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8-Hour Whale Watch Report ~ October 13, 2023

8 Eight-hour whale watching trips are for adventurous and marine life lovers; people come from all over to experience these life-changing trips !!

7 Humpback Whales, 2 Fin Whales, 1 Bryde’s Whale, and 3 Minke Whales, plus Risso’s, Bottlenose, and Common Dolphin!

Future trip dates: Friday, November 10, 2023 & Sunday, December 31, 2023.

 Friday the thirteenth was our Lucky Day on the Dana Wharf 8-Hour Ultimate Whale Watch onboard the New San Mateo with Captain Chase Moore and deckhand Murphy Parks!  Thirteen baleen whales, plus a dolphin Trifecta! Our trip leader is marine mammal expert Alisa Shulman-Janiger.  We had great conditions and calm seas as we headed out towards Santa Catalina Island.  Thirteen miles offshore, we came across 2 Minke Whales who came very close to our boat several times, making close passes. About 17 miles out, there were 40-50 Offshore Bottlenose dolphins, including calves. Several cruised alongside us to bow ride, and once we increased our speed, they put on quite a show breaching in our wake! A short time later, there were 3 Humpback Whales, including Twitch, who survived a likely boat strike damaging his left fluke. Twitch was looking good, and this trio was joined by two more Humpback Whales.  Besides Twitch, two of these Humpbacks are in the database as CRC-19098 and CRC 19959.  They are both currently unnamed, and each one has multiple sightings reported off the California coast.  We enjoyed these 5 Humpbacks for about 2 hours while they were foraging, socializing, and even trumpeting!  We could see a line of Long-beaked Common Dolphin in the distance, but it was not long before they were surrounding us and another Minke Whale was in the area too! Going further offshore, 2 Fin Whales were traveling on the east side of Catalina Island. As we were waiting for these whales to surface, one swam under our boat and surfaced just feet off our bow, while the second was just off our starboard side! We came upon another feeding frenzy of Long-beaked Common Dolphin with proposing sea lions and other sea birds when another whale appeared! This whale had a damaged dorsal fin and was identified as a rare Bryde’s Whale by our drone pilot who could clearly see the three ridges on its rostrum. Turning back east towards the coast, we found a pod of probably 50 Risso’s dolphins who were very spread out. Suddenly, there was a massive spinning beach by yet another Humpback Whale. We quickly changed course back out to sea and found there were 2 more Humpback Whales! As we watched these Humpbacks, there were other blows far off in the distance. Our time was up and we had to head back to the Dana Point.

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