By Todd Mansur (Captain/Naturalist)

Trip #3

Today Mrs. Luken’s class from Del Obispo Elementary had a great trip. Their timing was great today. They showed up 1/2 hour early. This was good as the weather call was for windy conditions, but at the time of arrival the wind was still calm.

We departed at 0900 with partly cloudy skies and a 3-foot wind swell from the night before high winds. At 0910 as we exited Dana Point Harbor the crew spotted a blow just south of our position. It would turn out to be a small juvenile Gray whale. By 0920 we were in position following this southbound animal just 3/4 of a mile South East of Dana Point Harbor.

We were in 7 fathoms of water 42 feet as we watched the traveling whale. The young whale came up to breath every 3 minutes taking 4 breaths before disappearing into the deep again for a 3-minute dive. Even though the whale never showed its tail or breached we did enjoy watching it travel. Its clusters of barnacles and whale lice were very visible and added to the excitement. At 0950 we decided to leave and search for other animals that might be in the area.

We headed up the coast hoping for a possible dolphin pod or maybe another south bound whale. At 1015 we were called on the radio by another boat that had a pod of dolphins and humpback whale exciting news. At 1020 as our Captain started to head there way we notice another humpback whale throw its tail threw the air like a battle-axe. Wow another one. With excitement we headed that way.

At 1030 we were now 3 miles190 degrees out of Dana Point Harbor. As we approached the newfound Humpback we noticed that it had a pod of Common Dolphins with it. There is nothing better than a multiple species sighting.

At 1045 we were sadly out of time and headed back. And not a minute to soon. As we entered the harbor the wind and swell started to increase. What perfect timing.

76 students and teachers

Total sightings

1 Gray whale south bound.

100 Common dolphins & 1 Humpback whale

GWRT - photo 4 on 2-22-17GWRT - photo 3 on 2-22-17GWRT - photo 2 on 2-22-17GWRT - photo 1 on 2-22-17


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