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Reviewed 22 April 2017 via mobile

I'd heard about the Fast Cat adventure last year, and wanted to try it ever since. The cost was certainly higher than your average whale watching tour, but this trip was worth every penny. I think this is going to be an annual thing for my husband and I. We had so much fun. The Fast Cat is the Zodiac adventure where you're right on the water. With such a small boat and group size, you're not limited to seeing off one side of the boat. You can see all around.

Our captain, Marie, got us right to a huge pod of dolphins. Once surrounded, she slowed, allowing everyone to take turns looking over the bow of the boat. Here you can see the Dolphins so close that you can practically touch them. I wouldn't be surprised if some people actually did. You are that close.

Captain Marie then located two greys, a mom and calf. We spent a good twenty minutes watching them.

The boat ride itself is exciting. Lots of speeding and bumps. We were prepared to get wet, but we didn't.

If you only make one whale watching trip, it should be with Captain Dave's. The other ships they have look awesome too. I'm happy we did the fast cat though.

Date of experience: April 2017
1  Thank thewinsomewench
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CaptDavesWhaleSafari, Owner at Capt. Dave's Dolphin & Whale Watching Safari, responded to this reviewResponded 20 November 2017

Hi,
Thanks for your review and photos! I’m thrilled you had an amazing, exciting time on board our high-speed catamaran Fast Cat. I’m so glad you liked the super close proximity to the water, and the more intimate experience with only 12 passengers total on the boat. It’s wonderful you had memorable encounters with a Gray Whale family and the lively wild dolphins. We love getting our guests as up close as we can with these marvelous marine mammals, even within arm’s reach, while maintaining a safe and respectful distance from the animals. Thank you for coming out with us. I hope you can join us again soon, and perhaps try out our other unique boats as well!

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Reviewed 18 April 2017 via mobile

Highly recommend. My wife & I are as much water people as you can be in middle America for many years. Trip was exciting, educational & much fun. Watching kids reaction to watching the dolphins & helping drive the boat was a blast. Very professional, knowledgeable & entertaining crew. Definitely do again.

Date of experience: April 2017
Thank tombV4853BO
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CaptDavesWhaleSafari, Owner at Capt. Dave's Dolphin & Whale Watching Safari, responded to this reviewResponded 19 November 2017

Hi,
Thanks very much for your review and recommendation. It’s so great to read what a wonderful outing you had with Capt. Dave’s Dolphin & Whale Watching Safari. Sounds like you and your wife had an unforgettable time viewing and learning about the fascinating wild dolphins in their own environment. I’m very pleased that you were satisfied with our crew. I hope you can come out with us again soon!

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Reviewed 16 April 2017

As part of a Spring Break trip to Southern California, I decided to take my teen/tween kids to do something outdoors and not associated with a theme park. Whale watching was the answer. After a fair amount of online research, I decided that Capt. Dave's seemed like the best choice, despite being a bit more expensive than other tours. We were not disappointed! The "I'm too cool for this" kids absolutely loved the experience (as did I) and could not stop talking about it afterwards. The really nice thing that makes this tour different is being on a catamaran with the "deck" being an open net that lets you get splashed, see the dolphins swim beneath your feet, and not feel like you are crowded. The crew was outstanding, friendly, and very safety conscious. I highly recommend it and will go back again.

Date of experience: April 2017
Thank botman2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CaptDavesWhaleSafari, Owner at Capt. Dave's Dolphin & Whale Watching Safari, responded to this reviewResponded 19 November 2017

Hi,
Thank you so much for your review, and for choosing to include Capt. Dave’s as part of your Spring Break vacation. I’m thrilled that the dolphin and whale watching experience was engaging and memorable for everyone in your family. I love reading how much you liked our unique catamaran Manute’a, with the Eye-Spy Dolphin Netting in the bow and the Underwater Viewing Pods. It is possible to get splashed on the bow of the boat, but guests can also stay totally dry in other areas of the boat and still have great sightings. And we do limit the number of passengers on board so I’m glad you were comfortable as you viewed the dolphins and whales up-close. Thanks for your recommendation and the positive words about our crew. We’d love to see you again soon!

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Reviewed 13 April 2017

What a great idea to take visitors from out of town or friends/family who have or have not done whale watching to join Capt. Dave's Dolphin & Whale Watching Safari! A unique experience run by great !captains and crew... and delicious brownies at the end to top it off. Even if you do not see as many animals as you hoped the trip is educatiing and just fun!
Great time to relax and enjoy the ocean's wonderful wonders!

Date of experience: April 2017
Thank Linda T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CaptDavesWhaleSafari, Owner at Capt. Dave's Dolphin & Whale Watching Safari, responded to this reviewResponded 19 November 2017

Hi,
Thanks for your review. I’m happy you had a fun and educational dolphin and whale watching safari with Capt. Dave’s. It’s nice to read that you liked our captains and crew, and enjoyed Mrs. Capt. Dave’s delicious, complimentary triple-fudge brownies at the end of the trip. We appreciate your kind words and we look forward to your next visit with us!

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Reviewed 13 April 2017

Capt. Dave's was recommended to us by the hotel we were staying at in Newport Beach. After reviewing their website as well as a few other whale watching tours in the area we felt Capt. Dave's was what we were looking for. Best decision ever!! We booked online and received a phone call a few hours later that our tour was confirmed and extra details about our tour. (arrival time, snacks we could bring, clothes, etc.) The day was perfect - not to hot or cold. The crew did a great job preparing us with instructions as we headed out and information about the types of dolphins, whales, sea lions and brown pelicans, etc. We first encountered the common dolphins a few at first from a distance and then literally thousands in pods. They would play, jump and splash us along side the boat as we traveled. I cannot even explain the excitement of seeing so many dolphins playfully swimming along side us. We could literally touch them. We were really wanted to do the whale watching and were informed early on that no tour had seen any that day - never a guarantee but they do the best they can at finding them. Towards the end of our tour someone spotted the blows of the whales and off we went chasing them. It was so exciting to see the only 3 humpback whales of the day! We followed them for about 45 minutes as they headed further out to sea. This was one of the most exciting excursions of our vacation. There were people from as young as 5 to 90. Safe for all ages, educational, interactive and just plain fun! I would HIGHLY recommend Capt. Dave's if you are in the area!!

Date of experience: March 2017
Thank Jennifer W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CaptDavesWhaleSafari, Owner at Capt. Dave's Dolphin & Whale Watching Safari, responded to this reviewResponded 20 November 2017

Hi,
Thank you for your review and for posting the beautiful photos. I’m so pleased that you and your family were able to join us in beautiful Dana Point for up-close sightings of amazing marine wildlife. It’s so great that you encountered a large, playful pod of dolphins, as well as multiple Humpback Whales! I’m also glad you liked our crew’s service and educational narration. We really appreciate your recommendation, and hope to see you again soon.

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