking on the buoys in the sun.

Afternoon Cruise:
A wonderful afternoon with the highlight of a Gray Whale breaching 6 times in a row! Guest were absolutely thrilled. We also spotted 2 southbound adult Gray Whales and a small group of Common Dolphins as we returned to the Bay.

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

Morning Cruise:
We observed mating behavior of two pairs of Gray Whales and we spotted spouts of 4 other adult Gray Whales. The whales were seen fluking, spy-hopping, and even head-breaching. Many Pacific White-Sided Dolphins were also seen in the vicinity of the mating whales as well as surfing 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 head breach. There was a lot of military activity as an added bonus for the passengers with planes, helicopters, and ships.

02/14/2017 7 Gray Whales, 30 Pacific White-sided Dolphins, 100 Common Dolphins4 Gray Whales, 10 Pacific White-sided Dolphins, 10 Common Dolphins

Morning Cruise:
Just outside of Point Loma we spotted a pair of Gray Whales, but they were elusive so we went out farther to find more whales. While searching, we came across a large mixed herd of both Common and Pacific White-sided Dolphins. Just before returning to port we had close encounters with three gray whales and then another pair.

Afternoon Cruise:
What a 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 feel fortunate to have seen it close up. Later we encountered Pacific White-sided Dolphins riding in the boat's bow wake, Common Dolphins, and 3 additional Gray Whales traveling south. Nice sunny day on the water!

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 Whale, 200+ 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 Gray Whale, 1 Humpback Whale, 2,500 Common Dolphins2 Gray Whales, 1 Humpback Whale, 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!

12/30/20162 Gray Whales, 1 Humpback Whale, 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.

12/15/2016100+ Common Dolphins, 5 Pacific White-sided Dolphins, 3 Harbor Seals, 2 Mola Mola, 1 Brown Booby2 Gray Whales, 1 Humpback Whale, 400+ Common Dolphins, 5 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 Whale50+ Common dolphins & 10+ 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, 20+ 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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The Peculiar Mola Mola

MOLAMOLA

When you think of a fish, the Mola mola is probably not what you’d picture. This strange fish has a somewhat circular body that is flattened from side-to-side with no caudal (tail) fin and rudder-like top and bottom fins, which the fish flaps to swim. Mola molas are found in temperate (cool) and tropical waters worldwide and are commonly seen on Hornblower Whale Watching trips off San Diego. It is also called the ocean sunfish due to its habit of lying on its side at the water’s surface. This bizarre behavior may help a mola mola warm up after a deep dive or be done to invite seabirds to peck parasites off its skin. The mola mola also often basks near kelp paddies or in kelp beds to allow small fishes to pick off parasites.

The mola mola is the world’s heaviest bony fish, reaching a maximum weight of 5,000 pounds (2,250 kg)! It remarkably attains this great weight on a diet tons of jellyfish, but also occasionally eats small fishes, squid and other gelatinous creatures such as salps. Although mola mola are not endangered, they often eat floating plastic bags—mistaking them for jellyfish prey—which can choke or suffocate these fish. You can help mola molas by making sure your trash (including plastic bags) is always properly disposed of so that it can’t reach the sea. Even better, bring and use reusable bags whenever you are grocery shopping. By taking these simple steps, you can help keep the oceans healthy for mola molas and other ocean wildlife.

Invasion of the Jellyfish!

white-spotted jelly White-spotted Jellyfish have been recently spotted in San Diego Bay

While we may occasionally get visitors from Australia on Hornblower Whale Watch Cruises, recently another Australian visitor has been spotted floating and pulsing in San Diego Bay by the boats. These visitors are white-spotted jellyfish (Phylorrhiza punctata), which are native to Australia, and introduced many areas including Hawaii, the Caribbean, and the Gulf of Mexico. White-spotted jellyfish were first noticed in San Diego waters in the 1980s and were probably accidentally brought to our coast in the ballast tank or attached to the bottom of a ship. In September of 2015 and again this year, the warmer waters from El Niño may be linked to population explosions and increased sightings of this species.
Jellyfish are cnidarians —a group of aquatic, stinging animals that includes sea anemones, corals, box jellies, hydroids, and siphonophores (Portuguese man-o-wars and other colonial, gelatinous drifters.) Most jellyfish transform from a tiny planktonic larval stage to an attached anemone-like stage to a free-swimming life stage called a medusa. The medusa (or adult stage) is what we typically think of as a jellyfish and is the life stage of the white-spotted jellies in the bay.
Like most other jellies, white-spotted jellyfish have stinging cells in their tentacles that they use to capture zooplankton (tiny, drifting animals) and for defense against possible predators. Although these jellies sting, they are considered mildly venomous and not harmful to humans. However, they can harm habitats. Unintentionally introduced species like the white-spotted jellyfish are termed an “alien” or “invasive” species. The problem with invasive species is that they can out-compete native species that eat the same kinds of prey, especially during population explosions. While no harmful impact has been seen in San Diego, in the Gulf of Mexico, large swarms of these alien visitors have threatened some populations of native fishes and shrimp.

Dolphin stampede!

dolphin stampedeWhile the large baleen whales are often the highlight of whale watching cruises, their smaller cousins, dolphins, often steal the show. On most whale watching cruises, we encounter groups of 50 or more common dolphins. These playful and energetic dolphins often ride the bow and wake of the boat. Occasionally, we see a stampede of common dolphins porpoising at high speed in the same direction. Porpoising is a much more efficient and faster way for  dolphins to travel since the animals experience much less drag (resistance) in air than water. Why do dolphins stampede? They may be traveling towards a large ball of schooling fishes to feed. Often, the cause is a mystery. Whatever the cause, a dolphin stampede is always a thrilling experience!