San Diego Whale Watching Blog

Stay up to date with our whales in San Diego. From our daily whale watching reports to photos and video, this is the spot for our favorite marine mammals. Blue Whale Watching Season runs from June to September!

2022 Summer Whale Watching Report

Date Morning Cruise Notes
9/5/22 4 Blue whales
2 Mola Mola
Many Common Dolphins
Once out of the harbor, a few people spotted two mola molas sunning. We eventually cruised out about 11 miles off Point Loma. In the area that we settled in we were able to see the blows and back of a blue whale that was a considerable distance off. There were two others that were a bit closer but still a bit far to appreciate fully. We were able to track one that was very regular with its surface activity and diving. This turned out to be a sub-adult blue whale that we were able to observe for 7-8 dives. Its shape and massive size were apparent when it swam on and near the surface, a truly beautiful sight. It would signal its final dive with a salute of its fluke almost every time it would dive, delighting everyone. When we had to turn back to the pier, we were greeted by pods of common dolphins that raced towards the Adventure Hornblower and either rode the bow wake or surfed in the waves created by the ship. It was an exceptional day to end the summer whale watching season.
9/3/22 4 Adults/1 Juvenile Bottlenose Dolphins
1 Large Adult Blue Whale
1 Large Fin Whale
Several Mola Mola's
We encountered a small pod of offshore bottlenose dolphins with 4 adults and 1 small juvenile. The dolphins joined in by riding our pressure wave as we headed west. We continued out towards the 9-mile bank and observed a large adult blue whale feeding and possibly a second blue whale in the deeper waters. After watching the blue whale feed for a bit, we were lucky enough to see another large whale feeding nearby. Low and behold, this whale had the larger dorsal fin and darker coloration. It was a large adult fin whale feeding in the same general area of the blue whale. Everyone was able to see the difference between the blue whale’s coloration and distinctive small dorsal fin and the dark coloration and larger dorsal fin of the fin whale. What a success. Some guests also got a bonus by seeing a couple of Mola Molas during the trip. Once we returned to the bay, we visited the bait docks and got some close looks and sounds of the California sea lions and also a single harbor seal that was frolicking near the bait docks. There were also birds galore both at sea and also in the bay. We even had an exhausted stray passerine that hopped aboard the boat for a ride to shore.
9/2/22 110 common Dolphins
1 Adult Blue Whale
8 Bottlenose Dolphins
We saw several California sea lions in the bay on the way out in and by the channel markers. Once we headed west, we encountered a small pod of about 30 common dolphin with mixed ages that were feeding. Guests got good looks at these dolphins frolicking alongside the boat. As we continued west, we came across a larger pod of common dolphin that was feeding. This was a large group of about 80 mixed ages. We continued further west and got some good views of an adult blue whale that was feeding. It appeared many times so guests had some great opportunities to see the back and blue coloration of the skin of the blue whale. When we returned to the bay, we made a visit by the bait docks and were welcomed by a small pod of about 8 bottlenose dolphins (likely nearshore bottlenose dolphins) swimming right at the boat.
7/31/22 20 common bottlenose dolphins
1 northern elephant seal
We were treated to a pod of about 20 common bottlenose dolphins playing and feeding while in close proximity to a small fishing boat. A number of seabirds were also in the area adding to the activity. On our way back into the harbor, we sighted a northern elephant seal who was bobbing its head in and out of the water to watch us as we passed by. And of course we saw the usual California sea lions loafing on the buoys as we left and entered the harbor on our way back to the dock.
7/29/22 1 Minke Whale
1 Mola Mola
4 Common Dolphins
15 Least Terns
6 Tuna
4 Flying Fish
The Adventure headed out of San Diego Bay in search of marine life in calm seas. Along the way to the 9 Mile Bank area we saw 4 Flying Fish alongside the vessel which surprised guests on board. Once we entered into the 9 Mile Bank area we came across a small bait ball that had 15 Least Terns demonstrating their hunting skills by catching and eating the sardines and anchovies in the water. Captain Erik head further west in search of whales and to our delight we were very fortunate to observe a Minke that was foraging for food in the waters close to the Adventure. As our time came to leave the area and we found that 4 Short-beaked Common Dolphins came to check out the vessel which delighted the guests on board especially the families with children. As we were observing the dolphins taking the bow of the vessel, 6 Tuna came to the surface and showed us their dorsal fins. The Adventure continue its return and just about 2 miles off of Point Loma we saw 1 Mola Mola.
7/25/22 Nursery pod of 150 Short-beaked Common Dolphins The Adventure went out to the 15 Mile Bank area in hopes of seeing whales. Unfortunately the whales were elusive. We did locate a nursery pod of 150 Short-beaked Common Dolphins that included many newly born calves within the pod. There were quite a number of 1-3 day old newborns within the pod.
7/23/22 300 Common Dolphins
30 Offshore Bottlenose Dolphin
We spotted the first pod of about 200 Common Dolphin about 1.5 miles away. We headed west to about 15 miles out and spotted another pod of 100 or so Common Dolphins. This group seemed to be a nursery pod since many babies were spotted. On the way in we saw a pod of around 30 offshore Bottlenose dolphin.
7/22/22 30 Offshore Bottlenose Dolphin
200 Common Dolphin
1 Mola Mola
We saw a large pod of Common Dolphin soon after leaving San Diego Bay. We went out to the 9 mile bank and saw a Mola Mola. It did not stay on the surface of the water for long but a few people got to see it as the boat went past it. The 30 Offshore Bottlenose Dolphin were observed on our way back into the bay. The dolphin stayed close to the boat for a while. They were displaying a lot of tail slapping and breaching.
7/18/22 Nursery Pod of Common Dolphins
2 Mola Mola's
We did not see any whales, however an aircraft carrier passed by us on our way out of the bay and we were treated to a Nursery Pod of Common dolphins and two Mola-Molas.
7/17/22 1 Humpback Whale
500 Common Dolphins
12 Bottlenose Dolphins
1 Mola Mola
Before getting out into the ocean, we sighted a pod of 12 Bottlenose Dolphins in the bay - some adults, some babies. In spite of gray skies and overcast fogginess, Captain Dave was able to spot a spout on the horizon. "Thar she blows!" As the boat neared the whale, questions arose - fin whale or blue whale? The consensus was fin until someone pointed out the shape, size, and location of the dorsal fin. Comparing to reference cards, the decision was - humpback whale! The boat stayed with the whale for about an hour until it headed toward Mexico. Time to turn around and search for other marine life. Dolphins! Several pods of Common Dolphins swam next to the boat, jumping, playing in the bow wake, having lots of fun. Everyone got a closeup view of the adults and babies!
