Every week, Dana Wharf Sportfishing & Whale Watching provides the Dana Point Times and San Clemente Times a report on the week’s whale and dolphin sightings from naturalist Laura Lopez, in addition to a weekly log.
Here is Lopez’s report for the past week:
Blue Whale season has begun at Dana Wharf!
We saw our first blue whale of the season on Sunday, May 7, with Captain Tommy White on the 95-foot Dana Pride, our largest whale watching vessel who called in the sighting from the 10 a.m. trip. Tommy said, “When you think that the blue whale is the largest animal to live on the planet, bigger than a dinosaur or a megalodon, that is amazing!”
Our first blue whale had an average dive time of 12 minutes and stayed between the Dana Point Headlands and north of the San Clemente Pier the entire day as it circled while feeding, moving from 3.5 miles offshore to within a mile of the coast.
Blue whales are the largest mammal known to ever exist on Earth and are feeding on krill, their favorite food right off the Dana Point coast! The second-largest mammal on Earth, the fin whale has also been feasting on the abundance of krill. They have been observed circling schools of fish at high speed, rolling the fish into compact balls then turning on their right side to engulf the fish. We have seen up to seven different fin whales feeding in one day! With so many Mola molas feasting on the plentiful By-the-Wind Sailors still blooming, we often enjoy watching them between the surface intervals of these baleen whales.
Risso’s, bottlenose and common dolphin have also been encountered including nursery pods and impromptu feeding frenzies often just outside the Dana Point Harbor.
Here is the latest Whale Watching Log from Dana Wharf Whale Watching:
May 12 – 14 Fin Whales, Bottlenose Dolphin, Common Dolphin, Mola Mola
May 11 – 11 Fin Whales, Risso’s Dolphin, Bottlenose Dolphin, Common Dolphin, Mola Mola
May 10 – 16 Fin Whales, Risso’s Dolphin, Common Dolphin
May 9 – 5 Fin Whales, 1 Minke Whale, Common Dolphin, 2 Mola Mola
May 8 – 4 Gray Whales including 2 Cow/Calf pairs, 2 Blue Whales, 1 Fin Whale, Bottlenose Dolphin, Common Dolphin, 7 Mola Mola
May 7 – 4 Fin Whales, 3 Blue Whales (1 Whale, 3 Sightings), Common Dolphin, 12 Mola Mola
May 6 – 4 Fin Whales, Risso’s Dolphin, Bottlenose Dolphin, Common Dolphin
May 5 – 4 Fin Whales, Common Dolphin, 2 Mola Mola
May 4 – Common Dolphin
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