Whale Watching Report from Hornblower for February 6–12
From the morning cruise to the afternoon cruise, whale watchers get their fill of gray whales, dolphins, and more
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The Gray Whale migration is at a peak. We had our high count of 29 whales in one day on February 7. Most of the whales are still traveling south, although we’ve spotted a few headed north. To date, we’ve spotted 382 Grays during the current season. See our updated Sightings Reports at https://sandiegowhalewatching.com/
February 6, 2019
Sightings: 6 Gray Whales
We departed under partly cloudy skies with 4-6 foot seas and moderate wind. We spotted 6 Gray Whales this morning, 3 separate pairs. All of the whales were swimming near the surface for extended periods of time giving us great views of spouts and occasional flukes. At one time, 2 pairs were on each side of the boat for fabulous viewing right and left. The third pair we found as we were returning back to port with the whales swimming slowly behind the stern of the yacht. We even spotted a double rainbow during the cruise!
Sightings: 6 Gray Whales
We also spotted 6 Gray Whales in the afternoon, a group of 4 and a pair. The group of 4 whales were amazing. They were juvenile whales, swimming very slowly on the surface. One whale breached 3 times next to the boat. We were able to follow this group for close to an hour. We found one more pair very late in the trip that gave us great double spouts but we ran out of time so we broke off the encounter. Twelve whales in one day – a truly amazing experience!
February 7, 2019
Sightings: 22 Gray Whales, 50+ Common Dolphins
What an amazing morning filled with Gray Whale sightings. The largest group of Grays was a pod of 6 whales traveling south that surfaced together and showed us their flukes several times.
Sightings: 7 Gray Whales, 100+ Common Dolphins
We continued to enjoy excellent sightings of Gray Whales with lots of fun behaviors including spyhopping and barrel rolling, which gave us great looks at the whale's pectoral flippers.
February 8, 2019
Sightings: 2 Gray Whales, 25 Common Dolphins
We enjoyed watching a variety of ocean wildlife this morning including 2 Gray Whales, some scattered Dolphins, California Sea Lions and even a Harbor Seal.
Sightings: 4 Gray Whales, 20 Common Dolphins
We were able to find Gray Whales almost immediately after leaving the bay due to our sister yacht, the Admiral Hornblower, having located the whales just before we left. As soon as we arrived on the scene, falling in behind the Admiral, one of the Gray Whales began breaching. The guests enjoyed watching the whale breach four times out of the water and also spy-hopped, popping its head straight out of the water. After the whale went down it came back up spouting in front of our bow and swimming between the Admiral Hornblower and Adventure Hornblower. This caught everyone by surprise and made a great photo Op for those that caught it. As all of this was going on we spotted another whale off our starboard side. We followed the whale for a while giving everyone a chance to see it then we moved on. Before heading back a mother and calf crossed our path. As our time ran out we encountered a pod of about twenty Common Dolphins feeding on fish beneath the surface.
February 9, 2019
Sightings: 2 Gray Whales, 300+ Common Dolphins, 5 Pacific White-sided Dolphins
The trip began with overcast skies and a light drizzle. We first spotted several Pacific White-sided Dolphins that surrounded the boat to the delight of all of our passengers. Later, we spotted 2 adult Gray Whales. The whales surfaced several times lifting their flukes out of the water. During the cruise, the clouds cleared and the sun came out. We capped off our trip with several California sea lions.
Sightings: 7 Gray Whales, 500+ Common Dolphins
An amazing afternoon on the water! We encountered a breaching Gray Whale that also spy-hopped several times. Overall, we spotted 7 Gray Whales, a large herd of Common Dolphins, several sea lions and lots of smiles on the faces of our guests.
February 10, 2019
Sightings: 5 Gray Whales
We spotted 5 southbound adult Gray Whales, with some fluking observed. During the cruise, we had good visibility as Captain Chad kept us away from the build-up of storm clouds.
Sightings: 2 Gray Whales, 10 Common Dolphins
The afternoon was calm and sunny with good viewing conditions. Right after we left the bay, we observed two juvenile Gray Whales swimming together that appeared to be playing with several Common Dolphins. We also spotted several other dolphins that appeared to be hunting.
February 11, 2019
Sightings: 4 Gray Whales, 200+ Common Dolphins, 10 Pacific White-sided Dolphins
We departed under clear skies with light winds with 3-5 foot seas for both trips. Right after leaving the bay, we spotted a spout of a juvenile Gray Whale that was also elusive and swimming in a zig-zag manner. We were then lucky enough to come across a pair of Gray Whales that were swimming in a more consistent manner giving us much better up close viewing. We followed this pair down close to the border and then we peeled off to witness a large mixed pod of Common and Pacific White-sided Dolphins. There were at least 200 animals in this group that were all around the boat giving everyone a spectacular show.
Sightings: 6 Gray Whales
We started with a single juvenile Gray Whale that gave us great views of its body but no flukes. We left this one for a pair of adults that gave us amazing spouts and tail flukes. One of the whales breached, then rolled on his side and finally spy-hopped. Everyone was amazed. We left this pair for a trio of adults. One whale had a nearly all white tail, which is most unusual for Gray Whales. The 3 whales would surface and spout together which was an amazing show. Another incredible day with the wonderful marine mammals off San Diego.
February 12, 2019
Sightings: 2 Gray Whales, 100+ Common Dolphins
We had calm seas and a sunny, cool day with passengers from Germany, Italy, Iraq, Canada, Texas, Wisconsin and Colorado. We spotted 2 juvenile Gray Whales near the southern border. We also encountered a school of about 100 Common Dolphins.
Sightings: 4 Gray Whales, 50+ Pacific White-sided Dolphins
People from Japan, Italy, Texas, Minnesota, Iowa, Canada and Florida joined us onboard the cruise. We spotted 4 adult Gray Whales with one swimming in a zig-zagging manner. Guests also were excited to watch a herd of about 50 Pacific White-sided Dolphins.