7/16/22 1000 Common dolphin
50 Offshore Bottlenosed dolphin
13 Mola Mola
We came upon large numbers of Common dolphin that we observed bow riding and swimming along side the Adventure Hornblower and in the distance. There were a number of baby dolphin swimming close to their moms. Some Offshore Bottlenose dolphin also joined us for awhile including two small babies. We saw 5 Black skimmers, an unusual bird that we had to look up in the bird book to identify. We also passed Mola Mola at various spots on the way out and back, some very close to the boat so we got a really good look at them.
7/15/22 2 In Shore Bottlenose Dolphin
2 Mola Mola
500 Common Dolphin
1 Shark-species undetermined
It was a foggy, gray morning on the ocean with calm seas. The sun came out as we returned to San Diego Bay later in the day. We observed 2 Bottlenose dolphins in the bay by North Island on our way to the ocean. Once offshore, we saw multiple pods of Common Dolphin that swam near the boat and guests were able to see them up close. We saw 2 Mola Mola. One Mola Mola stayed on the surface of the water long enough for the boat to circle it and for all the guests to get a good view. A few people saw a shark surface two times near the boat. We were unable to determine the exact species of shark.
7/11/22 2 pods (25 in each pod) of Common Dolphins
1 pod (25) of Bottlenose Dolphins
2 Mola Mola
1 cow/calf Blue Whale
1 Mako Shark
As we entered the famous Nine Mile bank we saw a gigantic blow about 2 miles in the distance. We continued toward the blow and were so excited when we saw a small blow alongside. It was so exciting to see a cow / calf Blue Whale pair slowly cruising by us. After a few moments they dove down for about 10 minutes and re-emerged behind us. Again, they swam close by and dove down. We hoped we would get another look so we patiently waited for 10 minutes. We were so delighted when they emerged on our Port side. quite close to us, again they swam near us then we saw the fabulous fluke and down they went. Everyone was so delighted. With that the Captain said we needed to head back and within minutes the Captain said "Shark on Port side!" A Mako shark with it's fin showing swam by..
Then as we slowly made our way back to the Bay another small Mola Mola swam by.
7/10/22 1000 Common Dolphin
20 Risso Dolphin
10 Bottlenose Dolphin
We quickly encountered a large nursery pod of common dolphins and guests loved watching them ride the bow. We also got a great sighting of a large mola mola right alongside the boat.
Once at the nine mile bank, we encountered a pod of 20 Risso's Dolphin who stayed with the boat and we were able to observe them doing some tail slapping and synchronized swimming before we moved on to see a large pod of very acrobatic common dolphins.
On the way back, we found another pod of common dolphins as well as a pod of around 10 offshore bottlenose dolphins who played in our bow for quite some time.
7/9/22 1000 Common Dolphin
60 Offshore Bottlenose Dolphin
We journeyed out to the nine mile bank and on the way, we encountered a large nursery pod of Short-Beaked Common Dolphins.
Once at the nine mile bank, we found a decent size nursery pod of offshore bottlenose dolphins and observed them playing in our wake for a bit before turning around and heading back to shore.
On the way back, we encountered two smaller pods of common dolphins and guests enjoyed watching them playing around the boat.
7/8/22 1 Blue whale
50 Common Dolphins
5 Mola Mola
Overcast clouds gave way to patchy blue skies and the sight of a blue whale! Possibly a juvenile. Captain Dave stayed near the whale for almost an hour so we all could see the spouts, listen to the blows, and watch the whale dive and fluke! Throughout the morning were additional encounters with dolphins, mola mola, and a large swarm of pelicans, gulls, terns, dolphins, and sea lions gathering around a bait ball.
7/4/22 2 Humpback Whales - adult and juvenile
Several pods of Bottlenose Dolphins
Out on the ocean with partly cloudy skies and the chance to see two humpback whales, an adult and a juvenile. The sea was slightly choppy but that didn't stop the children who went to the sides of the boat to meet several pods of bottlenose dolphins, ducking and diving between the waves, as they came to greet them.
7/3/22 20 Common dolphins Bottlenose dolphins
One Mola mola
Wind was calm and the marine layer was present for most the day. Light wind was present on the way out and sea surface was calm. Wind increased during the day and some chop was present on the surface. There were 3+ foot waves throughout the day which made for an exciting trip out but was much calmer on the return.
7/2/22 2 Brydes Whales
2 Blue Whales, maybe 3 (1 juvenile, 1 adult)
1 Mola Mola
20 Bottlenose
300 Common Dolphin
1 jelly fish
Clusters of salps
1 distance breach (series of breach, 1 large followed by two smaller)
What an incredible day on the water. Whales approached the boat and swam under the bow with great opportunities to see the ridges of the Brydes whales and mottled texture of Blue whales. We could audibly hear the blows and smell them! There appeared to be great food sources with large pods of dolphins and terns feeding. Sunning mola Mola on the way back in. We also had a trickster sea lion who pretended to be a shark fin! A few passengers saw a car distance breach on the way in. Excellent day with lots of activity.
6/26/22 1 Blue Whale
2 Mola Mola
Many Common Dolphins
It was a sunny morning with clear seas and low swells for passengers and crew as we headed out to view marine life. Many Common dolphins swam toward the Adventure Hornblower to enjoy the wake of the vessel. Continuing out to approximately 10 miles out we were able to observe an adult blue whale that fluked twice and allowed passengers to see this amazing animal. With sun through the clear water the whale skin looks like a turquoise color. We also had two sightings of ocean sunfish (aka Mola mola), and the view to the second one was especially interesting as we were able to see the fin and shape of this very interesting fish, up close. Great day on the water
6/25/22 2 Blue Whales
30 Common Dolphins
We headed out of the harbor seeing sea lions sunning themselves and a few dolphins fishing with some pelicans. Then we went straight out to the nine mile bank where we spotted a spout out in the distance. Captain Dave got us out close to the whales. We had excellent views of two blue whales as they took several breaths at the surface and then dove deep for 12 to 15 minutes. We could clearly see the blow holes and hear them exhale. We were treated to two beautiful fluke views as the whales dove deep. We stayed in the area for three rounds of whales on the surface and then deep dives.

