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Sightings Log

For Capt. Dave’s Dolphin & Whale Watching Safari

Monthly dolphin and whale sightings-at-a-glance plus our whale watching sightings log, updated daily.

Extremely up close Humpback Whale tail
Humpback whale, by staff photographer Steve Plantz, during our whale watching safari.

2017 Whale Watching Stats At-A-Glance

Gray Whales

Blue Whales

Humpback Whales

Dolphins

Sightings Log

For Capt. Dave’s Dolphin & Whale Watching Safari

Monthly dolphin and whale sightings-at-a-glance plus our whale watching sightings log, updated daily.

When is the best time to see whales in California?

You can see whales and dolphins off the coast of Dana Point, California, all year long!

May through November you can see blue whales, humpback whales, fin whales, and more. Between December and May, Dana Point whale watchers can see migrating gray whales, as well as fin whales, humpback whales, minke whales, and more. All year round several species of dolphins can be viewed, sometimes in mega-pods as large as 10,000! And throughout the year, rare species of whales and dolphins such as orcas (killer whales), Bryde’s whales, pilot whales, and sperm whales could be seen. Southern California has more dolphins and more blue whales than anywhere else in the world.

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Dolphin & Whale Sightings, By Month

Frequently Seen in January:

Dolphins: Bottlenose Dolphins, Common Dolphins, Pacific White-sided Dolphins, Risso’s Dolphins

Whales: Fin Whales, Gray Whales, Minke Whales

Other: Pelagic Birds, Sea Lions

Infrequently Seen in January:

Whales: Humpback Whales, False Killer Whales, Orcas (Killer Whales), Pilot Whales

Other: Elephant Seals, Harbor Seals, Mola Mola, Sharks

Frequently Seen in February:

Dolphins: Bottlenose Dolphins, Common Dolphins, Pacific White-sided Dolphins, Risso’s Dolphins

Whales: Fin Whales, Gray Whales, Minke Whales

Other: Pelagic Birds, Sea Lions

Infrequently Seen in February:

Whales: Humpback Whales, False Killer Whales, Orcas (Killer Whales), Pilot Whales

Other: Elephant Seals, Harbor Seals, Mola Mola, Sharks

Frequently Seen in March:

Dolphins: Bottlenose Dolphins, Common Dolphins, Pacific White-sided Dolphins, Risso’s Dolphins

Whales: Fin Whales, Gray Whales, Humpback Whales, Minke Whales

Other: Pelagic Birds, Sea Lions

Infrequently Seen in March:

Whales: Blue Whales, Gray Whales with Calves, False Killer Whales, Orcas (Killer Whales), Pilot Whales

Other: Elephant Seals, Harbor Seals, Mola Mola, Sharks

Frequently Seen in April:

Dolphins: Bottlenose Dolphins, Common Dolphins, Pacific White-sided Dolphins, Risso’s Dolphins

Whales: Fin Whales, Gray Whales with Calves, Humpback Whales, Minke Whales

Other: Pelagic Birds, Sea Lions

Infrequently Seen in April:

Whales: Blue Whales, False Killer Whales, Orcas (Killer Whales), Pilot Whales

Other: Elephant Seals, Harbor Seals, Mola Mola, Sharks

Frequently Seen in May:

Dolphins: Bottlenose Dolphins, Common Dolphins, Pacific White-sided Dolphins, Risso’s Dolphins

Whales: Blue Whales, Fin Whales, Gray Whales with Calves, Humpback Whales, Minke Whales

Other: Pelagic Birds, Sea Lions

Infrequently Seen in May:

Whales: False Killer Whales, Orcas (Killer Whales), Pilot Whales

Other: Elephant Seals, Harbor Seals, Mola Mola, Sharks

Frequently Seen in June:

