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Gray Whale Migration along the San Diego coast
Sunday, 06/07/2009
End of the 2008-09 Season

The 2008-09 San Diego Whale watch season ended last month.... It was an amazing one, for sure!  More fin whales than I have ever seen!

Check back in January 2010 for the next season's blog. 

I will be reporting on the amazing day trip to watch BLUE WHALES off the Channel Islands toward the end of August, 2009.  


Posted by Leslie at 3:22 PM PDT
Updated: Sunday, 06/07/2009 3:27 PM PDT
Saturday, 03/07/2009
Sierra Club trip to the Los Coronados Islands
Mood:  incredulous

Wow- what a day!  I joined a group of Sierra Club members on the "Sea Adventure 80" boat.  We traveled out of San Diego harbor to the Los Coronados Islands.  Along the way we encountered gray whales (17 in total) and dolphins.   

We saw a whale breach 2 times, dolphins swimming under the boat (exhilerating!), and a group of 6 adult whales just 50 feet away from the boat!   They were obviously very comfortable with us because they were just hanging out! Beautiful showing of the blow holes, barnacles and even lice! I put the camera down to just enjoy the moment.

Once we got close to the islands, my focus turned to the beauty of the landscape- birds, seals, sea lions & dolphins.  Absolutely beautiful! 

The highlights of my day was the breach and the breathtaking views of the 6 whales. 

Posted by Leslie at 8:39 PM PST
Updated: Saturday, 03/07/2009 8:52 PM PST
Saturday, 02/21/2009
Dolphin Day

It was a beautiful morning on the Pacific Ocean...  I spent it with 4 other Whalers and about 290 passengers!  I met people from Indiana, L.A., Colorado...  

We didn't find any whales, BUT - we enjoyed the show from ~500 common dolphins and were blessed to see ~10 Risso's dolphins.  We were located south and had a great view of the Los Coronados Islands.

Posted by Leslie at 5:36 PM PST
Updated: Saturday, 02/21/2009 5:45 PM PST
Monday, 02/16/2009
the calm before the storm..

The approaching winter storm did not stop me from going out on the afternoon cruise!  I guess I wasn't alone.. there were ~300 people on the boat! 

It was *very* cold but the seas were nice.   We came upon hundreds of Common dolphins that put on a spectacular show!  Leaping out of the water- spinning around & splashing back to the water- it was thrilling!

The only whale we spotted was a Minke...  small and difficult to see. Nevertheless, it was a whale!

~ The storm... it came in over the night and pounded us on Monday. The cruises were cancelled, no big surprise. 


Posted by Leslie at 6:00 PM PST
Updated: Monday, 02/16/2009 6:16 PM PST
Saturday, 02/07/2009
2 days... with whales & dolphins
Mood:  happy

Last weekend (Saturday, 1/31/09): 

I went out on both cruises .. and at the end of the day, we saw a total of 8 whales! It was a nice day on the water. 

The big surprise happened at the end of the afternoon cruise. We came upon a trio of adult gray whales that were surrounded by various sailboats and a moter boat (~10).  They clearly were not happy with the attention. 



All of a sudden, the whales surfaced RIGHT NEXT TO the bow of the Adventure!   Whoaaa... the captain immediately backed up the boat and we left the area. 




Here's a moment from earlier in the day...  we had great visibililty!






TODAY'S morning cruise:

... a 'typical' (but not common) winter storm day in San Diego didn't stop the Adventure Hornblower from going out in search of whales & dolphins.  It was actually quite beautiful at sea - the dark clouds hanging over Point Loma & the city- seeing the rain showers coming down.  The Coronados Islands were lit from the sunshine for awhile, and then covered in dark clouds.  Amazing!

There were only 80 passengers, so plenty of rail space for everyone when we came upon 2 juvenile whales.  The were the usual unpredictable 'teenagers'....  surfacing, then down for 10 minutes- surface again, fluke and only stay down for 3 minutes- only to show up on the other side of the boat.   Regardless, I think everyone enjoyed seeing the show. 

We also had some Common dolphins visit us to ride the bow waves.  FUN!  I have sea legs, but being out on the seas during a 'storm' sure is a workout.  I collapsed for a long nap when I got home.     I'm looking forward to next weekend!  

Posted by Leslie at 6:50 PM PST
Updated: Saturday, 02/07/2009 7:35 PM PST
Sunday, 01/18/2009
Another beautiful day!

We sighted 4 gray whales today.  2 were traveling together and gave us a good view.. consistently snorkeling and showing flukes.  At one point, they surfaced very close to the ship...  and we were able to hear the sound of the blows. 

 It was a beautiful day on the water and I met some nice people! 

Posted by Leslie at 6:33 PM PST
Updated: Sunday, 01/18/2009 6:44 PM PST
Saturday, 01/10/2009
3 Gray Whales today

The Adventure was 'overtaken' by the Imperial County Girl Scouts this afternoon!   It was a beautiful sunny day and everyone seemed to have a great time. 

Not only did we see 5 Bottlenose dolphins in the bay-  but once we got out to the ocean, we came upon ~200 Common dolphins.  We also spent a little bit of time with 3 Gray whales.  The whales were traveling together on their journey south.  With the sunlight positioned just right- the blow of one of the whales showed a rainbow! So cool. 

Posted by Leslie at 8:59 PM PST
Updated: Saturday, 01/10/2009 9:07 PM PST
Saturday, 01/03/2009
A great day on the ocean!

I spent the afternoon whale watching.....  and it was a success! 1 GRAY whale and 1 FIN whale.  We also came upon ~200 Common & Pacific White Sided dolphins w/ some sea lions joining in on the fun.  

I talked with passengers visiting from Las Vegas, Wisconsin, Arizona, and Switzerland!   

Posted by Leslie at 8:02 PM PST
Updated: Saturday, 01/03/2009 8:11 PM PST
Monday, 12/29/2008
Humpback whales sighted!
Mood:  incredulous

Although I wasn't fortunate to witness this amazing event... I had to share the following message by one of the Whalers because seeing a Humpback whale during our season is not common!  Enjoy.  

"We saw a megapod of common dolphins - always a delight.  Then in the distance a few passengers spotted a blow towards the Los Coronados Islands.  Captain Jeff headed that way and we were rewarded with the sight of 2 humpback whales.  We saw multiple views of blows and flukes and a breach, tail slap along with rolling and beautiful views of those large fins.  Everyone on the cruise (looked like almost a full boatload) got a good view of these wonderful whales."  12/29/08 pm cruise

Posted by Leslie at 7:00 PM PST
Updated: Wednesday, 12/31/2008 7:30 PM PST
Sunday, 12/28/2008
1st breach of the season!
Mood:  surprised

This morning's cruise was spectacular!  Not only was it a beautiful day out on the Pacific ocean, but we got to see the 1st breach of the season!   We sighted 2 adult gray whales...  which seemed quite comfortable being around the boats - snorkeling & fluking...   

As we were headed toward Point Loma, one of the whales BREACHED!  Not just one breach though-  4 breaches!   Incredible- I was so excited!! 

- I met some nice people...  including a family visiting from London, England and another family from Miami, Florida.  

Posted by Leslie at 3:03 PM PST
Updated: Sunday, 12/28/2008 3:20 PM PST

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