When we started to go back towards San Diego Harbor, we saw a pod of 30 or so common dolphins who swam towards us, and along the boat for a while before they left us to stay out far from shore.water
6/24/22 14 blue whales (2 cow calf pairs)
60 short beak common dolphins
It was a beautiful sunny day on the water. We immediately headed for the 9 mile bank. While en route we encountered a small pod of common dolphins hunting a bait ball. Just past the bank, we began seeing blue whale blows all around us.  We originally observed one cow/calf pair and  were able to see a fluke from the  mother. While observing this pair, we saw other blows in the distance so we broke off the encounter with the first pair and went on to observe the three other groups in the area ranging in size from two to four individuals. We were able to see one more cow/calf pair and three examples of fluking before turning and heading back to shore. Overall a fantastic start to the summer season!

2021-2022 Winter Whale Watching Report

Date Morning Cruise Afternoon Cruise Notes
4/17/22 1 Fin Whale
5 Pacific White-sided
10 Common
5 Mola Mola
200 California Brown Pelican
4 Fin Whales
2 Bottlenose
50 Common
We cruised out to 9-Mile Bank where we observed a magnificent Fin whale zig-zagging back and forth for about half an hour! Common dolphin joined us and Captain Dave circled around so they could play in the bow wave. There were a lot of pelican skimming over the waves including a very close pass by a V-formation of at least 50 birds. 5 Mola Mola were spotted, one of at least 4 feet in diameter. A glorious way to spend a holiday Sunday and the last day of the Winter whale watching season.
What a wonderful way to end the Winter Whale Watching season - sunny, clear skies! On the way to the 9 mile bank, we encountered dolphin jumping in the boat's spray. The best, however, was to encounter a mom and baby fin whale and compare the baby's small-ish blow alongside the mom's huge spray! Two other fins came nearby and hung out near the boat. Then there was a Mola Mola (sunfish) next to and going under the boat. Another super day on the water. Looking forward to the Summer Whale Watching season!
3/31/22 1 Gray Whale We did not spot any whales or dolphins this morning, but that didn’t stop people from enjoying their time out on the water or even enjoying the rocking of the boat. A group of 50 high school students from Utah were in attendance and made the best out of the day where they could. It was lovely to see them all enjoy themselves and just spending time out at sea.
For many, this was their first whale watching excursion. They were delighted to encounter a juvenile gray whale a few miles off Point Loma. The whale seemed in no hurry, came up to breathe at regular, 5-minute intervals , sometimes fluking and meandering north. Another sight was the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier coming into port.
3/30/22 1 Blue Whale
75 Common
2 Fin Whales
350 Common
We spotted a blue whale about a mile off of Point Loma. This was our first blue whale sighting of the season, and we were even able to watch the whale fluke! We also spotted about 75 Common Dolphins.
Today was an amazing, sunny day on the ocean. We spotted two Fin Whales that were milling about in the same area and were able to spend an hour or so watching them swim around and under the boat. We also saw around 300 common (long-beaked) dolphins on the trip out and 50 more on the way back in to the bay.
3/20/22 1 Gray whale
1 Bottlenose dolphin
Even with semi-rough waters today, we were rewarded with a gray whale sighting. One southbound juvenile that spouted and fluked a few times. We also had a Bottlenose dolphin porpoising alongside the boat for the passengers to enjoy!
3/19/22 1 Gray whale
10 Bottlenose
500 Common
It was a great morning on the water! On way out of the bay, we saw ~10 Bottlenose dolphins and sea lions. Early in the trip, we got some great views of one adult gray whale. We also spotted 500 feeding Common dolphins and passengers got to see 2 Mola Molas (‘sun fish’).
3/14/22 3 Gray whales
50 Common
5 Bottlenose
3/13/22 3 Gray whales
8 Bottlenose dolphins
No sightings to report… Terrible weather conditions The morning was nice! We saw 3 gray whales at 9 mile bank.  The whales exhibited possible courtship behaviors, swimming close to each other on their sides and rolling exposing their bellies at the surface.The Bottlenose dolphins were observed at 9 mile bank and as we entered the Bay. One of the 3 Mola Molas observed was large, approximately 5-6 feet across.
