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San Diego Whale Watching Report: Summer 2016


Hornblower Whale Watching Report Summer 2016

Date Morning Cruise Notes
09/03/2016 300+ common dolphins Our last day on the water for the blue whale season! As hard as Captain Jules tried, we couldn’t find any large whales! Our small group of passengers were delighted with 300 common dolphins with many calves. The ocean was mostly calm and the sun finally came out as we were coming back in. The many kids onboard enjoyed making origami whales and whale tracings.
09/02/2016 200+ common dolphins, Risso’s dolphins, 1 mola mola We began our cruise with calm seas and partly cloudy skies that later cleared to a beautiful sunny day. While baleen whales eluded us today, guests enjoyed watching about 200 common dolphins and 30 Risso’s dolphins- a larger dolphin species that reaches 10 to 12 foot (3-3.8 meter) lengths. Adult Risso’s dolphins are typically gray with white scars covering much of their body, especially the head region. This scarring is from a combination of rake marks (scratches from the teeth of other Risso’s during dominance interactions), bites from squid (their main prey) or circular bite marks from cookie cutter shark parasites. Since we don’t often see Risso’s dolphins, it is always a treat to watch this unusual species!
08/29/2016 300+ common dolphins, 2 hammerhead sharks We traveled almost 20 miles out of the Bay today searching for whales. While we didn’t find any large whales, guests enjoyed watching several large pods of common dolphins. We also spotted two hammerhead sharks. Another beautiful day on the water!
08/28/2016 1 humpback whale, 200+ common dolphin, 1 mola mola We began our whale watching cruise with calm seas and somewhat overcast skies. Captain Chad spotted a mola mola (ocean sunfish) and we enjoyed watching a humpback whale that repetitively fluked and seemed intent on feeding. In addition, a couple hundred common dolphins joined us for a while riding the bow of the ship. A perfect way to start the day!
08/27/2016 300+ common dolphins It was an overcast day, not too hot – not too cold. We saw spotted jellyfish before we left the dock and on the way out of the harbor and numerous sea lions resting on the channel markers. Once we were out in the ocean, we came across over 300 Common Dolphins in several different pods throughout the day. The dolphins were very active, jumping out of the water and surfing the boat wake. Unfortunately, we did not see any whales. Still, it was a beautiful and relaxing day on the water!