Next Level Sailing Whale Watching Report


Date

Cruise

Report

1/24/20 6 Gray Whales (+), Common Dolphins, Sea Lions, Naval Ships There were so many whales that we couldn’t get to them all. Just off of Point Loma, we saw a female Gray Whale with her young calf. They were traveling at about 4.5 knots. The calf’s little blows were so very cute! Dolphins started to swim our way, so we sailed with the dolphins. In the distance, a crew member spotted a single Gray Whale so we went to say hi. This whale showed us his tail several times, everyone got some gorgeous pictures. Further south, we saw three Gray Whales so we went to check them out. A large pod of about 100 Common Dolphins swam up to the Yacht America, so we followed them north. We saw three separate blows during our sail north. In addition, we passed by several warships and the USS Nimitz out at sea. It was a very active day for the military. All in all, it was a great day with Next Level Sailing. See you tomorrow!
1/22/20 6 Gray Whales, Common Dolphins, Pacific White Sided Dolphins, Sea Lions Today, we headed south. It was a clear sunny day with a high of 63 degrees Fahrenheit. We passed by a few bait balls filled with Pelicans, Cormorants, Sea Lions, and Dolphins. Suddenly, we saw a blow just off our port side. Another blow! Then, another blow! Finally a fourth blow! Four Gray Whales swimming side by side right next to the Yacht America. It was absolutely spectacular. The whales fluked as they went down for a dive. They were down for 8 minutes. They came up again, but this time to the north of us. We headed up that way and watched as they came up for several splendid breaths. Again, they went down for a dive. We watched them for several cycles. From their behavior, it seems most likely that we witnessed three Gray Whales courting a single female Gray Whale. It was spectacular to see all four whales swim so close together, breath and dive at nearly the same time. We also spotted a single Gray Whale out to the west of this group. Finally it was time to say goodbye, so we headed home. We passed by another  southbound Gray Whale along the way, making our total count six gray whales. During our sail home, we stopped by some playful Common Dolphins and Pacific White Sided Dolphins. What another great day with Next Level Sailing. We will see you on Friday!
1/20/20 6 Gray Whales, Bottlenose Dolphins, Common Dolphins, Gray Whales We knew it would be a good day when we saw Bottlenose Dolphins on the way out to the ocean. As soon as we got out, we saw 3 Gray Whales swimming together, heading south. All the guests were able to get great views of this group. Did you know that it takes 3 whales to mate? This did not look like a mating group, but always keep that in mind if you see 3 whales swimming together. There was also a single Gray Whale ahead of the triple, but we just spotted this whale in the distance. We saw Pacific White Sided Dolphins swimming with the whales. It was finally time to go home. We saw a large bait ball with Common Dolphins and Sea Lions. Suddenly, a pair of Gray Whales popped up right next to the boat. Another fabulous day with Next Level Sailing.
1/19/20 3 Gray Whales, Common Dolphins, Pacific White Sided Dolphins, Sea Lions We encountered a tricky whale today. We headed south towards the Coronado Islands and spotted a Gray Whale. We held our course and speed, but this whale made a complete stop! With the wind pushing us, we had to circle back and move at a snail’s pace to get good views of this whale. Our patience paid off because this Gray Whale came right up to the boat. Everyone was even able to hear the whale breath. It was a spectacular sight. We saw a single blow off our beam also headed south to Mexico. It was time to go home, so we went to see what else we could find. We saw another Gray Whale on our way back. We also saw a huge bait ball with Common Dolphins, Pacific White Sided Dolphins, Sea Lions, and Pelicans. There was so much life. It was a fantastic day on the water.
1/18/20 6 Gray Whales, Common Dolphins, Pacific White Sided Dolphins, Sea Lions There were so many Gray Whales swimming south today! We saw two singles off the coast of Point Loma that changed direction from south to east. Then, we went closer to the lighthouse and found a mom and a calf slowly swimming south. We made a turn and headed south. We found two more singles! We also saw Common Dolphins and Pacific White Sided Dolphins, as well as a group of Sea Lions. It was a fantastic day.
1/17/20 2 Gray Whales, Common Dolphins, Pacific White Sided Dolphins, Sea Lions, USS Roosevelt Although it was raining in the early hours of the morning, it turned out to be a beautiful clear day. Early in the trip, we saw a pair of Gray Whales swimming together towards Mexico. In addition, we also saw a large group of Common Dolphins and Pacific White Sided Dolphins. After looking closer, we realized that the Pacific White Sided Dolphins were swimming with their small babies. Captain Troy took the Yacht America in the San Diego Bay to get a close look at the USS Roosevelt. This aircraft carrier was deploying, so we wanted to pay our respects and salute the crew. We saw all the sailors lining the decks on their way out to sea. We also saw other ships that were joining the strike group. It turned out to be another gorgeous day on the water.
