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“Blue Whales and Broken Promises”

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 young children, Activities for older children
Reviewed July 23, 2013

At the last minute our out of town visitors decided to go whale watching. After being disappointed with Newport Beach in the past, we decided to try Capt. Dave's. Space was available on the smaller boat, which get you closer to the water and the sea life. Shortly after leaving the harbor we spotted a large pod of dolphins! After spending enough time with them Capt. Peter asked if we should go find the Blue Whale. Off we went, slowly. We had engine trouble. If the first mate couldn't fix it we would have had to go back. After 15 minutes or so, skill was on our side. Capt. Peter said he would make our 2-1/2 trip into a 3 hour trip to make up the delay. We had a blue whale blow 75 feet or so from the boat! You could hear him! Amazing!! We tried to follow but either the whale was too fast or the boat was too slow and we watched the blue get further and further away. Our 11:30 trip was back at the dock at 2:10. Capt. Peter did not honor his word. We had a wonderful time on the water but were surprised at being shorted on the time. The treat given to us at the dock at the end of the cruise was a nice touch.

Thank Brett R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ArielleA, Owner at Capt. Dave's Dolphin & Whale Watching Safari, responded to this reviewResponded August 16, 2013

Thank you for taking the time to leave us feedback! I'm so glad you were able to experience dolphins and a blue whale up close. Not all blue whales are gregarious enough to come close to the boat, so when they do, and to hear that deep "whooosh" as they take a breath of air, it's unforgettable. I'm very happy you were able to see and hear that!

Unfortunately the boat did have some mechanical issues during the safari. We've since made additional repairs and upgrades to enhance the speed and capability of the boat. I'm sorry that you felt your trip time was shorted. All of our trips are 2 and 1/2 hours and Captain Peter did keep everyone out an extra 10 or so minutes. Regrettably, he was not able to extend the trip as much as he wanted to because he had another safari scheduled.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"brownie"
in 66 reviews
"underwater viewing pods"
in 22 reviews
"sea lions"
in 71 reviews
"whale watching"
in 97 reviews
"fast cat"
in 9 reviews
"common dolphins"
in 43 reviews
"see whales"
in 41 reviews
"great trip"
in 42 reviews
"large pod of dolphins"
in 19 reviews
"an incredible experience"
in 11 reviews
"their natural habitat"
in 10 reviews
"bottle nose dolphins"
in 12 reviews
"marine life"
in 25 reviews
"boat ride"
in 26 reviews
"sea sickness"
in 14 reviews
"saw dolphins"
in 19 reviews
"nice boat"
in 13 reviews
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678 - 682 of 906 reviews

Reviewed July 20, 2013

We added this tour as a last minute thing. We had already done the tourist gig with SeaWorld and Aquatica. Our kids, 10 &13, had a great time at those places. However, this above all was their favorite thing that we have done here in San Diego. The crew was friendly and knowledgable. And most importantly, experienced in their trade. They knew where to find exactly what we were wanting to see. We saw at least 5 Blue Whales. They were close enough that when we were all quiet with the engine stopped, we could hear them blowing air out of their blow holes. When we started seeing the dolphins, the crew was attentive to enough to make sure that everyone got a chance to observe in the under water pod below deck. Definately a must for watching the Dolphins. I can't say enough about this experience. The joy that the kids got from this was priceless.

1  Thank shellyebell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 16, 2013 via mobile

It was amazing!! We saw like 50 dolphins and 2 whales! The front of the boat is a wet spot but is the best spot. Great experience! Bring water and sunblock

Thank Maria C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 16, 2013

My family and I had a great day on the water with Captain Dave's crew, (which did not include Captain Dave). They were incredibly accommodating and very friendly - eager to both entertain and educate. They worked very hard to find us numerous schools of common dolphins, which we then followed, watching these incredible creatures as they swam alongside, and even under the boat. Several of my kids were lucky enough to see them underwater from the viewing pods, I was down there at a time when the school shifted location and the Captain was trying to find another. When I came back up the crew member manning the location I went down actually apologized, as if it were his fault that the dolphins chose to swim away from the boat. The Captain and crew really wanted us to see a whale, as they knew there were a few in the area, and they worked very hard to locate one. I think they even kept looking a bit longer than they should have - keeping us out overtime and taking us further out than they had planned on. Their hard work paid off as they found us one. It was a magnificent site to behold, watching the spray shoot into the air and the blue whale's back periodically break the surface. We only got to watch it briefly as the crew had to turn us around and get us back to pick up their next group,. However, we appreciated the extra effort they put in so we got to see the whale. Everyone in my family enjoyed the experience. I highly recommend Captain Dave's Dolphin & Whale Watching Safari. If you are in the area, do it.

Thank cjbesq
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 12, 2013

Have been coming to wait and watch the whales for many years with you guys, and always you are wonderful. We saw hundreds of dolphins both common and bottlenose along with sea lions and a Blue Whale this trip. I have been on trips when we have seen more than 1 Blue Whale but this was special as I had my grandson with me who hasn't seen a Blue Whale so his 1st siting of many trips to come. Love what you all do and you are the best!!!!

Thank Sura W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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