Next Level Sailing Whale Watching Report


Date

Cruise

Report

3/18/2020 Rough Seas The forecast proved to be a little off today. NOAA said it was sunny, but there were actually patches of rain. We sailed out to Point Loma and tested the ocean to see if the predicted sea state was accurate. Unfortunately, it was also incorrect. The seas were too rough to go out whale watching. We turned back into the bay and our guests enjoyed a tour of the San Diego Bay. Don’t forget, our guests are entitled to a whale watching guarantee in the future! We look forward to seeing them again soon.
3/16/2020 6 Gray Whales, Bottlenose Dolphins, Sea Lions It was a small group today, only 12 guests booked for our trip. Since our deck is completely outside, everyone breathes fresh ocean air the entire time. Whale watching aboard the Yacht America is truly one of the safest activities in San Diego during this COVID-19 pandemic. With our small group, we saw a total of six Gray whales. We headed ten miles out and had incredible views of San Diego, La Jolla, and Coronado. It was fantastic visibility.
3/15/2020 3 Gray Whales, 500 Bottlenose Dolphins, Sea Lions We spotted a group of three friendly Gray whales and we stayed with them for several cycles. They dove several times, so we saw fantastic tail flukes. Captain Troy went to investigate a report of a large group of dolphins. We ended up seeing 500 bottlenose dolphins! A pod this size of bottlenose is simply unheard of, so we were positively thrilled to see such an amazing sight. What another great day with Next Level Sailing!
3/14/2020 15 Gray Whales, Common Dolphins, Sea Lions We sailed out of the San Diego Bay and saw a single Gray whale one time. Then we saw another single just once, so Captain Troy decided to go west. By the end of the trip, guests saw a total of fifteen Gray whales! Some were even playing with common dolphins. It was truly a day for the books.
3/13/2020 2 Gray Whales, Common Dolphins, Sea Lions There was a little rain in the morning, but it cleared during our trip so we had a wonderful sail! We found two northbound Gray whales that displayed a considerable amount of rolling. There were also dolphins swimming around the whales and playing with the boat. The visibility was fantastic. We passed by the sea lions on the bait barge and there were a lot of cute pups. Overall, it was a great day.
3/9/2020 2 Humpback Whales, Megapod Common Dolphins, Sea Lions It was such a beautiful day today. The sun was out and the ocean was flat. We had to cancel the trip tomorrow because of heavy rain, but we are sure glad that we were able to sail today. We sailed out past Point Loma and found two humpback whales. This dynamic duo was feeding with a megapod of common dolphins! There were at least 5,000 dolphins feeds in the area, the pod was five miles across. Some of the dolphins even stampeded. We followed the two humpback whales for a long time. We were even able to see their gorgeous tail flukes when they took a dive. One whale did a huge tail slap as well. It was a fantastic day on the water.
3/8/2020 2 Humpback Whales, Common Dolphins, Sea Lions The humpback whales are here! Today we saw two more humpback whales feeding in San Diego. We were in deep water, so we were able to watch these magnificent animals. Several years ago, we did not see humpback whales on a regular basis. The past few years, however, we have seen humpback whales in the spring and fall. It is great to see them out in the water already. We also saw common dolphins as well. What a fabulous day on the water!
3/7/2020 3 Gray Whales, 1 Humpback, Common Dolphins, Sea Lions The first whale that was spotted came up close to the boat, about 100 yards. This friendly Gray whale spouted three times, then took off. Captain Troy headed west to deeper water. On the way, we found two northbound Gray Whales. Once showed off it’s gorgeous tail! We also saw a humpback whale in these nutrient rich waters. This was the first humpback whale we have spotted in 2020!  Common dolphins were also feeding as well. Another great day in San Diego.
3/6/2020 2 Gray Whales, Common Dolphins, Sea Lions There were two separate southbound Gray whales. They were moving around 4 knots. We also spotted friendly common dolphins that decided to join our sail. They decided to ride on the bow of the Yacht America, it was wonderful. Another great day with Next Level Sailing.
3/4/2020 1 Gray Whale, Bottlenose Dolphins, Sea Lions, LCAC We found a very friendly southbound Gray whales just off the coast of Point Loma. We sailed with this friendly whale down to the Mexican border and then sailed back to San Diego. On our way home, we got super close views of military LCACs leaving Coronado Beach, which was super exciting. We also were incredibly lucky to sail next to Dennis Conner on the way back to our dock. He sailed up to us on his racing boat and said hi. It was very exciting to see him out on the water!
