Gayle Anderson was live in Dana Point for a DOLPHIN SAFARI. While whale watching in California, visitors generally see Gray whales between December and early May and Blue whales, Fin whales and Minke whales and on occasion, Killer whales, Humpback whales, False Killer whales and Sperm whales in the months between May and December. However, some of the largest Dolphin pods in the world are available to view at any time during the year in Southern California.
Aboard Captain Dave’s Dolphin & Whale Watching Safari Manute’a boat, viewers can explore and interact with dolphins through the world’s only eye-to-eye underwater viewing pod, which provides underwater views of dolphins and whales. The boat is also equipped with an underwater camera and plasma monitor that allows guests to see below the water’s surface. With its stereophonic research hydrophone, guests can also hear the animals. In addition, Manute’a has three ‘Eye-Spy Dolphin Nets’ that provide an up-close encounter and an incredible collection of whale and dolphin artifacts that visitors can see and touch. The Manute’a (pronounced mah noo teh ah) is U.S. Coast Guard inspected and certified to carry 49 passengers.
There are five different species of wild dolphin commonly seen during regular Dolphin & Whale Watching Safaris, including the Common Dolphin, Short-beaked Common Dolphin, Bottlenose Dolphin, Risso’s Dolphin, and Pacific White–Sided Dolphin. Dolphins are cetaceans, a group of marine animals that include whales, dolphins, and porpoises. The Common Dolphin averages about 6 feet in length. There are over 400,000 Common Dolphin off the coast of Southern California. They travel in pods ranging in size from 200 to over 1,000. Bottlenose Dolphin have an average length of 8 to 12 feet and are known for their playful and acrobatic performances. Risso’s Dolphin, sometimes called Grampus Dolphin, are identified by their blunt, round heads. The average size is 10 to 12 feet in length and are dark gray with lots of white scarring. Pacific White-sided Dolphin are black and white in color and average 7 to 8 feet in length. These friendly and playful dolphins are best seen during the colder months from October through May. Information courtesy Captain Dave’s Dolphin & Whale Watching Safari.
An active marine lover and philanthropist, Capt. Dave spearheaded the organization and training of OC’s first Whale Rescue Team. He is the author of “Lily, A Gray Whale’s Odyssey,” a book about a gray whale that Capt. Dave helped to disentangle from fishing gear. Entanglements in fishing gear is a major cause of injury and often mortality for endangered large whales. It is estimated that 308,000 dolphins and whales die because of fishing gear entanglement every year worldwide, nearly 1,000 a day. Through his efforts, Capt. Dave has been involved in 3 whale rescues off the coast of Orange County, CA. He has also spent five years producing filming and narrating the award-winning 64-minute film, “Wild Dolphins & Whales of Southern California,” while conducting his Dolphin & Whale Safari expeditions from Dana Point, CA. Half of the profits from the book and the film are given to charities to help whales, dolphins and people in need.
For those interested in going on a Dolphin & Whale Watching Safari, click HERE to purchase tickets online or by phone at (949) 488-2828. Expedition times vary by day. Phone reservationa are highly recommended. Tickets cost $59 for adults (ages 13+), $39 for children (ages 2 to 12), and are FREE for infants (ages 1 and under). PLEASE NOTE: Kids under 1 are FREE, but they do “count” as a passenger. Please be sure to include them when making your reservation.
Viewers at home can watch Capt. Dave’s Dolphin & Whale Watching trips LIVE daily HERE.
Captain Dave’s Dolphin & Whale Watching Safari
24440 Dana Point Harbor Drive
Dana Point, CA 92629