We just checked Whale Watching off the MidLife Road Trip Bucket List!
Blue Whale season runs May – October off the shore in Orange County, California but whale watching is year round at Dana Wharf. They see the Gray Whale migration November – April!. Blue Whales are the largest mammal on Earth and can grow to over 100 feet long! The blue whale population around the world is estimated to be around 12,000 and approximately 2,000 blue whales call the Pacific coast their home.
Some of the best things to see and do in Orange County aren’t found on most sightseeing tours, but they will require you go off the beaten path. One of the most exciting detours we took was so far off the path; it took us on to the ocean.
Dana Point is already known for some of the most beautiful coastal views but did you know it’s also part of a migratory path for the earth’s biggest species? Every year the blue whales begin a journey from the cold Alaskan waters to the warm southern climates. Part of this journey leads them just a few miles off the shores of Dana Point, where they can be found feeding, alongside large pods of common dolphins. We joined Captain Chris Pica and his crew on the Dana Pride as he headed out, teaching us about the habits and behavior of a creature he’s come to know so well.
We weren’t out very long before his well trained crew spotted the tell tale spouts that announce a whales presence. With dolphins all around us, the first “ooh’s” and “ahh’s” echoed across the boat as a beautiful blue whale, swam past in the not-too-distant water, dwarfing the boat with its enormous body. As Captain Pica explained that just the whale’s tongue weighs more than a full size elephant, another one surfaced across the bow, sending everyone running to the other side of the boat.
We saw several Blue Whales who must have known we had our cameras rolling because they put on quite a show. Whale watching is a must add to your Bucket List on your next trip to southern California!
What’s on your California Bucket List?