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Blue Whale Watching Season begins June 29

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San Diego Whale Watching Report For January 15th-January 21


Morning Cruise

Afternoon Cruise



2 singles adult gray whales

6 gray whales, 1 mola mola

AM: We saw 2 single adult gray whales that met up and began traveling together. Our 60 plus third graders from Ramona loved it.

PM: Fantastic day! We saw a total of six gray whales and 1 medium sized Mola Mola floating along very close to the boat. The two whales we were following appeared to be juveniles, with small flukes. Captain Chad estimated them to be about 20-25 feet long.  We stayed with them the entire time as they were visible right below the surface, snorkeling steadily along in no hurry, rarely showing a fluke and not diving either.  When they were directly in front of the bow one breached two times in a row to the delight of the crowd, all of whom whooped and clapped for more. Some people captured the breach on camera, Captain Chad encouraged anyone with pictures to send them to the Hornblower website and he would tell them how to do that. Captain Chad was terrific, so nice and helpful, and told some facts I hadn’t heard before about San Diego and other items.


9 gray whales, 2 pods of 4-5 gray whales, 200 common dolphin

10 gray whales, 100 common dolphin, several pods of gray whales

AM: 9 gray whales with numerous blows in distance. 200 common dolphin.

PM: Shortly after leaving the harbor, a dense fog rolled in and lingered for 20-30 minutes before dissipating. After the fog, the sun reappeared and we saw a group of 3 gray whales. We saw a total of 10 gray whales and numerous blows in the distance all around the ship. All whales seen near the boat were traveling with another whale. We also saw 50 common dolphin. Quite a few first timers and several families from San Diego that had never been whale watching before.


3 adult gray whales, 6 juvenile, 10-15 white sided dolphin

2 pods of juvenile gray whales

AM: 3 adult gray whales heading south (also 6 juvenile), lots of sea lion activity. We also saw about 10-15 white sided and common dolphin

PM: 2 separate pods of active juvenile gray whales (4 and 2) with light dives and flukes dipping into the water.


9 gray whales

5 gray whales

AM: We had a wonderful day on the water watching 7 single gray whales. We then had a great encounter with a mother and new born calf. We saw many of our friendly sea lions out about 5 miles off the coast. 2 pods of common dolphin in the distance.

PM: We followed 3 gray whales and observed mating behavior. Today we had a very bad day with other boats getting too close to the whales. The Captain had to warn one particular boat of the laws they apparently did not know about. Tourists were obviously upset with these other boaters.                                                          “On any one day, I can’t say enough about the great crowds of people from all over the world that take Hornblower Excursions.”


10 gray whales, 2 bottlenose dolphin & 25 pacific white sided dolphin

10 gray whales, 2 bottlenose dolphin & 25 pacific white sided dolphin

AM: We saw 10 gray whales heading south, 2 bottlenose dolphin and 25 Pacific White Sided Dolphin. Mating behavior was observed with dolphins around the whales. Lots of tail splashing, flutes and snorkeling. We had passengers from all over the world on this cruise!

PM: We had a beautiful record breaking temperature. An especially beautiful day. We saw 6 gray whales heading south weaving around one another, which we then observed as mating behavior. We also saw many pelicans happily dive fishing together.


3 gray whales, 70 common dolphin

2 finback whales, 5 gray whales

AM: We saw our first two finback whales of the season! We also had the opportunity to see 5 gray whales and about 100 common dolphins.  Two of the southbound whales were seen with a calf between the two of them.

PM: We saw 7 gray whales.  We first noticed two fins, and eventually 5 gray whales appeared. The last 3 gray’s showed signs of mating and one breached 3 times. The trip was full of excitement! We were able to see multiple breaches, body rolls, upside down whales and pectoral fin slaps! It was a great day with fantastic weather on San Diego Bay!


12 gray whales

10 gray whales, 30 common dolphin

AM: Many flukes, 1 up close breach

PM: Many tail flukes.