3/3/2020 3 Gray Whales, Bottlenose Dolphins, Sea Lions Today was a fantastic day. Since it was stormy last night, it was incredibly clear in all directions. We even had a few locals aboard who could not believe how clearly we could see the mountains to the east. As soon as we left Point Loma, we spotted two Gray whales heading north. We followed these whales up along the kelp line and then spotted another whale to the west. Upon closer investigation, we found it was a single adult heading south. This older adult was in no hurry, swimming at just 2.5 knots. It was amazing to watch this wise older whale slowly making its way down to Mexico. Just a wonderful day on the water, see you tomorrow!
3/2/2020 5 Gray Whales, Bottlenose Dolphins, Sea Lions It was a windy day today, perfect for sailing. We cruised out to the open ocean and sailed nine miles off the coast. Crew member Cody spotted a spout a mile off our bow! After lining up the whales, we discovered that there was not just one whale but three Gray whales. What a spectacular site! We could clearly see their turquoise body under the water. These whales snorkeled for a long time so all of our guests enjoyed wonderful views. One of the whales went down for a deep dive, so we were able to see its tail. We started to head back and Capt. Troy spotted another spout in the distance. Upon further investigation, we found it was a cow/calf pair. We could clearly see the body of the calf.
3/1/20 3 Gray Whales, Bottlenose Dolphins, Sea Lions We were the only whale watching boat to see a whale today! With Yacht America’s large size, we were able to cut right through the swell with ease. We saw the most interesting whale behavior yesterday. The crew spotted a pair of southbound Gray whales which were very consistent. Then we saw a single whale swimming from the north at rapid speeds. It linked up right next to the pair and all three whales swam together for two cycles. Then, the single decided to take off and it swam away at a rapid speed as it continued the southbound migration. It was so interesting to watch. We wonder, did they have a quick conversation? What did they talk about? Another fantastic day with Next Level Sailing!
2/29/20 5 Gray Whales, Risso’s Dolphins, Sea Lions The weather has started to cool off with a high of 67 degrees. The sea is still incredibly calm, it was as flat as a lake today. Captain Troy decided to sail out to deep water 9 miles off our San Diego coast. He made the right choice as we spotted a group of five Gray Whales swimming north together! It was spectacular to watch this large group come up to breath and dive down together. Many of the whales showed us their tails as they took a dive. One particular whale had a very large white spot on its left side, at least 1.5 ft in diameter. We are going to blow up some pictures and try to figure out more about that white spot. While we were sailing with these whales, we spotted a group of twenty Risso’s Dolphins off our port side. Risso’s are very shy, but it was wonderful to get a few close looks. We even saw a calf in the mix as well. Another great day out on the water!
2/28/2020 2 Gray Whales, Pacific White Sided Dolphins, Common Dolphins, Sea Lions Another gorgeous day out on the water. The sea state is very calm, the swell is 0-1 ft, so it feels like you are on a lake! As soon as we got off the dock, we felt the refreshing ocean breeze. As soon as we exited the San Diego Bay, we spotted two southbound Gray Whales. These large adults were very consistent and fluked on every dive. They were traveling around 4.5 knots. We sailed with them towards Mexico and were pleasantly surprised when we spotted some dolphins swimming towards the whales! A mixture of Pacific White Sides and Common Dolphins were swimming with the whales. It almost seemed like they were playing with each other as we witness the whales rolling. Typically we see rolling when the whales are mating, but it takes three whales to mate. It just seemed like everyone was having some fun in the water! After sailing with these whales down to the border, it was time for us to turn around. On our journey home, we saw someone parachute out of a C-130, very cool! The wind was at the perfect sailing angle so we were able to shut off our engines and sail home. That’s a wrap for another fantastic day with Next Level Sailing.
2/27/2020 5 Gray Whales, Pacific White Sided Dolphins, Sea Lions It was a warm day with a high of 81 degrees with fantastic visibility. We even witnessed a mirage as the Coronado Islands in Mexico looked very unusual. We headed up north along the coast and found two southbound Gray whales. This pair was moving slow, around 2-3 knots. They were very friendly and swam right up to the Yacht America. We saw a spout off our starboard side so we went to investigate. It turned out to be a northbound cow and calf! The baby had such a cute little spout, we tried our best to capture pictures but it was very small. Typically northbound whales travel faster than southbound whales. This cow/calf  pair was no exception, swimming around 5 knots. Off our starboard we spotted a group of 20 Pacific White Sided Dolphins. so we went to sail with them. Suddenly, a Gray whale popped up right next to the boat. It surprised everyone, but we got a fantastic view as it swam south. During our journey home, we saw a cool navy ship called the USNS City of Bismarck. Another great day aboard the Yacht America.
