Weekly Report ~ January 30th – February 5th 2023
Baja Style Gray Whale Day with 16 Gray Whales, including a cow/calf pair ~ Breaching, Courting, Spy Hopping, Mugging on Every Trip!
The day started with a breacher in front of the Dana Point Harbor. The cloudy skies turned to sunshine; soon after, a cow/calf pair was heading south close to shore. We were mugged multiple times on several trips and saw likely courting behavior, spy hops, and much more! Most gray whale sightings have been adults traveling south in small groups of 2 to 4 animals. The gray whale cow/calf pairs are often spotted near shore as we leave or return to Dana Point Harbor. This week we have begun to see northbound gray whales as they start heading up our coast to return to their feeding grounds. We had one gray whale surface just feet off the port side of the New San Mateo on our EPIC Whale Watching 4-hour Adventure. We were about 10 miles offshore and several miles south of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS).
There were fin whale sightings several days this past week. On our Pelagic Bird trip ~ about 20 miles off our coast, as we were headed to the Crespi Knoll seamount, we spotted four fins whales heading south. There were also multiple sightings near shore where these whales appeared to be feeding. During these sightings, the fin whales usually blew once before taking extended dives in shallow water.
Other sightings include three species of dolphin: Pacific white-sided, bottlenose, and common dolphin, plus several Mola mola and a Mako shark.