Weekly Report ~ April 17, 2023 – April 23, 2023
FINTASTIC Week with Fins on Parade!
We have had several encounters with up to four and even five fin whales. The week’s highlight was the Dana Wharf 8-hour Ultimate Whale Watch which began with a cloudy, hazy morning with three fin whales feeding off the Dana Point Headlands. The brilliant contrast of the fin whale’s tall blows against the dark skyline was stunning. These whales were feeding on krill, as we could see the chunky pink/reddish whale poop floating on the surface. We then traveled offshore and found two more fin whales, with one surfacing just a few feet off our bow. We ended the day north of the Dana Point Harbor with four fin whales feeding. Our last encounter had two whales on our port side and the other two on our starboard side. All four whales were surfacing and blowing almost simultaneously very close to the bow of the Ocean Adventures. One of our passengers even said we were a whale sandwich! Fin whales have a simple diet of small fish, krill, and crustaceans.
This week we also had Minke whale sightings. We never know when we’re going to see a Minke whale. They are the smallest baleen whale in North American waters and are classified as the North Pacific Minke whale. Scientists believe we have a resident Minke population off our coast, and while there are more sightings in the summer and fall, they can be seen year-round.
Northbound gray whale cow/calf pairs and singles continued to be seen. Nearing the end of the Gray Whale Season, most of the gray whales will be on their way to returning to their feeding grounds for the summer. Once the cow/calf pairs reach the feeding ground and the calf learns to feed itself, the pair will separate, and the calf will be on its own. Over the years, a gray whale has been sighted every month of the year off the southern California coast.
Don’t miss the next Dana Wharf Pelagic Bird Trip led by David Pereksta on Friday, May 12, 2023, from 8a-2p. Use the following link for more information: https://danawharf.com/whale-watching/pelagic-bird-watching/
Dana Point Film Festival is an Oceans Film Festival focused on marine life and the human relationship with the magnificent wonder. This event will take place May 4-7, 2023. This four-day festival focuses on documentary filmmaking that features conservation, preservation, education, and, as well as ocean adventure, and some big wave surf films. DPFF will include a community evening outdoor movie series, cultural events, ocean art, musical guests, educational elements, speaker series, and an awards presentation with globally recognized talent. Find out more here: https://danapointfilmfestival.org/dana-point-film-festival/