1/16/20 1 Gray Whale, Pacific White Sided Dolphins, Common Dolphins, Sea Lions Today we saw a magnificent single Gray Whale heading south towards Mexico. It was a gorgeous day. We also saw Common Dolphins and Pacific White Sided Dolphins in large, probably at least 200 swimming together. There were a lot of babies in this group which was just too cute.
1/15/20 2 Gray Whales, Pacific White Sided Dolphins, Common Dolphins, Sea Lions, USS Nimitz We ventured out early today as all of our guests were early today. More time on the water for everyone! It was a brisk sunny day with great wind for sailing. We hoisted sails while sailing next to the outbound aircraft carrier, the USS Nimitz. The Yacht America sailed alongside the USS Nimitz until we reached open ocean where the Nimitz anchored and her crew performed routine drills. We saw a large group of about 100 Cormorants just floating on the ocean. We then spotted two Gray Whales headed towards Mexico. This pair consistently went down for four minutes and then came up to breath a few times. We even saw them both dive at the same time, so we saw a double tail! Common Dolphins came to join the party. We saw some baby dolphins in the mix as well. The dolphins made a turn towards Point Loma, so we followed them home. They also lead us to a bait ball that had Pelicans, Cormorants, Seagulls, Pacific White Sided Dolphins, Sea Lions, and Common Dolphins. After checking out the bait ball, we turned off our engines and sailed into the San Diego Bay. A Supply-Class Fast Combat Support Ship passed us, as well as some Navy Seal stealth boats. What a fun filled day!
1/14/20 4 Gray Whales, Pacific White Sided Dolphins, LA Class Attack Submarine, USS Nimitz What a sunny day! It’s just amazing that it is January. Guests are always smart to bring layers, but the sun it just wonderful. We saw a pair of Gray Whales swimming together, so we followed them for the majority of the trip. Once we turned around, we saw two separate single Gray Whales also making their way south. We also saw active Pacific White Sided Dolphins that played with with the Yacht America. On our way in, we saw an outbound LA Class Attack Submarine. We also had a very close view of an inbound aircraft carrier, the USS Nimitz. It is just a blast sailing out of the San Diego Bay because there is just so much to see, it is fun for the whole family. See you tomorrow!
1/13/20 2 Gray Whales, Common Dolphins, Sea Lions As soon as we left the San Diego Bay, we spotted a southbound Gray Whale. We followed this Gray Whale for several cycles, it fluked as well. The whale looked very healthy. We then headed south and linked with some active Common Dolphins. As we followed these friendly dolphins, we noticed that there were some baby dolphins in the mix as well! These little ones are just too cute. As we started to head home, we saw an inbound submarine and and outbound LCS (Littoral Combat Ship). A guest spotted another whale blow, so we went to check out this second Gray Whale. It was also very healthy! At this point, we had to turn home.  On our way, we were able to witness a very close encounter with an Ohio Class Submarine. Another fantastic day with Next Level Sailing!
1/12/20 1 Gray Whale, Common Dolphins, Sea Lions Just another fantastic day aboard the Yacht America. Clear skies and moderate seas made it easy to spot a Gray Whale spout from far away. Guests enjoyed close views of this southbound whale, they could even make out the individual barnacles on its back. We also spotted dolphins and sea lions during our voyage. Just another perfect day!
1/11/20 1 Gray Whale, White Sided Dolphins, Sea Lion The ocean was extremely calm today, it almost looked like a lake. There was great visibility and sunny skies. We sailed alongside a friendly Gray Whale who came up right next to the boat. On the last cycle, this whale turned so we could see the width of this whale. It looked like it had a very successful summer feeding in Alaska! We sailed off to see what else we could find and spotted a bait ball in the distance. There were so many birds, sea lions, and White Sided Dolphins actively feeding. What a great day!
1/10/20 3 Gray Whales, 2 Humpback Whales, Common Dolphins, Pacific White Sided Dolphins, Sea Lions, Bottlenose Dolphins, Ohio Class Submarine We saw so many species of sea life today! The trip started out with a three Bottlenose Dolphins swimming close to Point Loma. The Yacht America headed south towards Islas De Los Coronados. After following the birds, we started to see splashes and whale spouts! We saw a total of three Gray Whales, two of which were very close views. In addition, we also saw two Humpback Whales with a large pod of Pacific White Sided Dolphins and Common Dolphins. On the way home, we had a very close view of an Ohio Class Submarine exiting the San Diego Bay. In addition, we saw an Independence Class Littoral Combat Ship entering the San Diego Bay. Another great afternoon on the water!