2/25/2020 4 Gray Whales, 200 Common Dolphins, Sea Lions Today our guests and crew battled a heavy marine layer. It was a sunny hot day on land, but out at sea there was thick fog that settled on the ocean. We slowly sailed through this mysterious fog and watched the water for any sign of life as the fog burned off. It turned out to be a gorgeous sunny day once guests and crew could see! Guests got to see naval personnel parachute out of a C-130, how cool. We suddenly spotted two northbound Gray Whales. Everyone had great views of these whales for three cycles, but then they decided to be coy and disappear from our view. We were probably the first boat they have seen since they left the Mexican lagoons. Captain Troy made a turn for home port when Fathom spotted hundreds of common dolphins! It turned out to be a nursery pod with a ton of cute calves. We sailed with this active pod, but finally had to leave as we were running late. About a mile from Point Loma we passed by a Gray cow and calf. We also saw five Risso’s dolphins. We could not stay otherwise our trip would turn into a sunset sail. Although we were an hour late getting in, we had an action packed sail with amazing wildlife. We were also the only boat to see whales today. We will see you on Thursday!
2/24/2020 2 Gray Whales, Bottlenose Dolphins, Sea Lions, Navy Ships We were about to finish raising sails when someone yelled, “Thar she blows!” A pair of Gray Whales popped up right next to the Yacht America. We quickly slowed down and turned south so we could sail next to this dynamic duo. They certainly had a pattern of their own as they swam south at a good pace of 4 knots for several cycles, then stopped to hold their position for a cycle, then continued south. We were lucky to find these whales as soon as we exited the San Diego Bay. Every day is different, we never know when or where we will find whales. We sailed with these large adult whales several miles off the coast. They delighted guests and crew alike with a perfectly synchronized double tail. Be sure to check out our gallery to see these great views. It is not every day we see a pair fluke at the same time. The wind was at our beam so we had a fantastic sail home. We also saw Fort Worth exit the San Diego Bay in addition to two tug and tows. What a wonderful day with Next Level Sailing!
2/23/2020 2 Gray Whales, Pacific White Sides, Sea Lions Today, we sailed north in search of Gray Whales. Off the coast of La Jolla, we found a pair of southbound Gray Whales that proved to be very active. One whale was a juvenile who decided to breach four times! It was extremely exciting for everyone aboard the Yacht America. Since we wanted to stay and watch all the action, we did return back to the dock thirty minutes late. During our sail home, we came across some Pacific White Sided Dolphins. We also sailed by the sea lions as well. Another fantastic day with Next Level Sailing!
2/22/2020 1 Gray Whale, Pacific White Sides, Common Dolphins, Sea Lions Rain was a big concern for today’s trip. After closely monitoring the weather, Captain Troy decided to delay the trip a few hours. This allowed for the rain to pass prior to the trip even starting. Once everyone was aboard the America, it was a fantastic day with no rain. Although we just found one Gray Whale, it was very friendly and fluked its tail many times. We also sailed with Pacific White Sided Dolphins and Common Dolphins. It turned out to be a wonderful day!
2/21/2020 2 Gray Whales, Pacific White Sides, Sea Lions We found a fantastic pair of Gray Whales headed south. They both really liked to show their tails, so be sure to check out our gallery to see some epic photos. We also came across a small pod of playful Pacific White Sided Dolphins. Of course we sailed by the bait barge and got some close views and smells of the sea lions. Another great day with Next Level Sailing.
2/20/2020 2 Gray Whales, Bottlenose Dolphins, Sea Lions As we left the San Diego Bay, we spotted a five Bottlenose Dolphins. We noticed there was a baby in the mix swimming with its mom, too cute! The sea state was very calm and the high was 73 degrees. We found a pair of southbound Gray Whales and sailed with these friendly whales for quite some time. Everyone was able to get great photos and the whales showed us their tails as well. It was finally time to head for home, but the wind was in our favor so we sailed all the way home with engines turned off. We even sailed by the sea lions on the bait barges. It was a spectacular day for everyone.
2/19/2020 2 Gray Whales, Bottlenose Dolphins, Sea Lions Sunny days in San Diego are the best. At 73 degrees, it is hard to believe we are in February. We found two large adult Gray Whales and the wind was just perfect to witness a heart shaped blow. Guests could clearly make out the barnacles on these whales as well. Since we were sailing, it was so quiet we could hear the whales breathing. What a fantastic day!