Dolphins: Bottlenose Dolphins, Common Dolphins, Risso’s Dolphins

Whales: Blue Whales, Fin Whales, Humpback Whales, Minke Whales

Other: Mola Mola, Pelagic Birds, Sea Lions

Infrequently Seen in June:

Dolphins: Pacific White-sided Dolphins

Whales: Bryde’s Whales, False Killer Whales, Gray Whales, Orcas (Killer Whale), Pilot Whales Sei Whales

Other: Elephant Seals, Harbor Seals, Sharks

Frequently Seen in July:

Dolphins: Bottlenose Dolphins, Common Dolphins, Risso’s Dolphins

Whales: Blue Whales, Fin Whales, Humpback Whales, Minke Whales

Other: Mola Mola, Pelagic Birds, Sea Lions, Sharks

Infrequently Seen in July:

Dolphins: Pacific White-sided Dolphins

Whales: Bryde’s Whales, False Killer Whales, Orcas (Killer Whales), Pilot Whales, Sei Whales

Other: Elephant Seals, Harbor Seals

Frequently Seen in August:

Dolphins: Bottlenose Dolphins, Common Dolphins, Risso’s Dolphins

Whales: Blue Whales, Fin Whales, Humpback Whales, Minke Whales

Other: Mola Mola, Pelagic Birds, Sea Lions, Sharks

Infrequently Seen in August:

Dolphins: Pacific White-sided Dolphins

Whales: Bryde’s Whales, False Killer Whales, Orcas (Killer Whales), Pilot Whales, Sei Whales

Other: Elephant Seals, Harbor Seals

Frequently Seen in September:

Dolphins: Bottlenose Dolphins, Common Dolphins, Risso’s Dolphins

Whales: Blue Whales, Fin Whales, Humpback Whales, Minke Whales

Other: Mola Mola, Pelagic Birds, Sea Lions, Sharks

Infrequently Seen in September:

Dolphins: Pacific White-sided Dolphins

Whales: Bryde’s Whales, False Killer Whales, Orcas (Killer Whales), Pilot Whales, Sei Whales

Other: Elephant Seals, Harbor Seals

Frequently Seen in October:

Dolphins: Bottlenose Dolphins, Common Dolphins, Risso’s Dolphins

Whales: Blue Whales, Fin Whales, Humpback Whales, Minke Whales

Other: Pelagic Birds, Sea Lions

Infrequently Seen in October:

Dolphins: Pacific White-sided Dolphins

Whales: False Killer Whales, Orcas (Killer Whales), Pilot Whales, Sei Whales

Other: Elephant Seals, Harbor Seals, Mola Mola, Sharks

Frequently Seen in November:

Dolphins: Bottlenose Dolphins, Common Dolphins, Risso’s Dolphins

Whales: Fin Whales, Humpback Whales, Minke Whales

Other: Pelagic Birds, Sea Lions

Infrequently Seen in November:

Dolphins: Pacific White-sided Dolphins

Whales: Blue Whales, False Killer Whales, Gray Whales, Orcas (Killer Whales), Pilot Whales

Other: Elephant Seals, Harbor Seals, Mola Mola, Sharks

Frequently Seen in December:

Dolphins: Bottlenose Dolphins, Common Dolphins, Pacific White-sided Dolphins, Risso’s Dolphins

Whales: Fin Whales, Gray Whales, Minke Whales

Other: Pelagic Birds, Sea Lions

Infrequently Seen in December:

Whales: Blue Whales, False Killer Whales, Humpback Whales, Orcas (Killer Whales),  Pilot Whales

