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Whale Watching Report from Hornblower for February 5–11

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We are still enjoying fantastic sightings of Gray Whales. Most of the whales are migrating south, although a few are beginning to travel north. We have also seen five more mother-calf pairs, along with groups of Gray Whales exhibiting courtship behavior. Since the season started, we’ve spotted a total of 422 Whales (including 20 cow-calf pairs), 3 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 5, 2020

Morning Cruise

Sightings: 4 Gray Whales, 200+ Common Dolphins, 12 Pacific White-sided Dolphins

We left the harbor on a cold, crisp, clear morning with guests from Germany, Italy, Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. We saw a mother Gray Whale with her calf and 2 juvenile Gray Whales in the kelp beds. Hundreds of Common Dolphins played in our wake and later a dozen Pacific White-sided Dolphins swam by.

Afternoon Cruise

Sightings: 6 Gray Whales

The Adventure Hornblower departed for the afternoon cruise under slightly cloudy skies with cool breezes. Captain Rick headed southward toward the Los Coronados Islands and just outside of the last shipping lane buoy we encountered our first single North Pacific Gray Whale that was heading south between the North Island and the Middle Island. After observing its spouting and tail fluking we sighted 2 more spouts about 1 mile away, so we cruised to observe a pair of Grays who seem to be snorkeling close to the surface of the water. The pair were elusively swimming in a zig zag manner. We were fortunate to hear their loud spouting and see them fluke several times. We sighted a number of spouts in the waters indicating that more Grays were in the area. We also spotted about 50 Cormorants and 10 Brown Pelicans on top of a bait ball near the tip of Point Loma. Captain Rick decided to head north to just off the coast of Point Loma near the Kelp Forest. We spotted a pair of Gray Whales and also noticed a single adult Gray Whale moving quickly through the area. Guests on board enjoyed the afternoon cruise and also commented about San Diego’s awesome whale watching adventures. Cheers to all who were on board for the day!

February 6, 2020

Morning Cruise

Sightings: 5 Gray Whales

A gorgeous day with flat water and clear, warm weather. We spotted 5 Gray Whales and enjoyed a close look at cow-calf pair of gray whales.

Afternoon Cruise

Sightings: 7 Gray Whales, 20 Bottlenose Dolphins

What a spectacular afternoon for whale watching! From the minute the Adventure Hornblower left the bay until we returned, we saw whales, whales, and more whales. The afternoon trip started with 20 bottle nose dolphin and a juvenile gray whale crossing the mouth of SD Bay. This was followed by a pair of juveniles and two pairs of adults. And more whales were spotted in the distance. Passengers from Germany, Canada, Israel, and all across the USA were delighted to see so many spouts and flukes. Seas were calm, skies blue. A wonderful time for all!

February 7, 2020

Morning Cruise

Sightings: 4 Gray Whales, 1 Bottlenose Dolphin

We spotted 4 Gray Whales and a single Common Bottlenose Dolphin.

Afternoon Cruise

Sightings: 4 Gray Whales, 3 Bottlenose Dolphins

In the bay we spotted a few Common Bottlenose Dolphins and then 4 Gray Whales offshore.

February 8, 2020

Morning Cruise

Sightings: 6 Gray Whales, 300+ Common Dolphins, 1 Pacific White-sided Dolphins.

Great weather and visibility today. As we headed out of the bay, we spotted gray whale spouts in the distance and came upon a group of 5 Gray Whales that were slowly traveling closely together. The whales fluked several times, yet we could see the blue glow of their bodies just below the surface. One whale breached twice, and the whales came very close to the Adventure Hornblower several times. The whales also showed courtship behavior with rolling right next to each other. We were able to watch this group for nearly an hour. We then went to see if we could see more whales and spotted scattered groups of Common Dolphins and one Pacific White-sided Dolphin along with a couple California Sea Lions. There were also hundreds of sea birds, including Brown Pelicans diving for fish in the area. Later we came upon a separate Gray Whale that was slowly swimming. We then came upon three of the whales that we watched earlier to finish out the morning cruise.

Afternoon Cruise

Sightings: 5 Gray Whales, 25 Common Dolphins

We had a wonderful afternoon on the water with clear skies and calm seas. Upon leaving the bay, we spotted a Gray Whale spouting right off Point Loma, the whale was in shallow water so we headed out to see what else we could find. Later we enjoyed many views of Gray Whales including one that surfaced right beside the Adventure Hornblower’s bow a couple times. We also spotted a few small groups of Common Dolphins that swam alongside the boat for a short time.

February 9, 2020

Morning Cruise

Sightings: 4 Gray Whales, 25 Common Dolphins

In spite of drizzly weather, we spotted 4 Gray Whales this morning along with a small group of Common Dolphins.

Afternoon Cruise

Sightings: 1 Minke Whale

Increasing wind and waves made finding whales challenging this afternoon. We spotted one, elusive Minke Whale (our first of the season).

February 10, 2020

Morning Cruise

Sightings: 9 Gray Whales

A rainy day with very smooth seas. We first briefly spotted a mother-calf pair of Gray Whales. Soon after we spotted 3 adults that snorkeled and fluked near the boat. As we turned towards Point Loma to head back in, we spotted 2 more adults close to the boat and another 2 juveniles nearby. We also spotted a small group of Common Dolphins in the distance.

Afternoon Cruise

Sightings: 9 Gray Whales, 50+ Common Dolphins, 25 Pacific White-sided Dolphins

The rain cleared to a beautiful, sunny afternoon. Guests from Canada, Mexico and across the United States enjoyed watching 7 southbound Gray Whales along with 2 juveniles. We also spotted a pod of Common Dolphins that were bowriding as well as a pod of Pacific White-sided Dolphins. Close to the kelp beds, brown pelicans and cormorants were diving to catch small fish from a bait ball.

February 11, 2020

Morning Cruise

Sightings: 5 Gray Whales, 2 Common Dolphins, 3 Pacific White-sided Dolphins

We had a beautiful cruise with international passengers from China, Japan, Poland and Mexico, in additional to many people from across the US. We observed 3 adult Gray Whales along with a cow/calf pair. We also saw two Common Dolphins and 3 Pacific White-sided Dolphins

Afternoon Cruise

Sightings: 5 Gray Whales, 25 Pacific White-sided Dolphins, 5 Bottlenose Dolphins

An incredible afternoon out on the water! Both weather and water were perfect. We saw 5 Gray Whales including a cow/calf pair that came right up to the boat! We also saw around 25 Pacific White-sided Dolphins and 5 Bottlenose Dolphins. These critters were very active and playful today and gave us an incredible “show”.

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