Destination: Southern California Coast, Newport Beach
Date: March 2014
Activity: Whale watching
On our recent trip to Southern California we thought taking the kids out on a whale watching tour would be a lot of fun. There is nothing like seeing the majesty of a whale breach the water and we all looked forward to getting out onto the ocean after all of our ocean adventures last summer. Trent booked a tour with Captain Dave’s Dolphin and Whale Safari in Dana Point California and we had a scheduled tour at 10:00 am.
We arrived at about9:15 to make sure we were there on time, and make sure the kids had coats for the breezy weather out on the water. While we waited on the deck of Captain Daves my kids were thrilled to see a plethora of candy being sold at just .10-.25 cents. At about 9:45 we were led out to the dock and given a second chance to use the restrooms there, and soon we boarded our catamaran.
The boat was loaded with about sixty passengers. It was a little fuller than I would have liked but it wasn’t too bad. With the many places on the boat to get up and walk around we weren’t jammed packed like sardines. We did see other boats of other tour companies that were packed and so it made me appreciate being with Captain Dave.
Our boat also had a modification in the front bow of the boat that made it possible to get down into the bow and look through the submerged glass into the water. That was a cool effect because once we found dolphins we could go down and watch them swimming along side our boat. It was an awesome sight. They would swim right up close to the ship only to quickly shimmy away at lightning speeds. In my mind I kept thinking we were going to hit one of the dolphins only to see them playfully dodge the boat and swim away. They were much more in control in the water than our catamaran was!
The entire tour was about three hours. A little long for our crew of seven children we had along that day–Colton brought his friend “M” to spend spring break with us! Had we been on a whale watching/snorkel trip I think they would have been more attentive but after seeing a huge pod of dolphins and intently watching the water for the first hour and half they soon found a cushion to lay their heads on and most of them fell asleep. We never really did see any whales which was a disappointment. Of course Captain Dave can’t guarantee a whale sighting but nonetheless we felt defeated. We kept finding the shadow of a whale and her baby but they never did quite breach the surface. It was hard to tell what we were looking at every time our captain pointed out her “footprint” in the water.
Though we didn’t see any whales we did go through a school of about a hundred dolphins. There were more dolphins than I’ve ever seen in one place! It was truly a sight to look all around our boat and see fins, and jumping and racing. They were beautiful and so in that respect it was a treat.
I’m not sure if I would do an activity like this with kids again, but Trent and I did enjoy ourselves and the kids had a nice nap before we headed off to the beach for the rest of the day. In the end I do think it is something they will remember if only for the opportunity to see so many dolphins!
Safe and Happy Travels!!