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“Saw Lots of Dolphins on a Foggy December Day”

Capt. Dave's Dolphin & Whale Watching Safari
Ranked #3 of 26 Tours in Dana Point
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Whale watch with Capt. Dave's Dolphin and Whale Watching Safari in Dana Point on our high-tech sailing catamaran year round, with two Eye-to-Eye Underwater Viewing Pods. For 20 years Captain Dave's has provided daily trips to see dolphins, up to 10,000 strong, leap and play right off our bow, plus Gray Whales (December through April), Blue Whales (May through November), and year round Humpback Whales, Fin Whales, Minke Whales, and so much more. Go underwater with whales and dolphins without getting wet during your whale watch in our Eye-to-Eye Underwater Viewing Pods aboard Manute'a. Listen to dolphins during your whale watching safari with our underwater Hydrophone. Celebrity and certified naturalists make this exciting Dana Point whale watching excursion educational and entertaining too. Mrs. Capt. Dave's famous triple-fudge brownies make this a one-of-a-kind dolphin and whale watching adventure unforgettable. We are a real Eco-tourism company providing only sustainable wildlife viewing. Ask about Fast Cat, our upscale Rigid Hull Inflatable Catamaran and the newest boat in our whale watching fleet.
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Activities for young children
Reviewed 19 December 2010

Check in was slow and the weather was cold and foggy. It was difficult to see very far but the captain was able to see the signs of where dolphins could be located. After about an hour we found a few dolphins and within another 30 mnutes we found around 100 dolphins. It finally cleared on our way back and the dolphins raced the boat back to port.

Thank Rod H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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in 65 reviews
"underwater viewing pods"
in 21 reviews
"sea lions"
in 71 reviews
"whale watching"
in 96 reviews
"fast cat"
in 9 reviews
"grey whales"
in 45 reviews
"common dolphins"
in 43 reviews
"see whales"
in 41 reviews
"great trip"
in 42 reviews
"large pod of dolphins"
in 19 reviews
"sea world"
in 9 reviews
"an incredible experience"
in 11 reviews
"their natural habitat"
in 10 reviews
"marine life"
in 25 reviews
"bottle nose dolphins"
in 12 reviews
"phone call"
in 8 reviews
"boat ride"
in 25 reviews

852 - 856 of 904 reviews

Reviewed 16 December 2010

It was foggy , and Captain Dave tried to dissuade us from going. He didn't want to disappoint us. Well, we soon saw 2,000 dolphins. I have never seen anything like it. They were jumping as far as the eye could see. They made sure we had a great time. Awesome!!

Thank sixhearts
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 November 2010

I just went with my son for a birthday present (he turned 20 this past weekend, thought he'd enjoy it and he LOVED it) and my mom, who, i admit, is no avid boater, but can manage (and she loved it too)

We cruised out of the harbor and spent literally an hour and a half searching for dolphins or whales. Captain Tom driving the boat with another skipper on board Captain Carl took us where there -had- been animals earlier in the day, but of course there are no guarantees.

This isn't a canned "hey look at the fish in the tank" kind of thing. We were 7 miles off shore in light chop and steady low gusty breezes in about 2300 feet of water, but always in view of shore.

Capt. Tom decided to head north up the coast a bit as people were starting to get disheartened, but after about 20 more minutes he spotted an obscene amount of smaller whitecaps splashing in just the right way about a mile out heralding a large dolphin pod headed right towards us!

The boat holds a lot more people than the 20 of us on board for this trip, but we were all excited as the splashes became visible to us and as we started to see dolphins leaping out of the water coming towards us.

The animals were all around us, and apparently chasing a school of anchovies, so the boat turned and slowed even more to follow them. In just moments dolphins were riding the bow waves of the boat and leaping all around us as we became part of the pod as it headed back on a southerly course.

This boat they use you can't tell from my photos at least but it's a powered catamaran (with a sail option) and in the forward port keel they have a plexiglas viewing area you can climb down into to see the dophins underwater swimming right by you, whistling and talking to you, laughing and giving you a thumbs up (kidding) as they dodge around the boat and each other.

Captain Tom counted about 500 dolphins all told. We stuck with them for quite a while before returning to port and looking at some sea lions resting on the base of a bouy. We were told by several other passengers who had been on the trip before that it's not uncommon to see over a thousand dolphins. They usually and regularly spot whales and many species of dolphins, so: good times!

All in all a great trip, even with a little light chop and some minor rocking and rolling, I *think* everybody on board seemed to feel very safe and sound (nobody was hurling overboard at least!) and outside of getting some spray or splashes a few times was a safe and dry trip.

There is a large cubby area that is out of the wind and dry, and a large forward area to stand and view from and plenty of seating around towards the rear of the boat.

While returning to port we were given an educational lecture by Captain Tom (as Captain Carl took us in) with many printed and natural visual aids.

A great trip for kids of all ages. They don't go out if the wind is planning to kick up too much, so if they're scheduled to go, you'll be safe and sound.

From the I-5, take the Beach Cities exit, hang a left at Dana Point Harbor drive and go back a bit and you'll see signs on the left.

2  Thank blitzin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 September 2010

Sea World can suck it, this was amazing. I would rather have an 8% chance of seeing no dolphins or whales at all than a 100& chance to see them jump through hoops in tiny tanks at a facility.

Capt. Dave and his crew care about doing this. I have been on this trip twice now and both times we rode alongside nursery pods of thousands of happy dolphins playing in the ocean. He gets up close and personal and takes you for the ride. In contrast, I spent all day on another whale watching boat last weekend I won't share the name of in Newport Beach who kept telling us he was behind schedule. That boat never stopped even once to watch the dolphins once, and when we finally saw 2 blue whales about 300 ft back he refused to turn the boat around. Horrifying. I yelled to my friend "CAPTAIN DAVE WOULD NEVER HAVE DONE THAT!" I felt like I was cheating on Capt Dave, I will never stray again. It matters when people love what they do, it shows, and they make your trip personable. You come away in love with the sea, in love with all the life in it and an deep appreciation for telling Sea World to SUCK IT.

2  Thank Jourdannex
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 25 August 2010

We went for a whale watching tour in mid August (mom,dad, 2 boys 10 and 12). We really enjoyed this experience; the best part was riding along amidst hundreds of playful dolphins. That was like nothing we had ever experienced. We were really hoping to see a blue whale but did not. The crew tried very hard and lingered longer than the scheduled trip time in hopes of seeing one where they had been spotted the previous day. Despite not seeing the blue whale, it was a great experience that we'd defintely repeat if we were ever in the area again.

1  Thank BK2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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