Today, I headed out on my first trip with Gone Whale Watching out of San Diego. We were the only group on the boat for an 8+ hour trip which left just after sunrise.
It was a dark and cloudy morning as we headed northwest from Mission Bay in search of wildlife. We hadn’t been out long before we spotted spouts to the east of us. As we approached, we were able to count 7 humpback whales.
The whales were traveling south, likely on their way to their breeding grounds. There appeared to be one calf in the group.
We saw many fluke dives as the whales moved parallel to us. The humpbacks would typically surface together for a few breaths, then dive in synchrony.
We eventually left the humpbacks and headed out in search of other animals. After a while we came across a large group of Common Dolphins displaying feeding and aerial behaviors. There were lots of black-vented shearwaters in the area as well.
In this area we spotted a single humpback. It tail slapped once.
As we approached it, I was able to get photographs indicating a previous entanglement.
Next we spotted a group of Risso’s dolphins.
Close by, we also spotted some pelagic Bottlenose Dolphins. They were bowriding and displaying social behaviors underwater.
We spent the last few hours of our trip with a huge group of common dolphins, black-vented shearwaters, and many other seabirds. They were all feeding near a humpback whale.
After over 8 incredible hours on the water, we returned to Mission Bay. I can’t wait to head back out again soon!
This post was adapted from a blog, read the original here