3/12/22 4 Gray whales
30 Common
20 Bottlenose
9 Gray whales
12 Common dolphins
3/11/22 5 Gray whales
2000 Common
25 Pacific White-sided
5 Gray whales
3 Common dolphins
We went out 11 miles and found a pod of 5 adult gray whales that were displaying breeding behaviors; including zig-zagging and rolling.There were two pods of dolphins: a small one of about 25 Pacific White-sided dolphins and a very large Common dolphin pod stretching from horizon to horizon as far as the eye could see.
3/10/22 3 Gray whales
300 Common
3 Bottlenose
3/9/22 Dolphins:
50 Common
20 Pacific White-sided
3/8/22 1 Fin whale
1 Bryde's whale
1200 Short-beaked common dolphins
5 Gray whales
2 Pacific White-sided
6 Bottlenose
Morning Cruise
We had a spectacular morning out on the water! The seas were calm with no wind.Our first encounter was with a "small" pod of common dolphins that surrounded the ship and rode the ship's bow, pressure wave. Then heading out to the nine-mile bank we encountered a large pod of the same Common dolphins (presumably short-beaked), numbering approximately 1,000! The water was churning with dolphins and our guests were delighted.

Afternoon Cruise
Out near the bank we finally hooked up with a whale that happened to surface right alongside the ship. The naturalist’s identified this as a rare sighting of a Bryde's whale.  Our second sighting was a much larger Fin whale.  We had a brief look at the Fin whale before we had to return to the Bay.Truly a wonderful experience.
3/3/22 3 Gray whales 4 Gray whales

50 Common
6 Bottlenose
Morning Cruise
We had a lovely, albeit windy morning. We briefly saw one gray whale as we exited the bay. We then headed north just outside the kelp beds and came across two elusive adult Gray whales. They would take 3 to 4 breaths and then make 7-10 minute sounding dives. We did get to see some beautiful flukes as they dove down.

Afternoon Cruise
We journeyed out to the 9 Mile Bank area to search for northbound Gray whales. Captain Rick found a pair of whales traveling together and then two other adults joined the group for a total of four. The whales stayed very close to the boat and were hanging out just under the surface; giving us a great view and made for easy spotting.

The whales eventually began heading northbound slowly but gave us lots of wonderful blows, some flukes and a great look at their barnacles as they came up for air. Passengers also got a treat - seeing 2 Mola Molas!
2/27/22 2 Gray whales
1 Minke whale
250 Common dolphins
Captain Rick and Captain Roy took the vessel out looking for whales under clear skies and calm seas. Just south of Point Loma National Monument, the captains found our 1st whale: a young gray whale lazing about and not moving in either direction. This small whale has become a regular at the Bay entrance, being seen daily the last couple of weeks.

After another whale’s blow was seen off in the distance to the south, the captain began the search for more whales and moved south-west towards the Nine Mile Bank. Here we saw over 250 Common Dolphins - that played in the boat’s wake and jumped to the guest's delight. A quick sighting of a Minke whale was another highlight of the cruise! As we returned to the Bay, we stopped at the bait dock to view the Sea Lions.
2/27/22 5 Gray whales
2 Pacific White-sided
1 Common
We saw 5 grays today, all super close to the boat. We could clearly see the blowholes and had some amazing views of the whales ‘fluking’. One adult snorkeled alongside us for more than 25 minutes, and was so close to the surface that we could easily track him/her under the water. We also saw a calf heading north with its mom, along with an ‘escort’ whale. On the way back to harbor, a few dolphins (Common and Pacific White-sided) surfed in the ship’s wake. It was a gorgeous, sunny day.
2/26/22 6 Gray whales
150 common dolphins
5 Gray whales

10 Pacific White-sided
5 Bottlenose
Morning Cruise
The water was nice and calm. We encountered a single juvenile gray whale right away. We then came upon a group of 4 Gray whales. On the way back we found a pod of about 150 Common dolphins and then ended with the young gray whale that’s been staying in the area near the kelp beds on the way back to the harbor.

