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:
Most of the gray whale cow/calf pairs are keeping a low profile and are often spotted by the trailing fluke prints while traveling close to the water’s surface. The calves often lift their heads when surfacing alongside mom and sometimes change sides from the right to left as they swim close together. These pairs are usually found close to shore in less than 200 feet of water.
The majority of the adult gray whales we saw were on a steady path. A few milled and traveled in a zig-zag pattern while others seemed to be circling before continuing to head south. One gray whale was circling in front of the harbor for over two hours, possibly feeding, blowing only once and making shallow dives. Gray whales typically don’t feed during migration, but have been known to forage opportunistically if they find prey in their path. We even saw one breach as we turned to leave the area.
We had a brief encounter with a fin whale who was blowing only one time before diving for over 12 minutes and traveling far between sightings likely feeding about six miles offshore.
Good size pods of offshore bottlenose often spread out close to half mile were seen several days. Pods ranged in size from 20-40, engaged with our boats numerous times bow riding and breaching high in the air several at a time.
Many days, there were coastal bottlenose dolphin in the harbor, along the outside of the outer jetty and off Doheny Beach in pods ranging from four to eight.
Pods of long-beaked common dolphin were in the hundreds, often spread out over a large area and found further offshore.
We also saw a Mako shark resting on the surface.
During the Gray Whale Migration, kids can attend Art Lessons in the Wild with the Wyland Foundation on Saturday mornings from Jan. 28 through April 29. This activity will be every Saturday starting at 9 a.m. for children 3-12 years old. For more information, visit danawharf.com or contact Dana Wharf at 949.496.5794 ext. 7.
Here is the latest Whale Watching Log from Dana Wharf Whale Watching:
Feb. 3 – 4 Gray Whales, 4 Fin Whales, Bottlenose Dolphin, Common Dolphin, 15 Mola Mola, Mako Shark
Feb. 2 – 2 Fin Whale, Bottlenose Dolphin, Common Dolphin,
Feb. 1 – Common Dolphin, Bottlenose Dolphin
Jan. 31 – 6 Gray Whales, including 2 Cow/Calf Pairs, 1 Fin Whale, Common Dolphin
Jan. 30 – No Trips Due to Weather
Jan. 29 – 3 Gray Whales, Bottlenose Dolphin
Jan. 28 – 11 Gray Whales, including 1 Cow/Calf Pair, Common Dolphin Jan. 27 – 8 Gray Whales, including 2 Cow/Calf Pairs, 1 Fin Whale, Bottlenose Dolphin, Mako Shark