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Dana Point Festival of Whales is March 1 – 2 and 8 – 9, 2014

During the 43rd annual Dana Point Festival of Whales gain hands-on knowledge of how Captain Dave and members of Dana Point’s Fast Action Response Team rescues entangled whales.

Learn about the methods and tools rescue team members use to help whales, and how you can help too, while exploring Captain Dave’s recently launched 62-foot power catamaran, “Lily Whale Research/Rescue Safari”. Lily is a luxury whale watching vessel that is also specially equipped to rescue entangled whales and dolphins as well as conduct photographic recapture research. Lily is completely equipped to respond at a moment’s notice to a whale in distress. She can host and feed an entire rescue team and stay with the whale for days until the whale is successfully disentangled. Lily’s special features include an underwater ROV (remote operated vehicle) aerial vehicle (Drone), steerable pole-mounted underwater camera, hydrophone, and live broadcasting of whale watching trips and rescues.

Lily, a Gray Whale Tribute with Special Presentation Capt. Dave
Saturday, March 8
1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
24440 Dana Point Harbor Drive, Directions
Free Admission

Every year gray whales migrate 10,000 to 12,000 miles from their feeding grounds in the Chukchi and Bering Seas off of Alaska to the warm lagoons of Baja, California, to mate and have their calves. The whales often use Dana Point’s Headlands as a landmark on their annual journey. During their migration gray whales face many challenges including killer whales and entanglement in gill nets. Entanglement takes the lives of nearly 1,000 dolphins and whales ever day around the world.

Captain Dave formed Orange County’s first whale disentanglement group in 2008 and has been involved in disentangling several whales, including a gray whale named Lily, whose disentanglement in Dana Point Harbor made national headlines. He authored the award-winning book, “Lily, A Gray Whale’s Odyssey”, which won eight awards in 2013 including the prestigious Benjamin Franklin award for Best New Voice from the Independent Book Publishers Association. “Lily” is a captivating and scientifically accurate tale of a gray whale’s migration with breathtaking photographs. The Ellen Show and CBS Morning News have featured Captain Dave for his conservation efforts. Captain Dave’s Dolphin & Whale Watching Safari is the second commercial operation in the United States to be licensed by the government to help whales in trouble.

Held the first two weekends of March, the Dana Point Festival of Whales began 43 years ago as an annual community event and now attracts nearly 100,000 visitors each year. Residents and visitors celebrate migrating gray whales and other marine wildlife with ocean-themed activities and presentations emphasizing education and environmental responsibility.