About Us: The Story of How it All Began

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Captain Dave’s Dolphin and Whale Watching Safari is passionately owned and operated by husband and wife team, Captain Dave Anderson (“Captain Dave”), who is Coast Guard licensed, and his wife Gisele (Mrs. Captain Dave). For over twenty years, they have been taking people sailing to enjoy the company of some of the most magnificent marine mammals on the planet. Whether guiding families on one of their tours, hosting private parties, educating school groups, or entertaining celebrities, they’ve had the pleasure of introducing thousands of people from all around the world to the wonders of Dana Point—the Dolphin and Whale Watching Capital of the World®.

Why would a couple dedicate themselves to a life on and around the water? Because, for them,  nothing compares to sharing the incredible beauty and natural wonders of sea life. Being able to provide people with lifelong memories, not to mention seeing guests awestruck as they pass right by a pod of dolphins for the first time or encounter an enormous blue whale, is a source of pride and endless joy.

Love at First Sail

Captain Dave and Gisele met sailing in the 1990s. Sailing wasn’t just a past-time for Dave, though, it had been his dream to make a living taking people out on his boat. And so began Captain Dave’s Dolphin and Whale Watching Safari. Soon, Gisele jumped on board with brownies and her business expertise and warm, friendly nature. Dave says she is the organization behind the organization. Her help enabled the business to grow into the year-round adventure that Californians and tourists have come to know and love today.

With Gisele’s love and support, Captain Dave was also able to complete an acclaimed documentary, “Wild Dolphins & Whales of Southern California.” This film garnered an astounding seven awards at the International Wildlife Film Festival. Captain Dave has since published a highly-awarded book as well, “Lily, A Gray Whale’s Odyssey”—a fictional account of a gray whale’s migration journey that is based on scientific research and actual events.

Keeping Dana Point Beautiful

Having developed a passion for marine conservation through the boat tours and film-making process, Captain Dave initiated Orange County’s first whale disentanglement team in 2008. He continues to raise awareness of the hundreds of whales and dolphins that die in fishing-gear entanglements every day.

Captain Dave’s Dolphin and Whale Watching Safari team is also proud to host beach clean-ups in Southern California to keep plastic and trash out of our oceans. Reef-safe sunscreen is also offered onboard to protect guests’ skin without hurting the wildlife in and around Dana Point. You can learn more about the various ways in which the company contributes by reading our comprehensive giving back page.

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Now, with more than two decades in the business, Mr. and Mrs. Captain Dave continue to spend their days taking romantic ocean cruises (well… and guiding them, too!) and enjoying batch after batch of Mrs. Captain Dave’s mouth-watering Triple Fudge Brownies. Yum!

Captain Dave’s Dolphin and Whale Watching Safari team would like to invite you to one of our famous whale watching tours and see what our passion for marine mammals is all about. The proceeds from every ticket purchased helps to preserve this magnificent area for future generations. And you never know—it might even change your life!

Please give us a call with your questions and comments, and book a tour online to come face-to-face the breathtaking wildlife at Dana Point—The Dolphin and Whale Watching Capital of the World®.