Tuesday, January 17, 2012

CC's Ocean Adventure with Dana Wharf Sportfishing and Whale Watching

CC keeps an eye out for whales in Dana Point.
On an intermittently rainy Sunday afternoon, CC and I drove down to Dana Point in Orange County to see if we could spot a whale or two.

Hopping aboard the Dana Pride, the flagship of Dana Wharf Sportfishing and Whale Watching, we started our ocean adventure, keeping an eye out for any kind of sea life. We had bundled up in layers of clothes -- shirts, sweaters, jackets, hats, pants -- which was more than necessary while skimming the chilly SoCal waters. It was actually kind of funny seeing my dress-wearing daughter sporting cold-weather clothes. (She's definitely a warm-weather California girl.)

Our boat, the Dana Pride.
According to the Dana Wharf brochure, "thousands of California Gray Whales leave the cold Arctic Seas and follow the coast line to the warm, calm waters of Southern California and Baja. This 10,000 mile round trip migration brings the majority of the Gray Whale population past Dana Point ..." Which is why founder Don Hansen launched the company in 1971.

Once I boarded the Dana Pride, I was honestly so taken with the beauty of the water, the coast and the sun peeking out from behind the cloudy sky that I didn't care if I saw any kind of sea-faring creature. That would be icing on the frosty January cake.

We did end up seeing lots of what are called common dolphins -- which exist all over the world -- as well as larger bottlenose dolphins. They were all so cute, swimming within about 10-15 feet of the boat. It was amazing, watching as they leaped out of the water, swam in groups of three or four, and seemed to follow us on our coastal journey. Unfortunately, my camera wasn't quick enough to catch them jumping out of the water.

We also caught several lazy sea lions, catching some shut-eye on a large buoy.

Sea lions!
While we didn't get to see any whales this time, CC and I so enjoyed the two-hour trip. There's plenty of room to walk around on deck, and there's also a galley downstairs in case you need a bite to eat or drink. It was also CC's first time on a boat, and I was happy to see that she definitely has her sea legs.

We'll be heading back for sure!

34675 Golden Lantern
Dana Point, CA 92629
Tickets: $32 (Adults); $19 (Children ages 3-12); $27 (Seniors/Military) 

(Note: Media tickets provided.)


Adri said...

I love the Dana Wharf crew, check out their music cruises they do during the summer, they are a great way to spend an evening on the water touring the harbor!

L.A. Story said...

I'll definitely check that out. How fun! Thanks for the tip. :)

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