By Todd Mansur (Captain/Naturalist)

Trip #1

On Kim Brooks Canyon Vista Elementary School trip we had great weather with clear skies. The sight ability was excellent. The ocean surface was calm with 2 knots of wind. The trip departed at 0900 on Monday February 13th.

The first part of the trip was full of hope as we left Dana Point heading west out to sea. At 0925 we sighted California Sea Lions on the navigation buoy off the

Dana Point Headlands. We stopped to see and discuss these animals as they rested on the buoy sunning them selves for the day.

At 0935 we continued to head west when at 0945 a lobster boat reported seeing a gray whale off Laguna. At the same time we had another report of whales just below Dana Point Harbor. We chose to head toward the whales below Dana Point Harbor, as there were reports of dolphins as well.

At 1005 we had our first gray whale sighting. It was two southbound Gray whales traveling in 600 feet of water 2 miles south of Dana Point Harbor. Both Whales appeared to be juvenile. They were showing every three minutes taking three breaths and sounding. No flukes were shown but the whales gave us a good look as we watched from about 100 yards away.

At 1025 a small humpback whale was spotted heading up the coast in 500 feet of water. Our attention was drawn to the new sighting. The young 32-foot humpback put on a great show as it continued to stay on the surface taking more than 10 breaths before sounding for three minutes. Each sounding it put its large tail in the air entertaining our students.

At 1045 we had to head in but even that was full of greetings from small common dolphins as they followed us back toward Dana Point Harbor.

Total students and teachers 72

Total sightings:

2 Gray Whales south bound

1 Humpback whale north bound

20 common dolphins

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