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Capt. Dave's Dolphin & Whale Watching Safari
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$65.00*
and up
Dana Point Whale Watching and Dolphin Watching...
Ranked #2 of 21 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 March 30, 2011

I took my Mother while she was here and we had a wonderful time. No whales that trip. But the dolphins where amazing. Everyone on the trip had a great time. The crew is fantastic. And the boat is so much better than any other I have been on. Go! It is well worth it. Yay Capt. Dave!

Thank ocgirl13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"brownie"
in 67 reviews
"underwater viewing pods"
in 21 reviews
"sea lions"
in 70 reviews
"whale watching"
in 98 reviews
"fast cat"
in 9 reviews
"common dolphins"
in 42 reviews
"smaller boat"
in 17 reviews
"grey whales"
in 45 reviews
"see whales"
in 38 reviews
"great trip"
in 40 reviews
"large pod of dolphins"
in 18 reviews
"an incredible experience"
in 11 reviews
"sea world"
in 9 reviews
"other companies"
in 8 reviews
"phone call"
in 8 reviews
"their natural habitat"
in 10 reviews
"marine life"
in 25 reviews
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787 - 791 of 838 reviews

Reviewed March 25, 2011

We had a great experience on Captain Dave's boat. We saw only one whale, but many dolphins, birds, otters, and sea lions. It was amazing to be out on the ocean enjoying the wind, waves, and wildlife.

Thank WiscPack
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 19, 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 Rodney H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 16, 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.
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Reviewed November 2, 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.

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