Afternoon Cruise
It was a little chillier and windier on the afternoon trip but the weather was still very nice and the water relatively calm. We began the trip by watching the juvenile Gray whale at the kelp beds. We then encountered a single whale and followed it for a bit. After searching for a bit, we found a pair of gray whales. Another gray whale was nearby and we observed it as well before turning back to the harbor. On the way back we encountered a small pod of Pacific White-sided dolphins and we lucked out on seeing a few Bottlenose dolphins inside the Bay.
2/25/22 1800 Common dolphins It was a beautiful but chilly morning on the water. We headed straight for the nine mile bank and encountered a pod of about 300 common dolphins on the way there. Once at the nine mile bank we cruised around searching for whales and encountered a large pod of Common dolphins which we stayed with for awhile because it was fun and passengers were delighted!
2/24/22 8 Gray whales
300 Common dolphins
Captain Eric headed out to the 9 mile bank where we spotted 3 Gray whales, and then found 5 more whales; who seemed to join together to form a traveling group of 8. We also came upon a mega pod of about 300 Common dolphins on a feeding frenzy. It was a beautiful sunny day on the water with clear visibility.
2/21/22 2 Humpback Whales
2 Gray Whales
10 Bottlenose
300 Long-beaked Common
Even with some storm swells beginning and cool windy conditions, the whale watching was incredible this afternoon. Our first sighting was a pod of bottlenose dolphins right before we left the bay. Some of the dolphins briefly rode the bow of the boat. We even spotted a mother-calf pair!

After heading west to 9-mile Bank, we encountered a large group of long-beaked common dolphins, which seemed to rush to the boat from all directions to bow ride. Then, as we were trying to get a closer look at a gray whale, we were pleasantly surprised to suddenly see flipper slapping at the surface from a pair of Humpback Whales close by! Wow! The lighting conditions were magical—perfectly highlighting the whales and their pectoral flippers. The humpback whales continued to alternate flipper slapping with surfacing and then fluking. At one point both whales were flipper slapping at the same time. These were the first humpback whales of the season for us.

As we turned around to head back, we enjoyed one last look at the humpbacks and a gray whale surfaced close by the pair. What spectacular day!
2/21/22 6 Gray Whales Although the day began with clouds, wind and a few scattered showers, the gray whale viewing was fantastic this morning! Once we left San Diego Bay, we spotted a subadult gray whale milling around near the kelp beds off Point Loma. We watched this whale as it surfaced a few times, then headed west to search for more. Soon Captain Dave spotted gray whale blows in the distance! What originally seemed like two whales, turned into a group of five gray whale adults traveling north. We were lucky enough to see flukes a few times. One whale even breached, a behavior we don’t see very often. The whales seemed to be a courtship group with chasing behavior, surfacing together and even some rolling on their sides. With the lighting, the turquoise coloration of the whales underwater stood out and we were able to watch this group for nearly an hour with many nice, close views.
2/20/22 6 Gray whales
50 Common
50 Pacific White-sided
4 Gray whales
12 Pacific White-sided
40 Common
Morning Cruise
The conditions were calm and temperate. The marine layer burned off by 10:00, providing sunny & warm conditions. There were guests from across the United States, including Arizona, Texas, Ohio, and New York. We also had international visitors from Italy and the UK.

We observed 6 northbound gray whales, and a mixed pod of about 100 Common and Pacific White-sided dolphins. There were also multiple sightings of bait fish and a jelly fish. Two of the whales were a mother & baby traveling along the kelp line. The highlight of the trip was a delightful ~30 minutes observing 2 gray whales snorkeling just below the surface.

Afternoon Cruise
Today was a beautiful day to be on the water looking for whales and dolphins! Captain Rick ‘delivered’ 4 Gray whales. Passengers got great views. Later, we had~12 Pacific White-sided dolphins and ~ 40 Common dolphins.
2/19/22 6 Gray whales
2 Common dolphins
We were treated to a beautiful sunny morning with excellent visibility and fairly calm seas. Our trip got off to a great start as we were alerted to the presence of a north-bound juvenile gray whale shortly after we cleared the entrance to San Diego Bay. This whale spent considerable time swimming around the immediate area, making close approaches to several boats, including ours! At one point, the whale appeared to be playing with a piece of kelp, pushing it around as it swam.

