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Welcome Aboard “Manute’a”

Home of the Underwater Viewing Pods, SoCal’s Favorite Whale Watching Boat!

Manute’a (pronounced mah-noo-tay-ah) offers the world’s most incredible and unique dolphin and whale watching experience. An intimate glimpse into the lives of dolphins & whales via our world famous underwater viewing pods and more.

Manute’a is available for daily public whale watching trips, private charters, and burials at sea.

Manute’a is a high tech, high speed catamaran, featuring two Eye-to Eye (and fin-to-fin) Underwater Viewing Pods, a research hydrophone to listen to dolphin and whale vocalizations, three Eye-Spy Dolphin Tram Nets and a micro dolphin and whale museum.

U.S. Coast Guard certified, Manute’a carries up to 49 happy passengers with plenty of elbow room and comfortable seating for all.  Never crowded, always cozy.

BE one of the pod and feel what’s it’s like to swim with dolphins and whales without getting wet in our Eye-to Eye-Underwater Viewing Pods! Each pod has glass windows on both sides, allowing you to get aquatically acquainted with your new bosom buddies below the sea. Capt. Dave’s Underwater Viewing Pods can usually accommodate up to two adults or three children at a time.

Gray whale, upside down, seen from Eye-to-Eye Underwater Viewing Pod

Gray whale, upside down, seen from Eye-to-Eye Underwater Viewing Pod.

I visited family in CA for the holiday and one of the days we went out whale watching. We had such a wonderful experience. The crew was very nice and extremely knowledgeable. My entire family had a great time. The viewing pod was INSANE!!! I felt like I was swimming with the dolphins they were so close and could hear them as well!! Highly recommend. – Via Yelp

Sadie B.

Manute’a also has a covered cabin area for protection from the elements, two bathrooms and cushioned seating. Her exceptional open-air layout offers panoramic views from almost every spot!

During your dolphin and whale watching safari experienced marine naturalists will interact with guests, sharing fun facts and dolphin and whale artifacts.

And Mrs. Capt. Dave’s legendary, delicious Triple Fudge Brownies are served with our compliments after every excursion.

Public Whale Watching

2.5-Hour Signature Safari

Adults: $65 each.

Children, ages 1 – 12: $45 each.

Infants, up to 12 months: $20 each.

Private Charter

2.5-Hour* Private Charter

$2,790 plus $300 gratuity.

*Other options available.

Please call 949-488-2828 to reserve.

Burial at Sea

1 hour: $1,040 plus $120 gratuity.

Each additional 30 minutes is $520 plus gratuity.

Please call 949-488-2828 to reserve.

Hear Dolphins Speak with Capt. Dave’s Hydrophone!

Capt. Dave’s stylized, ultra sensitive hydrophone captures the surreal sounds and conversations among our friends in the deep like none other.  Not your average hydrophone, Capt. Dave’s model is customized, research quality, and filters out engine noise and water sounds. This means the boat can continue moving while we are still among the pod. A multi-dimensional, personal experience you’ll want to post about to friends and family!

Picture this — a thousand dolphins are swimming directly at you. You hear their splish-splashes as they near you. Your eyes wander from dolphin to dolphin unable to focus on one before they are underwater again and another appears your heart races, time stops, you want to tell somebody what you are seeing it is so surreal. Couldn’t get any better right? Wrong! You’re only experiencing half of what is going on. Imagine that same scenario with a hydrophone, (an underwater microphone), in the water.

Manute’a Reviews

My family spent a week in Southern California and this was the favorite part of our trip. I would give this 6 stars if I could! We took a Thursday morning cruise and saw tons of dolphins. The underwater viewing pods are really neat. You can see and hear the dolphins swimming underwater along the bow of the boat. We also saw a giant humpback whale swimming up north. The trip is also very educational because Captain Dave has a naturalist on board to give you information on the animals you see. I definitely recommend the morning trip because there are fewer boats on the water then. – Via TripAdvisor


What a great trip! I have been whale watching many times, but this was by far the most fun. Our kids LOVED the front of the boat with the suspended netting and the underwater viewing. We got up close to a humpback whale and a huge pod of dolphins. Fun, fun and more fun. I bet this will be a big highlight of our trip when we ask the kids what was their favorite. – Via Yelp

Carlie M.

Helping us prove once again that being disabled does not mean you stop living!

I found this group on Facebook! Was not sure my husband who is paralyzed on his left side as the result of a Stroke could have this experience. From the first phone call and forward the group at Captain Dave’s Dolphin and Whale Safari put all of our concerns to rest! The team at Captain Dave’s were so helpful and made our trip one of the best experiences of our lives! The boat was wonderful and the captain and crew were knowledgeable and fun! We saw Whales and Dolphins! I have already recommended this trip to my friends!! – Via TripAdvisor