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Whale Watching Report from Hornblower for February 12–18

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We are still enjoying fantastic sightings of Gray Whales and have even spotted some Humpback Whales and Risso’s Dolphins. Most of the Gray Whales are migrating south, although a few are beginning to travel north. We have also seen a few more mother-calf pairs, along with groups of Gray Whales exhibiting courtship behavior and several Gray Whales that breached. Since the season started, we’ve spotted a total of 578Whales (including 23 cow-calf pairs), 5 Humpback Whales, 2 Fin Whales, 1 Minke Whale (our first of the season), 1 Pygmy Sperm Whale and thousands of dolphins. View our sightings report at

February 12, 2020

Morning Cruise

Sightings: 5 Gray Whales, 25+ Common Dolphins

We spotted 5 Gray Whales this morning. First, we spotted a single whale and a pair that were northbound and also a southbound pair. The whales provided great viewing for all the guests.

Afternoon Cruise

Sightings: 10 Gray Whales, 25+ Common Dolphins

An unbelievable afternoon of whale watching with a total of 10 Gray Whales including groups of 4 whales and a cow/calf pair all traveling south. One of the whales breached 5 times. Everyone was amazed!

February 13, 2020

Morning Cruise

Sightings: 7 Gray Whales, 30 Pacific White Sided Dolphins

A gorgeous day on water with lake-like, sunny conditions. We watched 7 Gray Whales along with Pacific White-sided Dolphins. All of the whales were traveling south. One of the whales was playing with dolphins with erratic swimming and rolling with its pectoral fin and fluke tip out of water.

Afternoon Cruise

Sightings: 6 Gray Whales, 2 Humpback Whales, 200 Pacific White Sided Dolphins, 100 Common Dolphins

What a bonanza of marine wild life all afternoon long! Right out of the bay, we encountered our first pair of Gray Whales, a mom traveling with her baby. Both were so close to the surface much of the time, that you could see the entire length of their body! Next there were two Humpback Whales! It was good to see the humpbacks with a dorsal fin and compare to the grays with no dorsal fin. In all, we spotted several pairs of Gray Whales swimming south. At times we were surrounded by dolphins that jumped and swam alongside the Adventure Hornblower. Right before Captain Rick had to return into the Bay, he countered a bait ball of fish which attracted more dolphins and lots of birds. Visitors joined us from France, UK, Netherlands, Canada, and parts of the US.

February 14, 2020

Morning Cruise

Sightings: 6 Gray Whales

An awesome Valentine’s Day on the Adventure Hornblower! We found 6 Gray Whales including a mother-calf pair. One of the whales thrilled us by breaching 15 times!

Afternoon Cruise

Sightings: 4 Gray Whales, 100+ Risso’s Dolphins

Our awesome Valentine’s Day continued with plenty of heart-shaped blows from Gray Whales. We spotted our first pair of whales just outside the kelp beds. Closer to Mission Bay, we came upon a large pod of Risso’s Dolphins—a species we don’t see very often. We then spotted another pair of Gray Whales traveling south.

February 15, 2020

Morning Cruise

Sightings: 2 Gray Whales, 200+ Common Dolphins

We spotted 2 Gray whales from afar as well as a pod of Common Dolphins. As we left the bay, all onboard got to witness something special- a US Submarine entering San Diego Bay. It was very exciting. And, the grand finale of the cruise was the views of the US #68 Nimitz (air craft carrier) leaving the Bay!

Afternoon Cruise

Sightings: 6 Gray Whales, 5 Common Dolphins

Sightings included 6 southbound Gray Whales and approximately 5 Common Dolphins. A couple of the Gray Whales were very boat friendly and allowed us to travel alongside them; providing great views for all on board the Adventure Hornblower.

February 16, 2020

Morning Cruise

Sightings: 3 Gray Whales, 300+ Common Dolphins

It was a gorgeous calm, sparkling morning on the water! We watched a juvenile Gray Whale that fluked several times as it traveled south. We then watched a southbound adult Gray Whale for most of the cruise. We then passed through a large pod of Common Dolphins. We finished with a brief look at another juvenile Gray Whale that was heading north.

Afternoon Cruise

Sightings: 6 Gray Whales, 300+ Common Dolphins

This afternoon was spectacular for whale watching! We first spotted a trio of Gray Whales that showed courtship behavior. We then encountered a large herd of Common Dolphins that surrounded the boat. We finished our day with two more Gray Whales that were traveling south.

February 17, 2020

Morning Cruise

Sightings: 3 Gray Whales, 5 Pacific White-sided Dolphins

A foggy morning cleared to a sunny afternoon. We first spotted 2 southbound juvenile Gray Whales that we watched surface and fluke several times. We then headed north and spotted a few Pacific White-sided Dolphins, California sea lions, and even a few flying fish! We finished our morning cruise by watching an adult Gray Whale that was traveling south.

Afternoon Cruise

Sightings: 2 Gray Whales, 200+ Common Dolphins, 2 Bottlenose Dolphins

Upon leaving the bay, 2 Bottlenose Dolphins crossed our path. Not long after, we saw two whale spouts that turned out to be a pair of adult Gray Whales. One of the whales breached twice right next to the boat! We then were surrounded by a large pod of Common Dolphins. What a beautiful day!

February 18, 2020

Morning Cruise

Sightings: 2 Gray Whales, 25 Pacific White-sided Dolphins

Our foggy morning on calm seas had some clearing for a close viewing of a pair of juvenile Eastern Pacific Gray Whales. Guests from Hungary, Czech Republic, and England and across the U.S. joined us this morning.

Afternoon Cruise

Sightings: 2 Gray Whales

Right outside the San Diego Bay, we encountered our first whale sighting! Then, nearby was a second gray whale. Captain Rick followed along behind the first whale. It snorkeled along, spouting, fluking near enough so all could get a good look. Then suddenly, the whale breached, breached again and again — a total of three times in short succession. Wow! What a special sighting! Visitors joined us from Denmark, Canada, Mexico, Japan, Ukraine, and the U.S.

Whale Watching / Hornblower – February 12–18

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