Every March the City of Dana Point celebrates the appearance of migrating Gray Whales during the #FestivalofWhales. This year there have already been several sightings in So Cal.
Thanks to Dana Wharf Whale Watching for hosting members of my family on this excursion.
I love how many opportunities Southern California has to slip through a door, into an alternative universe. Dip down into a canyon behind a busy strip mall and you might see mountain lion tracks and ancient sprawling oaks that mask the sounds and sights of powerlines and nearby civilization. Hop on a boat out of Dana Point Harbor and sail into the mist for ten minutes and you’ll likely be seeing dolphins cavorting.
We get so caught up in our Starbucks runs and commuter routes, that it’s easy to lose touch with nature and the beauty that surrounds us here. So I’d like to thank the whales, steadfast in their own commuter routes, for reminding us to vary from our usual path. And also the dolphins, for always being in such a good mood.
Some advice for Whale Watchers:
Pack a sweatshirt or jacket and/or hat. Bring binoculars and a good camera if you want to get photos. Sunscreen up before you go and get to the dock early (leave ample time for parking) if you want to snag a seat on the boat. The boats are not crowded and everyone has a great view but latecomers might not have a seat. You might not care however, if you are like us and find yourself chasing dolphins from one side of the boat to the other.
Whale sightings have been very consistent but we did not get lucky on our cruise. Apparently it was the first time in 3 weeks that no whales were sighted. No sad face here though. We got a “Whale Check” ticket back from Dana Wharf Whalewatching, allowing us to go out again anytime in the future. The way I see it, it’s like a twofer. Half of the fun was the adventure. We cannot wait to go again next month. My teenagers are planning additional trips out with their friends.
We did catch several glimpses of dolphins on our two hour cruise.
And we got inspired by all the paddleboarders and kayakers. We have to come back and try this out soon!
Now is the time to book your Whale Watching trip! The festival and festivities take place for two weekend, March 5-6 & March 12-13. You can see all the great things to do (from Marine Mammal lectures and Art events, to Drone flying, Car, Music and Foodie fun) in the event schedule on the Dana Pt Festival of Whales site.
Dana Point Harbor is one of my favorite places to stroll, any time of year. Just seeing and being on boats, even briefly makes me feel like I am on vacation.
We can’t wait to go back and visit again during the festival!