California – Whale Watching Trip (Captain Dave’s Tours)

I initially thought that whale watching was a good suggestion from Alexis, although I then decided that there was a risk that I’d get seasick…. Fortunately I didn’t, and I got better photos of the whales and dolphins that I had anticipated before the visit. So, Captain Dave’s Whale Watching in Dana Point it was.

There is no guarantee that whales or dolphins will be seen on any particular trip, although the company do post up on the boards what has been seen recently. The tour is 2.5 to 3 hours long, so there’s plenty of time to see something.

The boarding ticket. One thing that was reassuring about this company is that they don’t do discounts with Groupon or similar sites. There were some other companies that flog off cheap tickets on Groupon, but to me it’s a huge sign of desperation and so I disregarded all those competitors who did it.

The staff member suggested buying some Pringles to eat something salty to minimise being seasick. So I did.

Boarding the boat.

The mast things.

I was pleased to discover that I had accidentally selected one of the two seats which let me lie down and recline. I initially thought that this was useful to avoid seasickness, but when I discovered that I didn’t get seasick then I decided that it was just comfortable.

A view from the back of the boat. There were two crew members on the boat, one was up above looking around for whales and dolphins (and maybe polar bears, although I doubt they see many off California) and the other remained on board with everyone else. He was conversational and engaging, giving us lots of information about the dolphins and whales that we were seeing.

After around 90 minutes, the crew member suggested that I leave my comfortable lying point to stand at the front of the boat, which I decided was a good idea. This coincided with the others moving back as they thought most of the excitement was over, but it gave me the ideal opportunity to see the dolphins towards the second half of the trip.

Everything seemed very professional and I noted that the ticket office didn’t sell tickets to a group of three people saying that there were only two spaces left. However, the boat could have taken more, so there was a decision made to ensure that the boat wasn’t too crowded. If it had of been, then the experience wouldn’t have been as positive.

Overall, this was an excellent experience, the staff were friendly, the boat was comfortable and we got to see a fin whale and hundreds of dolphins. All very lovely.