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:
An exceptional experience was watching three gray whales courting, likely mating with lots of surface activity including rolling and socializing showing their pectoral fins and flukes. This was a spectacular show and included a pod of Pacific white-sided dolphin interacting with the gray whales.
Gray whales are migrating south to the warm waters of Baja to calve and mate and occasionally we are fortunate enough to witness this remarkable activity from our vessels just off our coast. Many of our southbound gray whale sightings are often pairs or trios heading south, including cow/calf pairs and stay in tight groups. Most of the single gray whales heading south appear to be keeping a low profile, sometimes blowing once and then diving for a long period of time. Some whales will mill for a short time before continuing south. The cow/calf pairs are usually in close to shore and often stealthy, but we did have a juvenile gray whale breach several times off Turtle Rock. We also say many spy hops and some head lifts which may be a way for these whales to communicate and/or navigate.
Single fin whales continue to be found close to shore north of the Dana Point Headlands likely feeding. Minke whales were watched briefly as they are difficult to track which is why they are nicknamed “Sneaky Minkes.”
Pods with hundreds of long-beaked common dolphins, including nursery pods and twp dolphin stampedes were watched, plus both coastal and offshore bottlenose dolphin. Our favorite wintertime dolphin, the energetic Pacific white-sided dolphin was also encountered on multiple trips.
Here is the latest Whale Watching Log from Dana Wharf Whale Watching:
Feb. 17 – 3 Gray Whales, Bottlenose Dolphin, Common Dolphin
Feb. 16 – 6 Gray Whales, Bottlenose Dolphin, Mola Mola
Feb. 15 – 5 Gray Whales, Bottlenose Dolphin
Feb. 14 – 2 Gray Whales
Feb. 13 – 2 Gray Whales
Feb. 12 – 2 Gray Whales, Bottlenose Dolphn including Patches, Common Dolphin
Feb. 11 – Bottlenose Dolphin, Common Dolphin
Feb. 10 – 6 Gray Whales, 2 Minke Whales, 1 Fin Whale, Pacific Whitesided Dolphin, Bottlenose Dolphin, Common Dolphin
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