After spending some quality time with the playful juvenile, we headed south and soon spotted several adult south-bound grays. In all we observed five adults as we motored all the way to the Mexican border. One of the adults treated us to the rare sight of a breach as these animals continued to make their way south to their wintering grounds in Baja California. All in all, it was a thrilling morning on the ocean.
2/18/22 6 Gray Whales

10 Pacific White-sided
100 Common
7 Gray Whales
7 Pacific White-sided
7 Common
7 Bottlenose
Morning Cruise
Another amazing day. Calm water, sunny...
As we came out of the Bay, the Captain found 3 Gray whales traveling southbound. These whales showed off their beautiful flukes several times and then the ship changed direction to search for other wildlife. Another 3 whales were sighted; including a mom/calf pair!

10 Pacific White-sided dolphins graced us with their joyful presence. There was a school group of ~50 students; their enthusiasm seeing the dolphins made the atmosphere on board even more amazing. Later we encountered another great performance from about 100 Common dolphins.

Afternoon Cruise
At was a lovely afternoon for whale-watching, a bit windy at first but then the wind abated and it felt like a summer day. Captain Rick kept us in the vicinity of gray whales for most of the cruise. We spotted and traveled with 7 gray whales in all, one juvenile and six adults. We’re starting to see whales on their northbound migration!

Several encounters were close enough to see the mottled gray coloring due to barnacles on their skin. We also enjoyed Pacific white-sided dolphins riding our bow and California sea lions swimming under the ship. A flock of shearwaters were seen, as well as Double-crested cormorants, Brown pelicans and Western gulls. Common dolphins rode our bow for quite some time as we returned to San Diego Bay. It was a great ending to a magical day on the vessel aptly named Adventure.
2/17/22 2 Gray Whales
25 Pacific White-sided
25 Common
2 Off-shore Bottlenose
It was a beautiful day on the water today as we cruised with guests from throughout the USA, including an Arizona couple on their honeymoon who had never been whale watching. We encountered two Off-shore Bottlenose dolphins and a total of approximately 25 Pacific White-sided dolphins and about 25 Common dolphins. We were heading back towards Point Loma when we spotted 2 Gray whales. The guests were thrilled to see and hear the blows, as well as multiple tail flukes. We ended the cruise with a visit to the bait dock to view sea lions.
2/14/22 4 Gray whales
250 Common dolphins
We had beautiful skies and calm seas today for our morning cruise.
Once we left the harbor, the captain found a group of 3 southbound Gray whales; spending about 30 minutes as we watched them doing synchronized flukes
every 3-4 minutes.
Another gray whale was seen during the cruise; along with a pod of ~ 300 Common dolphins.
Guests were treated with a special sighting…. The USS Carl Vinson (carrying US Naval Service Men & Women) arriving back to its’ San Diego home port after a 8 month deployment. An even extra special treat was a fly-over by the Navy’s Blue Angels flight squadron!
2/13/22 5 Gray whales
150 Common dolphins
A beautiful, summer like day on the Pacific Ocean. Captain Chad found some Gray whales early on that provided the guests with great sightings of flukes & heart shaped blows. There were 3 Southbound Gray whales traveling together. Later on, we came upon 2 more gray whales. After a few diving sequences, it was time to head back to port. As we were approaching San Diego Bay, we were blessed with a sighting of ~ 150 Common dolphins.
2/12/22 1 Minke whale
6 Bottlenose dolphins
It was a warm and sunny day on the water. We spent most of the morning cruising around searching for whales. We headed north about halfway through and happened upon a single Minke whale that was exhibiting pretty consistent diving but was zig-zagging around in the water around the boat. We watched few dive cycles and then headed back to the Bay. On the way into the bay, we saw two small pods of Inshore Bottlenose dolphins, one at the entrance to the bay and one inside. There were a few military ships on the water (including one destroyer and one Nimitz class carrier).
2/11/22 2 Gray Whales
Dolphins: 2 Bottlenose
100 Commons
The ocean was extremely calm and the skies were clear. We saw a couple of bottlenose dolphins soon after leaving the San Diego Bay. We headed north and found 2 adult gray whales. We stayed with them on their southbound route for quite awhile, seeing lots of spouts and flukes. We broke off from the whales to see the Common dolphins. Many dolphins were swimming close to the boat and playing in the bow wake. We caught up with the same pair of gray whales for another look before they entered Mexican waters. We saw more Common dolphins on our way back into the bay. It was a fantastic day on the ocean!
2/10/22 2 Gray Whales
100+ Common Dolphins
It was a gorgeous, sunny and calm day for this morning’s cruise. We were lucky to encounter a large pod of about 100+ Common dolphins that interacted with the boat for about 15-20 minutes. The pod was full of young/juvenile dolphins and the guests were treated to many leaps out of the water and (boat) bow riding, even by the very littlest members of the pod!

