Out to Sea with Dana Wharf Whale Watching

Here’s the thing. I don’t really like boats. I have a propensity to get seasick and am kind of nervous out on the water. So when I was invited by Dana Wharf Sportfishing & Whale Watching to take one of their cruises my gut reaction was to decline. But I’m not one to shy away from a challenge and I decided that since I live in a coastal area I’d better get over my boat issue. So I armed myself with a ton of ginger (nature’s Dramamine), grabbed my two best pals and headed out to sea.


Our adventure started bright and early one Saturday morning when we made our way to Dana Wharf headquarters at Dana Point Marina. Dana Point is a quaint coastal town that, though an Orange County native, I’ve rarely visited. Located in the south of the county it’s an idyllic spot with a bustling marina.


After checking in we strolled around the area admiring the boats and listening to the barks of the resident sea lions. It was a beautiful morning and before I knew it it was time to depart.


Our boat was the Ocean Adventures, the newest vessel in Dana Wharf’s fleet. A 63′ catamaran it had a large viewing deck and roomy cabin with a full snack bar. It was also spotlessly clean and a pleasant home for our two hour trip.

The first leg took us a few miles from shore where we met a a friendly group of Bottlenose Dolphins. Now, ‘I’ve been lucky enough to have seen multiple dolphins over my lifetime yet they never cease to amaze me. This particular group was especially impressive leaping in the air and swimming right up to the boat. There was even a baby dolphin and it was oh so cute! It would occasionally leap out of the water with its mom and it was one of the cutest things I’ve ever seen.

Unfortunately, the dolphins are pretty speedy and this is the best shot I could manage.


Luckily, Dana Wharf has a better image to give you a gist of what I saw.


After spending some time with the dolphins we headed further out to the continental shelf where the sea floor drops from 100 to 1000 feet deep. Here were were on the hunt for whales. Humpback whales have been hanging around the area this summer and we were hoping to spot one. Well…I guess they decided to sleep in because there were none to be found that morning. After a thorough search, we headed back to shore running into our dolphin friends who entertained us on our way back to the marina.

Even though we didn’t see any whales I had a wonderful voyage. It was a beautiful, sunny day on the sea and the trip was very pleasant. The crew was super friendly and kept us entertained the entire time by providing interesting facts about the sea creatures and even serenading us accompanied by a ukulele. AND I didn’t get seasick. In fact, I was very happy the entire time and my boat issue is slowly but surely eroding. Dana Wharf now offers Shark Search Saturdays where they hunt for sharks instead of whales. Last week they spotted Great Whites! I think I may soon be ready for another trip.


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