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Whale Watching Report from Hornblower for April 11–16

From the morning cruise to the afternoon cruise, whale watchers get their fill of gray whales, dolphins, and more



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While the Gray Whale migration is winding down, we have been regularly seeing Fin Whales, the second largest whale species, on our cruises. To date, we’ve spotted 633 Gray Whales during the current season and 1 Blue Whale, 32 Fin Whales (all spotted in the past 2 weeks), 165 Humpback Whales and 1 Minke Whale along with tens of thousands of dolphins and hundreds of California Sea Lions. See our updated Sightings Reports at https://sandiegowhalewatching.com/

 

April 11, 2019

Morning Cruise

Sightings: 1 Fin Whale, 2 Gray Whales, 225+ Common Dolphins

The Adventure Hornblower headed out of the bay under slightly cloudy skies and 4 to 6 foot swells. We came across a large pod of Common Dolphins that surrounded the boat. Captain Earnesto then took us out to the 9-Mile Bank where we spotted an elusive Fin Whale that maneuvered away from the boat. While in the area, we also came across 2 juvenile Gray Whales that swam in a zig-zag manner. We observed the juveniles behavior, and guests enjoyed the sounds of the whales’ spouts. As we headed back in, we came upon a small pod of Common Dolphins.

Afternoon Cruise

Sightings: 3 Fin Whales, 50+ Common Dolphins

Captain Eric took us out to 9-Mile Bank. We were fortunate to find 3 Fin Whales, involved in courtship behavior. The whales rolled displaying their pectoral fins and swam erratically. Guests on board were amazed to witness this behavior along with watching a small nursery pod of Common Dolphins.

 

April 12, 2019

Morning Cruise

Sightings: n/a

Sea swells too large for safety today so we remained in the bay.

Afternoon Cruise

Sightings: n/a

Sea swells too large for safety today so we remained in the bay.

 

April 13, 2019

Morning Cruise

Sightings: 1 Fin Whale, 400+ Common Dolphins, 20+ California Sea Lions

It was a beautiful day on the water. We made a mad dash to 9-mile Bank and were treated to a Fin Whale sighting. We also encountered a large pod of Common Dolphins that swam and jumped around the Adventure Hornblower.

Afternoon Cruise

Sightings: 3 Fin Whales, 1000+ Common Dolphins, 12 California Sea Lions

We had visitors from Denmark and the U.K. on board today. We were able to see three Fin Whales who came up right next to our ship. We also had a large pod of Common Dolphins swim and jump around the boat.

 

April 14, 2019

Morning Cruise

Sightings: 3 Fin Whales

A beautiful, calm day out on the water. We saw 3 Fin Whales and interacted with 1 for approximately 45 minutes! To our surprise it came right up to the boat! Great view of the whale's entire body several times.

Afternoon Cruise

Sightings: 1 Fin Whale, 50+ Common Dolphins

Calm seas again this afternoon. We saw 1 Fin Whale and followed it for about 20 minutes. We also spotted about 50 Common Dolphins that appeared to be hunting.

 

April 15, 2019

Morning Cruise

Sightings: 3 Fin Whales, 50+ Common Dolphins

A gorgeous day with 1-2 foot swells. We spotted 3 Fin Whales in the morning. We started with a solo juvenile whale that swam slowly in large circles on the surface. This gave everyone great views of the entire animal and numerous spouts. We left this whale for a pair of spouts a short distance away. This pair of whales were full-size adults. This pair would surface for 5-6 breaths and submerge for 9 minutes. We stayed for 3 surfacing-cycles, getting spectacular views of double spouts. Out of time, we headed back and came across a pod of 50 common dolphin riding the bow wave of the boat. In the bay, a California Sea Lion was engaged with a U.S. Navy training vessel.

Afternoon Cruise

Sightings: 1 Fin Whale, 50+ Common Dolphins

We went back to the same area for the afternoon trip where we spent our time with a single, adult Fin Whale giving us amazing views from every angle. Heading in, we crossed paths with another pod of 50 Common Dolphins, again all around the boat. The dolphins seemed to make everyone’s day. Another amazing day of whale watching!

 

April 16, 2019

Morning Cruise

Sightings: 1 Fin Whale, 500+ Common Dolphins

We started with a light drizzle, but it cleared up into a wonderful, calm day. We saw a large herd of Common Dolphins as we headed west. Once we were out at 9-Mile Bank, we spotted a solitary Fin Whale that was feeding on bait fish or krill.

Afternoon Cruise

Sightings: 1 Gray Whale, 4 Fin Whales

The cloudy, breezy day transformed into a nice, sunny afternoon once we were out of the bay. We spotted a juvenile Gray Whale just outside of the bay. We enjoyed great views of the whale close to the boat. At the 9-Mile Bank, we spotted 4 Fin Whales! We saw lots of tall blows characteristic of the species and enjoyed close views of 2 large adults. A great day with many visitors from the East Coast.

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