The whales were a little shy today, but we did encounter one adult gray whale that gave us some blows out at sea and then, as we entered the bay, a juvenile gray whale was sighted. It went right under the boat and several guests got a good look at it.
2/06/22 3 Gray whales
15-20 Pacific White-Sided
400 Common
1 Bottlenose
It was a beautiful calm day on the water with great visibility that went on for miles.
We cruised north to see a pair of southbound Gray whales that were diving a bit irregularly but we observed some fluking from them. We then traveled a bit further north where we encountered a pod of ~350 common dolphins before encountering another whale shortly before turning back to the harbor. While on the way back, we passed and briefly observed a small pod of Pacific White-sided dolphins. One non-mammal highlight was seeing a brown footed booby (bird) flying near the ship. Once inside the bay, we spotted one of the Navy’s Bottlenose dolphins.
2/05/22 2 Gray whales
200 Common
2 Bottlenose
6 Gray whales The morning cruise was met with perfectly sunny skies and calm waters. As we exited the harbor we were greeted by a pod of Common dolphins and birds trying to get their share of the fish below the surface. For the remainder of the cruise we were able to encounter 2 Gray whales along with a couple of whales out in the distance. The afternoon cruise continued on with a beautiful sunny San Diego day. Many passengers joined the cruise as a part of their traveling plans to San Diego and were lucky enough to witness 6 Gray whales on their southbound migration. These whales displayed lots of synchronized behavior and fluking, which allowed passengers to see more of these stunning giants.
1/30/22 3 Gray Whales
1 of them a Juvenile
Beautiful day with calm water. The sky was clear and the Coronado Islands were completely visible. We had about 50 passengers. We saw a total of three Gray Whales; one of them was a juvenile, and the other pair traveled together. We observed the Gray Whales snorkeling and fluking several times. We also saw sea lions, brown pelicans, egrets and cormorants chilling on the dock. Grateful for another sunny day at sea.
1/29/22 Wonderful day out on the ocean: little wind, calm seas, and great visibility under a cloud-dappled sky.
Capt. Rick took the vessel north - as far as Mission Beach - to join a small group of boats following 3 whales. The south-bound whale group included two adults and one juvenile. The shy juvenile stayed near the surface most of the time, and the boat was able to idle very close for great viewing as the adults fluked and showed their tails. After more than 30 minutes, the captain took the boat South, towards Point Loma, and found another adult+juvenile whale group with an independent whale tagging along but changing direction frequently. Some dolphins were seen in the distance and many sea lions were found lounging on the bait dock. Overall, a great day for encountering marine mammals!
1/28/22 We found a cow/calf pair approximately six miles from the light house at Point Loma and one mile from shore. The calf was very wrinkly and stayed on mom’s back most of the time. We also saw a southbound juvenile whale near Coronado Bay, and three pods with an approximate total of 800 common dolphin three miles from shore.

At the beginning of our trip we received word there was possibly a juvenile in the San Diego Bay near the submarine station. We did not see it until we returned to the bay. It was rolling, spyhopping, and reverse spyhopping near Ballast Point while a small fishing boat with two fisherman watched.
1/27/22 10 White Sided Dolphin
5 Gray Whales
1 Juvenile Gray Whales
We started out trip heading south then turned north and encountered a group of three whales, which we stayed with for a while then followed a group of two whales. Both groups provided the passengers with great photo ops of flukes. We also saw about 10 white sided dolphin throughout the morning. Our trip back to the the bay was topped of with a sighting of a juvenile gray whale.

The group on the boat was a mix of tourists and a special group of 20 wounded warriors.
1/22/22 150 Common Dolphins
5 Gray Whales
2 Juvenile Gray Whales
Sea Lions
Gorgeous day with glassy water. The sky was clear and the Coronado Islands were completely visible. We saw sea lions on buoys, lots of happy common dolphins, brown pelicans, a Parasitic Jaeger, and Gray Whales breaching from afar. The Gray Whales that were in closer distance showed off their flukes and were snorkeling based on the fluke prints we observed. Most of the blows were in perfect heart shapes. At one point, we saw a Gray Whale mama with her baby. There was a debate on the boat regarding if it was a juvenile or calf. Regardless, it was another fantastic cruise with incredible wildlife!
1/21/22 25 Common Dolphins
11 Gray Whales
6 Bottlenose Dolphins
1 White Sided Dolphin
I have to tell you that this was one of the very best days I have ever had on the water, including the four years with Birch. We saw a very conservative estimate of 11 whales. At the same time, close to the boat, we had a group of five on the port side and a group of four on the starboard side…and there were multiple spouts all around in the distance. We had an adult whale breach five times right behind the boat with all the guests cheering and clapping every time. There was also a juvenile that breached three times today. Calm seas and a light breeze the whole time. Just one white sided dolphin, but 25+ commons and even six bottlenose to greet us in the harbor on the way in.
1/17/22 1 Gray Whales
1 Sea Lion
We had a great cruise this morning. Dave was our captain. We saw only sea lions until we got north, but then lots of dolphins, birds, sea lions feeding plus one whale. We followed the blows back to the mouth of the bay where we saw another whale who gave us a great goodbye tail fluke. It was a beautiful day and happy excited passengers.
1/16/22 4 Gray Whales We spotted our first spouts of the 4 gray whales we would see on this cruise relatively soon after departing San Diego Bay and turning West. Two pairs each, separated by a few miles, heading in a predictable southwesterly direction toward Baja. The second of these pairs we encountered off the coast of Pacific Beach. The only other marine mammal life we encountered were Sea Lions. No dolphins sighted on this morning.
1/14/22 11 Gray Whales
100+ Common Dolphins
1 Bottle Nose Dolphin
We had a spectacular day out on the water this morning!
The water was calm and glassy and we saw some amazing behavior!
The first group of three we encountered did three breaches for us and exhibited lots of mating and courtship behavior.
We also encountered two groups of four who were showing some courtship and lots of blows and flukes!
We also saw a few hundred common dolphins (following very closely and watching the whales courting!) and one bottle nose! All in all a very cool day to be out on the water!
1/09/22 Bottlenose Dolphin
2 Gray Whales
5 Gray Whales
Sea Lions
Morning Cruise
Today was a beautiful and sunny day out on the water for the morning cruise. We were first greeted by a Bottlenose Dolphin in the harbor and not long after leaving the harbor we encountered two Gray Whales. These Gray Whales showed off their flukes as they dived down! Among the passengers were a good handful of people who had never seen a whale before and among the volunteers a first Gray Whale sighting. Overall a great experience for everyone onboard.

