As seen weekly in the Dana Point News/Orange County Register
September 29, 2005
A small gray whale, 15-20 foot long, spent over an hour swimming around inside Dana Point harbor on Monday. Peter Heistand on board the RV Sea Explorer called me on my cell phone to tell me that the whale had been spotted by some folks at the Ocean Institute right out in front of their buildings inside the harbor. Catie Graver with the Ocean Institute went out in a Boston Whaler and followed the whale. According to Catie the small whale roamed the harbor going back and forth between the group and youth facility and the Dana Point Yacht Club and then started heading out where Peter saw it as well. After about an hour the whale, probably a calf or yearling left and headed slowly up the coast. Last year we had several small gray whales seen in this area out of season, mostly in the summer, (they are normally seen Dec-April in this area). Is this a new trend? Do we have year round resident gray whales? This is possible, since there are residents in other areas of their migration route, but as of now it is still a mystery.
We saw a lot of common dolphin this week. One pod of about a thousand came about 1.7 miles from the harbor, this is very close for a big pod of common dolphins. We are still seeing lots of small calves in the pods.
We didn’t see any blue whales nor have I heard any reports of any locally, but we did see some Mola molas (ocean Sunfish) last week. We actually had some thunderstorms last week too – which was a bit unusual. See photo of Dana Point headlands at sunset after the storm.
We saw coastal bottlenose this week and we still saw occasional areas of red tide – it never seems to go away for long. See photo of a pod of common dolphins in the never- ending red tide. Saw quite a few dead jellyfish out there too.
Make reservations with us for Sunday, October 2nd, we are donating all the profits that day to disaster relief for hurricane Katrina victims. We’ve heard from some people that they feel funny going out and enjoying our Dolphin Safari when so many are suffering, but this is a way for you to help. Come on out! The money will go directly to the American Red Cross or Samaritans purse. Even My first mate Tom is donating his workday, as well as myself and others. Donate as much or as little as you like, but join us, it’s good for you and others too – it’s a win, win for all.
Well that’s all there is till next week. God bless. This is Capt. Dave, over and out.
Capt. Dave Anderson runs Capt. Dave’s Dolphin Safari out of Dana Point Harbor. He recently completed the award winning documentary film “Wild Dolphins and Whales of Southern California.” Capt. Dave will be sharing his photos and stories and letting us know what he and other skippers are seeing off the Orange County coast. For a daily log of sightings see www.dolphinsafari.com.