Every week, Dana Wharf Sportfishing & Whale Watching provides the Dana Point Times and San Clemente Times a report on the week’s whale and dolphin sightings from naturalist Laura Lopez, in addition to a weekly log.
Here is Lopez’s report for the past week:
American naturalist Roy Chapman Andrews called the fin whale “the greyhound of the sea … for its beautiful, slender body which is built like a racing yacht and the animal can surpass the speed of the fastest ocean steamship.”
We have been so fortunate to see a rare Fin Whale cow/calf pair as Fin Whales continue to appear to be curious about our boats frequently surfacing close to us delighting our passengers. This type of behavior of these graceful animals is called “mugging.”
This week we have had multiple encounters with various friendly Fin Whales. These whales are approaching us while we are stopped, swimming in circles completely around us, making close passes just feet off our bow often lingering on or just below the water’s surface. Other encounters involve several whales at a time almost simultaneously surfacing around us. Sometimes they make just one pass and others have stayed for several minutes as they seem to be investigating or interacting with us.
On one trip aboard the Ocean Adventures, the passengers on our bow all started pointing down in front of us and screaming “it’s tight there” as large Fin Whale passed less than 10 feet in front of us. One day, a Fin Whale blew so close, the vapor plume landed on our passengers as we all got a whiff of fishy whale breath! There have also been Minke Whale sightings.
Risso’s Dolphin continue to be found farther offshore and these pods included calves. There have been multiple pods, including nursery pods offshore Bottlenose Dolphin. Energetic Long-Beaked Common Dolphin pods usually numbering in the hundreds were observed including several dolphin stampedes. Several large Mola Molas were seen feasting on the still-present Velella Velella or By-the-Wind Sailors.
Blue Whales are being seen from San Diego and off Point Vincente including a cow-calf pair!
Here is the latest Whale Watching Log from Dana Wharf Whale Watching:
May 25 – 5 Fin Whales, 4 Mola Mola, 1 Humpback Whale, Risso’s Dolphin, Minke Whale, Common Dolphin, Bottlenose Dolphin
May 24 – 7 Fin Whales, 3 Mola Mola, 2 Minke Whales, Common Dolphin, Bottlenose Dolphin
May 23 – 6 Fin Whales, Bottlenose Dolphin, Common Dolphin
May 22 – 10 Fin Whales, Bottlenose Dolphin, Common Dolphin, 4 Mola Mola
May 21 – 8 Fin Whales including 1 Cow/Calf Pair, Risso’s Dolphin, Bottlenose Dolphin, Common Dolphin
May 20 – 1 Minke Whale, Bottlenose Dolphin, Common Dolphin, 10 Mola Mola
May 19 – 7 Fin Whales, Risso’s Dolphin, Bottlenose Dolphin
May 18 – 3 Fin Whales, Bottlenose Dolphin, Common Dolphin
May 17 – 12 Fin Whales, Bottlenose Dolphin, Common Dolphin
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