Afternoon Cruise
On the afternoon cruise we had a beautiful clear day with nice calm water. We encountered 5 total gray whales on the trip and saw many blows in the distance. We found three whales shortly after leaving the harbor and we stayed with one individual and observed it’s blows. We then moved north and found a pair and observed synchronized flukes and blows from them. We didn’t see any dolphins but found a few sea lions on the way back to the dock.
1/07/22 2 Bottlenose Dolphins
Sea Lions
1 Pregnant Gray Whale
3 Juvenile Gray Whales
7 Gray Whales
Common Dolphins
Sea Lions
Morning Cruise
Beautiful day, calm water. What a great whale seeing day. Almost the entire time there was something to watch.

Right after the harbor- two Bottlenose dolphins, sea lions.Shortly after that a big Gray whale (more of light skin) - we thought maybe a pregnant female. Shortly after that two adult Gray whales. They were maybe disturbed by a small boat because they changed the direction of swimming and Captain Rick decided to go further Nord. What a beautiful performance there. 3 juvenile Gray whales synchronized flukes every 5-6 minutes. One breaching. We observed them for more than a half an hour On the way back we saw two even smaller flukes several times. Everybody on board was really pleased.

Afternoon Cruise
On the afternoon cruise today we saw 7 gray whales in two clusters — one a trio and one a quad — A bit unusual to see 3 or 4 grays traveling so close together and blowing and fluking together. The first trio seemed to have more barnacles and potentially older; second group was mostly all gray with minimal barnacles so maybe less trips down to Baja.

We were treated to multiple fluke displays including a 1-2-3 by the trio and even a synchronized pair by the quad. The quad group was quite close to boat and able to really appreciate their size and scale.

Minimal other sea life although we did see a few common dolphins on approach back into harbor and of course the fun sea lions at the bait docks.

1/06/22 6 Gray Whales
Mola Mola
- It was a beautiful day out on the water with approximately 70 people on board, including many families visiting from out of state. The sun was shining, the seas were small and the wind was calm. We saw a total of 6 gray whales traveling southbound. Three of the whales were adults and three were juveniles. A couple of the whales surfaced right next to the boat so everyone on board had fantastic views of them. We also saw a mola mola near the end of the trip. A great day on the water!
1/03/22 3 Gray Whales
10 Common Dolphins
- We had a beautiful day, sunny and clear with calm seas. We had visitors from Arizona, Utah, the San Francisco area, and some locals too. We saw three Gray Whales heading south. One must have had her timer on because she was so predictable, four blows and a fluke on a four-minute cycle. Ten Common Dolphins came by to say hello.
1/02/22 10 Gray Whales
Common Dolphins
- We lucked out and experienced a beautiful, sunny day today with calm seas. Within 15 minutes of leaving the harbor the captain sighted our first gray whale blow. After following this single whale for quite awhile, Captain Eric turned the Adventurer north in search of more gray whales. At this time some folks observed a small pod of common dolphins amidst a group of plunge-diving seabirds.

It wasn't long until the captain brought us close to two different pairs of gray whales with plenty of fluking and in one case snorkeling behavior. At times we were so close as to hear the magnificent exhalation and visualize clearly the heart-shaped blow. This was one of the highlights of our trip.

Although we were seeing mostly adult gray whales, many SDNHM whalers stated a belief that at least one of these whales was a juvenile due to smaller flukes and fewer patches of barnacles.

After searching the coastline off of Point Loma, our captain turned south again where we were lucky enough to locate and approach a group of five gray whales, swimming side by side, blowing in quick succession and fluking or at least showing their knuckles as they took their longer dives. By this time of afternoon, the sun was getting lower on the horizon and the glare on the water was intense.

Captain Eric asked us to bid adieu to this grand finale in order to steam back to the harbor. A dolphin was spotted by some folks, while others simply enjoyed warming up inside and relaxing as we steamed thru the calm waters of the harbor to our dock.

When asked, everyone stated they had a grand time including the children. Our passengers included parties from as far away as Brazil and Canada and many other states including Michigan, Minnesota and Florida. It was a spirited cruise on a most comfortable vessel!

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