Oh nothing special... just a Gray Whale doing the back stroke right near the harbor. - Yep we see cool stuff like this pretty often!
Yep, we're out enjoying the sunshine with the migrating Gray Whales! Have you gone out with us yet?
Yes, it's Gray Whale season, but we see Humpbacks too! 2 were just seen yesterday!
Wow, we saw 5 Grays and 2 Humpbacks yesterday! Lots of activity out on the water!
It's always nice to have some company when you're going on a long trip, don't you think? Thanks to Steve O'Toole for sharing!
We saw 7 Gray Whales yesterday! And guess what? It's HALF-PRICE Tuesday today! What are you waiting for?
It's half price Tuesday everyone! All tickets 50% off! Call 949-496-5794 or book online at DanaWharf.com We are seeing gray whales on their early migration now, southbound and northbound and lots of dolphin too.
Lots of Gray Whales are on their way south to Baja! Be on the lookout when you're out on the water!
Hey it's President's Day! Got the day off? Come out and have some fun with us!
The harbor is so beautiful after a storm ! #danapointharbor
Did you know the Dana Point Headlands is a navigational marker for the Gray Whales on their migration route. That's why we see so many of them so close to the harbor!
Whales make their own rainbow! North bound gray whale
Heads up we are going out today to look for Grays! These south bound whales don't really mind a little rain. They've got somewhere to be!
BIOLOGY WEDNESDAY by Eric Austin Yee
The California Brown Pelican
Our guest at Dana Wharf Whale Watching often ask how our captains find dolphins and whales in the wide open ocean. One way is with the help of our often overlooked seabirds, seabirds often feed on small baitfish and krill which some dolphins and whales feed on also. Dolphins, whales, sea lions and even large pelagic fish often drive their prey to the surface of the ocean making it easier for seabirds to capture their food. Various types of seabirds can be seen pecking at their prey on the surface of the sea or even diving down from the sky to grab a mouthful of fish. Flocks of seabirds can cause quite a commotion out at sea and our captains look for these birds to see if dolphins or whales have joined in on the feast. The largest bird that our guest commonly see is the California brown pelican. Its dive from high above the surface of the ocean can cause a large splash that our sharp eyed captains love to see as a clue to help find dolphins and whales for our guest. This helpful seabird actually almost disappeared off our coastline, but thanks to quick action by scientist and protection by the government it has made an amazing comeback.
Weighing as much as 11 pounds and a wingspan up to 7 feet, the California brown pelican is hard to miss. This large seabird has also been documented flying as fast as 21 mph. Its trademark throat pouch is also an amazing sight and a useful tool for it to grab mouthfuls of some of its favorite prey such as anchovies, sardines, and mackerel. The long beak of the California brown pelican that can reach 18 inches in length, supports this pouch that can hold up to 3 gallons. Not only does the pouch gather the California brown pelican’s food, but it also helps the animal cool down. Holding their beaks open and pulsating their pouch allows cool air to flow over the pouch to cool the bird.
California brown pelicans can often be seen resting along the Dana Point breakwater and other areas within the harbor. Any Southern California harbor, pier or breakwater can pretty much guarantee you a California brown pelican sighting. They usually traveling no more than 5 miles from land to search for food and rarely found inland. These birds also prefer nesting on the more secluded Channel Islands off the California coast such as Anacapa Island and Santa Barbara Island. Prime nesting sites are usually free of predators and not often visited by humans. Primary egg laying time is around the months of March and April, but recently studies showed that egg laying can occur until late fall.
California brown pelicans can live close to 40 years old if they survive various challenges. In 1970 the California brown pelican was listed as an endangered species. The California brown pelican has had some tough times in the past especially due to DDT. DDT is a pesticide that was widely used in California that has been banned for nearly 45 years. This pesticide caused the eggshells of the California brown pelican to become very thin and easily crushed during incubation. The ban not only helped the survival of the California brown pelican, but also the bald eagle. The feathers of California brown pelicans were also once valued for use in the fashion industry and many birds were taken in the early 1900s for this use. El Nino weather patterns can also be detrimental to the California brown pelican’s food supply, warm waters can drive baitfish to areas that are out of the range of the bird. Luckily after decades of efforts in various ways to help the California brown pelican, the bird was removed from the endangered species list in 2009.
Happy Valentine's Day enjoy your day from Danawharf ! Join us tonight for one of our Sunset Cruises. Danawharf.com #Valentinesday
#Danapoint the most #Romantic place to spend #Valentinesday thanks to #WatermansHarbor for sharing this great picture ! Join us tomorrow for one of our pre dinner cruises. #danawharfWhalewatching
Good morning lovely day to watch the #GrayWhales don't you think? #danawharf trips today at 12 and 2pm
Enjoy a complimentary glass of champagne or sparkling cider for each passenger 21 and over this weekend! Call 888-224-0603 to book your reservation today! DanaWharf.com is showing our love to you!
Way to go Jeri Nelson for taking this breaching Gray Whale picture so happy you shared this ! Share your pictures with us or tag #danawharf
Northbound Whale migration is happening now too .. this is one of the best times to go you may see South and North bound Gray Whales on the same day. #danawharf
Thanks Dana Point !! We love you
Join us tomorrow for a #Wyland art lesson , contest and Whale Watching trip the fun starts at 9am! http://danawharf.com/whale-watching/
Trips yesterday saw a total of 8 (2 North Bound ) Gray Whales and Common Dolphins join us , get on a boat ! #danawharf
Marine Biology Wednesday by Eric Austin Yee
Why Do Whales Breach?
It’s the ultimate goal of many Dana Wharf Whale Watching guests to witness a whale breach! Many have seen it on TV while watching a nature documentary but, you never know when it might happen when a whale is spotted during our trips. Agile humpback whales and gray whales traveling along our coast are the two whales we see at Dana Wharf Whale Watching breach the most often. Watching an animal about the size of a school bus launch almost its entire body out of the water creates a memory our guest will never forget and also brings up many questions. Our naturalist are often asked, why do whales breach. Well…...scientist really don’t know, but there are many theories out there why whales possibly demonstrate this amazing behavior. Below are a few of the thoughts researchers have come up with over the years why whales possibly breach.
It was once thought that young whales would breach just as a form of play but, upon closer study researchers believe there might be a more beneficial reason. One of the latest and newest theories about why whales breach is that they do it for exercise. A recent study has found evidence that young whales will breach repeated to help build up myoglobin levels in their muscle tissue. Myoglobin carries oxygen in the whale’s muscle tissue and helps the whales breath holding ability while on deep dives.
Form of Communication
When 80,000 pounds of whale goes airborne, there will definitely be a big splash. That big splash could mean a number of things to other whales. That big splash could simply let other whales know that another whale is near. Some thoughts are that it could also be an action to show dominance. Breaching could also be a way of showing potential mates that you are fit and ready to mate.
Launching yourself out of the ocean is a great way to see what is above and around you. One thought is that whales possibly breach to check out their surroundings, such as boats near them or even landmarks to help them navigate along the coast.
When a huge creature like a humpback whale lands near or on a school of baitfish, you can imagine that the results will not be great for the baitfish. Slowing down and stunning a school of baitfish makes feeding much easier.
If you take a close look at the skin of certain species of whales you will see many little creatures calling the whale home. Barnacles, whale lice, copepods and even remoras can call a whale home. On a large gray whale, these little creatures can actually be in such huge numbers on the whale they can add a few hundred pounds of additional weight to the whale. Breaching could be a way to knock off a few of these hitchhiking creatures if they cause the whale some discomfort.
Photo by Carla Mitroff Photography
Say cheese , the weather has been spectacular out here !