Weekly Whale Watching Report ~ June 19, 2023 – June 25, 2023
Blue Whale Palooza and Fin Whales, including a Fin Whale cow/calf Pair!
Passengers aboard Dana Wharf Whale Watch have been thrilled with Blue Whale sightings off Dana Point for 19 out of the first 25 days of June. These impressive creatures have been spotted mostly 6-9 miles offshore, moving northwest at approximately 4 knots. Many Blue Whales have been staying close to the surface, emitting a blue glow from their bodies, fins, and tails. On the first day of summer, passengers encountered 12 Blue Whales, including a familiar face known as “Notcho,” a female Blue Whale with a small, notched dorsal fin who has been tracked by Cascadia Research Collective since 1985. A satellite-tagged Blue Whale was also seen following her up the coast.
Fin Whales have also been spotted for several days, including a fin whale cow/calf pair that swam up to Lot’ A Fun to greet passengers. Some Fin Whales have been staying at the surface for nearly 20 breaths, giving everyone ample opportunity to see their impressive long backs and prominent dorsal fins. Other Fin Whales have been curious about the boat, surfacing just feet away and making close passes. Many of these Fin Whales have been feeding on the abundant krill still present in the waters.
Bottlenose dolphins, as well as long-beaked and short-beaked standard dolphin pods with lots of calves, have also been spotted. Passengers have enjoyed watching these dolphins race to the boat, bow-ride, surf the wake, and come alongside, seeming to look up at the passengers. It has been noted that all dolphins have excellent eyesight.
During one of Sum Fun’s trips, passengers spotted a juvenile Black-footed Albatross near the 14-mile bank. These impressive birds can have a wingspan of nearly 6 feet and feed on various bait fish such as anchovy, sardines, flying fish, and squid.