1/7/20 4 Gray Whales, Common Dolphins, Sea Lions, Ohio Class Submarine Guests had great views of Gray Whales today! They were in groups of two, traveling south towards Mexico. In addition, guests saw Common Dolphins and Sea Lions. Everyone also saw an Ohio class nuclear powered submarine perform some cool maneuvers while entering the San Diego Bay.
1/4/20 1 Gray Whale, 2 Fin Whales, Common Dolphins, Sea Lions In a week, we have seen four different species of whales. Next Level Sailing truly offers the best whale watching in San Diego. Today, guests spotted a single Gray Whale. In addition, guests also spotted a pair of Fin Whales: a cow and her juvenile. Fin whales are the second largest species on Earth (first being the Blue Whale).  They come to San Diego to feed, but we never know exactly when we will see them. Dolphins and sea lions were spotted during the trip as well. There was a naval destroyer at the fuel dock which was fun for everyone to see.
1/3/20 1 Gray Whale, 1 Pygmy Sperm Whale, Common Dolphins, Sea Lions The weather was gorgeous, it is hard to believe it is January. The sun was out and the sky was clear. Early in the trip, guests saw a single Gray Whale migrating south towards Mexico. After sailing with this whale for a while, crew spotted another whale in the distance. The Yacht America sailed over to this whale for a closer look. The crew and guests were all surprised to see a small whale with wrinkly skin. This whale also had some pink patches on its back. We have never seen a whale like this during our whale watching cruises. We did our best to identify this whale as a pygmy sperm whale, but we are not completely certain. Not only is San Diego the best place to go whale watching, it is also the best place to see naval activity. Guests and crew were thrilled to see a Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) zoom by. Dolphins and sea lions were spotted on the sail back into the San Diego Bay.
1/2/20 1 Gray Whale, Pacific White Sided Dolphins, Sea Lions Another fabulous day aboard the Yacht America. The sails were truly able to harness the wind and sail as fast as 12 knots. Guests enjoyed close views of a Gray Whale migrating south. This Gray Whale was very friendly and spent a considerable amount of time on the surface so guests were able to get incredible views. Everyone could even make out individual barnacles. We then spotted a group of Pacific White Sided Dolphins who were extremely playful. Typically, these types of dolphins are relatively shy but these dolphins swam right towards the Yacht America. Guests were able to see great views of these dolphins swimming on both sides of the boat. Everyone enjoyed a smooth sail back to San Diego. What a great whale watching experience. See you tomorrow!
12/31/19 4 Gray Whales, Pacific Common Dolphins, Sea Lions Beautiful day with four Gray Whales. Guests witnessed one whale rolling and the group even stopped to maintain the same position for 15 minutes. Such rolling action often indicates that the whales are mating. We saw a beautiful tail flukes as the whales went down for a dive. The winds were at the perfect angle, so we were able to sail all the way back to the San Diego Bay. Overall it was a fantastic day! We look forward to our next trip on January 2nd. Happy New Year!
12/30/19 5 Humpback Whales, 500 Pacific Common Dolphins, Sea Lions Humpback Whales off the San Diego coast in December? We are not joking, that is not a typo! Next Level Sailing has never seen Humpback Whales in December. That is really saying something since we have been providing whale watching trips since 2008. Captain, crew, and guests were all delighted to watch a massive group of 500 dolphins hunting with five Humpback Whales breaching, lunge feeding, and tail slapping. We saw several beautiful dives with flukes in full view. One particularly active whale breached 5 times. Two Humpback Whales were very curious and popped up right next to us. Everyone aboard was excited by this fantastic experience. Truly a trip to remember aboard the Yacht America.
12/29/19 6 Gray Whales, Sea Lions There were so many Gray Whales spotted today! We are in the height of the southbound Gray Whale migration, so it is a great time to come out sailing. Guests enjoyed close views of an active group of three Gray Whales. This friendly group was comfortable with the Yacht America and swam alongside the vessel for a long time. In addition, we spotted three separate single whales that were also swimming south. The waters were calm and the weather was fabulous.
12/28/19 Sea Lions, Navy Dolphins Another gorgeous sunny San Diego day. The winds were a bit chilly, but the sun was out and the sky was clear. Despite all of our efforts aboard the Yacht America and with fellow whale watching operators, no one was able to find a whale. Fathom was even hoisted 80 feet up in the air and searched for an hour, but unfortunately mammals were not spotted. There was an abundance of birds feeding on bait close to the water’s surface. Guests got a great view of dolphins training at the Naval Dolphin Training Facility. Guests also enjoyed a close view of sea lions relaxing on the bait barge. Everyone on this trip gets to come back for free to fulfill their whale watching guarantee!
