Dana Wharf Sportfishing spotted the first official gray whale on one of its whale watching trips recently.
Gray whales are what made Dana Point famous and Dana Wharf was the first to offer whale watching trips to see them in Orange County in 1971.
Gray whale migration is one of the longest mammalian odysseys on the planet. These 45-foot gentle giants swim up to 14,000 miles round trip, leaving their feeding grounds in the Bering and Chukchi Seas and heading south for their mating and calving lagoons in Baja California, Mexico. In the safety of these calm lagoons, newborn calves acquire a critical layer of fat from mother’s milk, so they can survive the long return journey northward, closely escorted by their mothers. During migration, gray whales of this eastern Pacific population can be seen swimming offshore (3-6 mph on average) with the naked eye or binoculars. But to get close enough for a whiff of their blow mist, you need a boat.
Dana Point is known as a landmark for whale sightings, and watching them can be an unforgettable experience during their natural migration. The “grays” have been known to spy hop, breach, and fluke as they make their way toward warmer waters for the winter.
Whale watching cruises provide the chance to see these beautiful creatures as well as large pods of dolphin, sea lions, birds and other exciting marine life. Unlike other marine mammals gray whales are only here for a short few months. Expert captains narrate each excursion, detailing the whales’ movements through their natural migration path.
Every trip is a new and different adventure, but all showcase the beauty of the Pacific Ocean world right here, off the coast of Dana Point.
In February, there will be an exclusive WYLAND whale watching program. Wyland, the renowned environmental artist has teamed up with Dana Wharf’s, Ocean Adventure Catamaran to offer Wyland Dolphin and Whale Adventures, “Art Lessons in the Wild.”
Passengers learn how marine wildlife inspired Wyland to create some of the best-known paintings and sculptures of our lifetime. Before each Wyland Whale and Dolphin Adventure children will get an art lesson from Wyland via video feed, and all children’s art will be entered into a contest to win prizes.
The mission of Wyland’s foundation is to give children the tools they need to become more creative, positive, and solution-oriented through public art programs.
For more on the foundation visit http://www.wylandfoundation.org.