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:
As we move toward spring, we should continue to see more northbound whales each week. Once the southward migration starts each fall, pregnant females usually arrive first, then non-pregnant but fertile females, followed by other adults and immature females, with the immature males arriving last. The majority of southbound whales we are currently observing are likely these immature males which are smaller than the females.
One pair observed for almost an hour early in the week was traveling south, not fluking in only 46 feet of water. Another northbound pair of adult gray whales socializing six miles straight out from the harbor. The bright sun rays broke through clouds as we watched this pair roll, fluke and display their pectoral fins.
Bottlenose dolphins are distributed world-wide in tropical and warm-temperate waters. We usually find them at least a mile from shore in pods of about 15-60 and sometimes 100. This week we found smaller groups off San Clemente, likely feeding and a larger group of over 40 north of the Dana Point Headlands. These pods all had claves in their groups.
We encountered several pods of long-beaked common dolphin numbering in the hundreds. There was a nursery pod of about 300 about five miles out from north San Clemente. Tiny calves could be seen in every direction with some likely only weeks, days, maybe even hours old! With the glassy seas we watched these dolphin as they raced under the water and surfaced all around the Dana Pride.
Here is the latest Whale Watching Log from Dana Wharf Whale Watching:
March 3 – 5 Gray Whales, 1 Minke Whale, Bottlenose Dolphin, Common Dolphin
March 2 – 4 Gray Whales
March 1 – No Trips Due to Weather
Feb. 28 – 14 Gray Whales, Bottlenose Dolphins, Common Dolphin
Feb. 27 – 4 Humpback Whales, 1 Gray Whale, Bottlenose Dolphin, Common Dolphin
Feb. 26 – 4 Gray Whales, Bottlenose Dolphin, Common Dolphin
Feb. 25 – No Trips Due to Weather
Feb. 24 – No Trips Due to Weather
Feb. 23 – Bottlenose Dolphin
Feb. 22 – No Trips Due to Weather
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