12/27/19 1 Gray Whale, Common Dolphins, Sea Lions Blue skies and big white puffy clouds! Although it rained all night, today proved to be beautiful weather with very clear skies. It was a gorgeous day aboard the Yacht America with great views of a gray whale. The light breeze was the perfect wind direction for guests to witness a heart shaped blow. The Gray Whale swam as slow as 1 knot, then proceeded to speed up to 5 knots. This Gray Whale was accompanied by a pod of Common Dolphins and birds.
12/22/19 Common Dolphins, Sea Lions The Gray Whales proved to be elusive today. There was a large active group of Common Dolphins that delighted guests with their jumps, twists, tail slaps, and clicking sounds. Our boat pup, Walter, especially enjoyed the dolphin show too (check out his page on Instagram @walterswhales). The sea lions were sunning themselves on the channel markers enjoying a lazy Sunday.
12/21/19 Pacific White Sided Dolphins, Common Dolphins, Sea Lions Although the trip struck out on finding Gray Whales, guests did enjoy very playful Pacific White Sided Dolphins and Common Dolphins. It was a beautiful day at 72 degrees Fahrenheit. Everyone on this trip will get to come back for free to fulfill their Whale Watching Guarantee.
12/20/19 1 Gray Whale, Common Dolphins, Sea Lions Clear sunny day on the water, guests could see all the way to Islas Los Coronados. The Yacht America sailed next to a submarine leaving San Diego. Scattered Common Dolphins swam close to the Yacht America. We spotted our first Gray Whale of the season migrating south, just off of Imperial Beach. It measured about 26 feet long and showed guests its tail flukes as it went down for a dive.
12/15/19 High Seas Due to high seas that were not predicted, the Yacht America did not sail past Point Loma. Seas were 11 feet at 8 seconds. Guests enjoyed a San Diego Bay sail that included the USS Midway Museum, Coronado Bay Bride, Active Naval Ships, and the San Diego Maritime Museum.
11/23/19 7 Humpback Whales, Pacific White Sided Dolphins, Common Dolphins, Sea Lions A group of 5 joined a group of 3 Humpback Whales, resulting in an astounding sight of 7 Humpback Whales traveling south. We had some close views of these whales, and then they took off swimming south to Mexico. Guests also had great views of Common Dolphins and Pacific White Sided Dolphins.
11/17/19 1 Humpback Whale, Dolphins, Sea Lions This whale watching trip offered an extra special experience as guests were able to witness a pregnant female Humpback Whale. When her baby is born, it will weigh about 1.5 tons and be between 12-15 feet long. Carrying a baby this size would definitely give her a baby bump!
11/16/19 Dolphins, Sea Lions Although we were eluded by whales today, we still had a fantastic day on the water. We saw Common Dolphins jumping and playing. We also got a good view of sea lions as well. Everyone on this trips gets to come back for free to fulfill their whale watching guarantee!
11/15/19 1 Humpback Whale, Common Dolphins, Sea Lions What a gorgeous day on the water! The sun was out, the water was calm, and we found a Humpback Whale! We also saw some Common Dolphins and Sea Lions along the way.
11/11/19 1 Humpback Whale, Pacific White Side Dolphins, Common Dolphins, Sea Lions An extra friendly Sea Lion followed the Yacht America during our whale watching trip. The Humpback Whale that we found swam very close to the boat. To our great surprise, we were able to witness a rainbow spout! This only happens when light hits the spout at the right angle. What a lucky view for our guests. We caught a photo of it, check out our gallery.
11/10/19 4 Humpback Whales, Dolphins, Sea Lions Beautiful views of 4 Humpback Whales, Common Dolphins, and Sea Lions. The water was so clear, guests could peer 10 feet down into the water and clearly see kelp and sea life.
11/4/19 1 Humpback Whale, Common Dolphins, Sea Lions Another sunny day aboard the Yacht America. We found a large Humpback Whale who swam so close, we could hear it breath. We also had a pod of Common Dolphins swim right up to the boat and give us a great show.
11/3/19 2 Humpback Whale, 100+ Common Dolphins Today we saw two Humpback Whales surrounded by 100+ Common Dolphins. We went south towards the Coronado Islands that was teaming with sea life. We found the whales and were able to watch it for over an hour with it swimming close by the boat and even swimming beneath. We turned off our engines and sailed with the whales. Dolphins were scattered as far as you could see in all directions. They were even mating! There were also sea lions and sea birds. Everyone was amazed with the day!
11/1/19 Humpback Whale, Dolphins, Sea Lions We enjoyed a calm day sunny day with a beautiful humpback whale, dolphins, and sea lions. The humpback took some magnificent dives so we had a clear view of the flukes.