2/18/2020 3 Gray Whales, Common Dolphins, Sea Lions It was a small group today, only 16 guests! We saw a group of three Gray Whales, swimming south. The weather was a beautiful 72 degrees, guests were able to get some fantastic pictures. A crew member spotted some dolphins, so we went to get a closer look. It turned out to be Common Dolphins! Captain Troy topped off a perfect trip by a close view of the bait barge so everyone got great views of the sea lions. We will see you tomorrow!
2/17/2020 4 Gray Whales, Pacific White Sided Dolphins, Sea Lions, Navy Ship One of the best parts about sailing from San Diego is that we get to see naval activity during every whale watching trip. Today was no exception, especially since it was a Monday. It was the start of the work week. From helicopters and naval ships to submarines, we get to see it all during our whale watching trips. Once we were out to sea, we saw two separate pairs of Gray Whales swimming south. One pair was very consistent, so we were able to sail with them for a long time. Another fantastic day!
2/16/2020 3 Gray Whales, Common Dolphins, Sea Lions Whale watching is truly a splendid Sunday activity, especially during the height of whale watching season. Don’t forget you can bring your own picnic lunch and drinks. With a high of 72, it was the perfect day for family and friends to spend some quality time together out on the water.
2/15/2020 2 Gray Whales, Bottlenose Dolphins, Sea Lions Guests enjoyed an active pair swimming south towards Mexico. These friendly whales spent a large amount of time on the surface so guests could get great views.
2/14/2020 4 Gray Whales, Common Dolphins, Sea Lions Happy Valentines Day! Today was amazing, especially because we saw a Gray Whale breach several times. This phenomenon is very rare, especially for a Gray Whale. This active Gray Whale was swimming with another Gray, it was great to see such a dynamic duo. To see such activity on Valentines Day was extremely special. Be sure to check out our photos in our gallery. We also passed by a single southbound Gray Whale. During our sail home, we also passed by a single northbound Gray Whale. During this time of year, we are beginning to see southbound and northbound whales passing through San Diego. Guests spotted some dolphins and it turned out to be a megapod of Pacific Common Dolphins. Although these dolphins were scattered, it was very special to see so many hundreds of dolphins. Another great day aboard with Next Level Sailing.
2/12/2020 3 Gray Whales, Bottlenose Dolphins, Sea Lions, USS Nimitz What an incredible day! Not only did guests see a pair of southbound Gray Whales, they also saw a single Gray Whale. All three were swimming south toward Mexico. In addition, everyone witnessed the USS Nimitz heading out to sea. This massive aircraft carrier is quite a sight, it was magnificent to sail close to this vessel.
2/11/2020 3 Gray Whales, Common Dolphins, Sea Lions We spotted a group of three Gray Whales swimming south together. It is always amazing to watch how they swim synchronously with each other. We also saw a large group of common dolphins on our way back to San Diego.
2/9/2020 5 Gray Whales, Common Dolphins, Sea Lions, Navy Ship Another fantastic day with Next Level Sailing. Guests saw a total of 5 Gray Whales swimming south towards Mexico. These whales were swimming around 4-5 knots.
2/8/2020 4 Gray Whales, Bottlenose Dolphins, Sea Lions Just a great way to spend the weekend! These Gray Whales were very friendly and guests had fantastic views of these friendly whales.
2/7/2020 5 Gray Whales, Bottlenose Dolphins, Sea Lions, Navy Ship Crossing The whales were a bit elusive today. We headed out west and didn’t spot anything, so we chased some southbound whales. There was a group of three moving quickly down to Mexico. It was such a clear day, so we could see their blows miles away, but it took us some time to catch up to them. Once we did, the group seemed to separate. We kept with one Gray Whale and watched it breath several times. We went to the other Gray Whale and watched it as well. The third Gray Whale was too far away to catch. We headed north and found a pair swimming together just off of Point Loma! Although we were late, we sailed with this pair and got some fabulous close views. Eventually, we finally had to go home. On our way, we saw an LHD and Guided Missile Destroyer cross each other in the channel. The two saluted each other and we cheered for both ships.
