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Capt. Dave’s Ocean Report 08/04/05

As seen weekly in the Dana Point News/Orange County Register

August 4, 2005

We are still seeing lots of common dolphins and many calves.

Is the red tide is over? I don’t know, maybe. Well it is certainly gone most of the time.

No blue whales spotted nearby but I got a report from a swordfish spotter pilot friend, Darren, that there were over 20 blue whales off San Clemente Island – I hope they head this way. It looks like we may be having a slow year for blues compared to the last two years, but about normal for what we had in prior years.

I don’t usually talk about the passengers but I thought I would give you a little sample of the kind of interactions that we regularly encounter with our guests using this week as an example: We had a 6 year old named Alex this week who could answer nearly every question I asked about dolphins and whales, even naming all five species of dolphin found in this area. I thought I discovered the secret of his intelligence when I stumped him on a “what is this” question. Alex could not tell me what I was holding up. His mom kept flicking him in the ear – aha I thought, violence is the answer. But when I asked her why she was flicking his ear she said it was a clue – (I was holding up a fin whales ear bone). The next trip I had a ten year old with incurable brain cancer, which I learned about from a casual remark her mom made about her going to swim with dolphins courtesy of the make a wish foundation. On our first trip that same day one of our passengers decided to go for coffee just as we were boarding, leaving the remainder of her group and 23 passengers and two crew ready to go – waiting for her return. On our third trip that day we had a gal decide she needed to purchase sunglasses just as we were boarding. We also had a family get stuck in traffic on the freeway. They were twenty- five minutes away according to their friends on board. I told them I was sorry but it was too long for us to wait. They said they understood and shared with me that these folks had already been on the road over two and a half hours to go on our trip and that they were only coming for our Safari and then were driving back home. It was our last trip of the day so I was willing to let my passengers decide their fate.

They could all wait twenty five minutes for two people, who left in plenty of time but through no fault of there own got stuck in an unusual traffic jam, (but were moving fine now). Or we could go and let them turn round and drive back home – wasting five hours on the freeway. My first mate Tom and I were willing to make our wives wait for dinner, but would all these other folks be so generous with their time. Well, this fine group not only waited cheerfully for them but several of them even tipped us at the end of trip. Surprisingly the late arrivals were not among the tippers – thought they were grateful.

Well, that’s it – till next week. May God richly bless you. Capt. Dave, over and out.

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