Other: Elephant Seals, Harbor Seals, Mola Mola, Sharks

Current Daily Sightings Log

DateNo. of TripsSightings
Jan 1849 Gray Whales (Including Cow/Calf), 24 Pacific White-sided Dolphins
Jan 1712 Gray Whales (Cow/Calf), 100 Common Dolphins, 10 Pacific White-sided Dolphins
Jan 1625 Gray Whales (Including Cow/Calf), 12 Pacific White-sided Dolphins
Jan 1522 Gray Whales, 30 Pacific White-sided Dolphins
Jan 1423 Gray Whales, 300 Common Dolphins
Jan 1334 Gray Whales, 45 Pacific White-sided Dolphins
Jan 121No Sightings
Jan 1122 Gray Whales, 25 Common Dolphins, 20 Pacific White-sided Dolphins
Jan 1011 Gray Whale
Jan 90Inclement Weather
Jan 811 Gray Whale, 3 Pacific White-sided Dolphins
Jan 722 Humpback Whales, 2 Gray Whales (Cow/Calf), 80 Common Dolphins, 50 Pacific White-sided Dolphins
Jan 646 Gray Whales (Cow/Calf), 30 Common Dolphins, 15 Pacific White-sided Dolphins, 3 Bottlenose Dolphins
Jan 51No Sightings
Jan 442 Humpback Whales, 2 Gray Whales, 775 Common Dolphins, 55 Pacific White-sided Dolphins
Jan 324 Gray Whales, 200 Common Dolphins, 4 Pacific White-sided Dolphins
Jan 222 Gray Whales, 50 Pacific White-sided Dolphins, 22 Bottlenose Dolphins
Jan 11No Sightings
Dec 3165 Gray Whales, 510 Common Dolphins, 8 Pacific White-sided Dolphins
Dec 3083 Gray Whales, 900 Common Dolphins, 150 Pacific White-sided Dolphins, 6 Bottlenose Dolphins
Dec 2973 Gray Whales, 2,950 Common Dolphins, 18 Pacific White-sided Dolphins, 10 Bottlenose Dolphins
Dec 2887 Gray Whales, 100 Common Dolphins, 32 Pacific White-sided Dolphins
Dec 274400 Common Dolphins
Dec 2656 Gray Whales, 905 Common Dolphins, 35 Pacific White-sided Dolphins, 8 Bottlenose Dolphins
Dec 250Closed - Merry Christmas!
Dec 2423 Gray Whales, 1,650 Common Dolphins, 7 Bottlenose Dolphins
Dec 2345 Gray Whales, 700 Common Dolphins, 4 Bottlenose Dolphins
Dec 2231 Gray Whale, 75 Common Dolphins, 15 Pacific White-sided Dolphins, 7 Bottlenose Dolphins
Dec 2122 Humpback Whales
Dec 203400 Common Dolphins
Dec 1911 Gray Whale, 57 Pacific White-sided Dolphins
Dec 1811 Fin Whale, 300 Common Dolphins
Dec 172470 Common Dolphins, 18 Risso's Dolphins
Dec 163300 Common Dolphins
Dec 151300 Common Dolphins
Dec 141100 Common Dolphins, 75 Pacific White-sided Dolphins, 2 Bottlenose Dolphins
Dec 1313 Humpback Whales, 200 Common Dolphins
Dec 1211 Humpback Whale, 200 Common Dolphins
Dec 1112 Humpback Whales, 100 Common Dolphins
Dec 1015 Humpbacks Whales, 200 Common Dolphins
Dec 9213 Humpback Whales, 2,000 Common Dolphins
Dec 8228 Humpback Whales, 2,500 Common Dolphins
Dec 7321 Humpback Whales, 2,300 Common Dolphins
Dec 623 Gray Whales, 500 Common Dolphins
Dec 51200 Common Dolphins
Dec 411 Humpback Whale, 300 Common Dolphins
Dec 31200 Common Dolphins
Dec 22800 Common Dolphins
Dec 111 Fin Whale, 300 Common Dolphins

Sightings Archive

We have a daily record of our dolphin and whale watching sightings dating back to 2002. View our sightings archive.

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All sightings on this page and elsewhere on this website are copyrighted and may not be used without written permission from David Anderson. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use of this information is a violation of federal copyright law and is subject to prosecution to the full extent of the law.