2/6/2020 6 Gray Whales, Pacific White Sided Dolphins, Sea Lions It was a calm and sunny day out on the water with clear blue skies. We could even make out the buildings in Mexico several miles away. Captain Troy spotted a blow, so we headed south. Suddenly we were surrounded by Pacific White Sided Dolphins swimming next to the Yacht America. We found two Gray Whales migrating together. They were swimming at 4.3 knots. We also saw two blows in the distance, but these whales were several miles away in Mexican waters. With this in mind, we headed north to see what else we could find. We spotted another pair of Gray Whales, but they split ways. One took a beautiful dive. Our journey continued north and we spotted another pair. The two stayed together and we got a fantastic view. Another great day with Next Level Sailing!
2/2/2020 4 Gray Whales, 500+ Common Dolphins, Sea Lions It was a little overcast today, but the sun peaked out for our guests. We passed by a single Gray Whale on our way out west. Several miles off the coast, we found three Gray Whales swimming south. Guests enjoyed very close views as these were three friendly adults. They were swimming around 4 knots. We sailed away to see what else we could find. Captain Troy spotted dolphins in the distance. After sailing closer, we found at least 500 Common Dolphins. They played with the Yacht America and circles around the ship. We sailed with them for quite some time, but eventually had to head for home. We stopped by the bait barges and got a close view of the sea lions as well. Another great day with Next Level Sailing!
2/1/2020 5 Gray Whales, Bottlenose Dolphins, Sea Lions, Harbor Seal Another beautiful sunny day in San Diego. With a high of 79 degrees, it was great to get out on the water. Guests saw close views of the Naval Bottlenose Dolphins on our way out to sea. Once we made it to the ocean, we passed by a single Gray Whale and continued West. Suddenly, we spotted four Gray Whales migrating south! All whales were healthy adults that looked like that had a great summer feeding in Alaska. Everyone enjoyed great close views. Check out our gallery to see all the fantastic photos. We even saw a cute harbor seal, which we rarely see in San Diego. The wind was perfect for sailing home and we passed by the sea lions. During our sail in, a couple got engaged! Congratulations to the happy couple. What a great day with Next Level Sailing. See you tomorrow!
1/31/20 6 Gray Whales, Pacific White Sided Dolphins, Bottlenose Dolphins, Sea Lions, LCS and LA Class Attack Submarine Today was a blue bird day. Not a cloud in the sky and the sun was out with a high of 79 degrees. The wind that we felt on the water was very refreshing. While we were raising sails, we passed by a LA Class Attack Submarine that was entering the San Diego Bay to replenish supplies. We passed closed to the SD Buoy and saw a single Gray Whale. We pressed on and found a very friendly cow and calf pair. This female Gray Whale did not quite make it to Mexico to have her baby, but the duo was swimming along at a constant pace. Both mom and baby seemed healthy, which is just great to see! We headed out west and found three adult Gray Whales swimming south. All three had an abundance of barnacles on their bodies. We had some fantastic views of these three whales as well. It was finally time to head for home. On our way back, we passed by a few Pacific White Sided Dolphins. We also saw an LCS Independence Class headed outbound. We wrapped up our trip with a view of the sea lions on the bait barges. It was another perfect day!
1/30/20 10 Gray Whales, 300-500 Common Dolphins, Bottlenose Dolphins, Sea Lions It is truly the peak of the Gray Whale Migration. We saw a pair of Gray Whales, then another pair of Gray Whales to the west. After some great views, we saw a huge line of something shiny in the distance. Upon closer investigation, we found 300-500 Common Dolphins! This was such an incredible sight. We sailed north with the dolphins and then saw another pair of Gray Whales. We were out of time, so we started our journey home. Just when we least expected it, four Gray Whales popped up right next to the boat! What an incredible sight. The wind was blowing in the perfect direction so we sailed all the way back to La Playa. What a fantastic day with Next Level Sailing. Be sure to check out our gallery to see some of the great photos from today!
1/27/20 6 Gray Whales, Pacific White Sided Dolphins, Sea Lions As soon as the Yacht America passed Point Loma, we saw a pair of Gray Whales migrating south. These whales were traveling just under 5 knots. After several views, we decided to see what else we could find. We sailed out west and saw several blows at the same time. With a closer look, it seems that we found two cows and two calves! The young whales had the smallest blowholes compared to their mothers, it was just too cute. In total, we saw six Gray Whales today. We headed for home and saw about 20 Pacific White Sided Dolphins. They were very active! It was another fantastic day with Next Level Sailing. 
1/26/20 7 Gray Whales, Bottlenose Dolphins, Pacific White Sided Dolphins, Sea Lions, Common Dolphins Did you know the Navy trains dolphins? U.S. Navy Marine Mammal Program is right in our backyard and we sail by their base everyday. For instance, we saw some Bottlenose Dolphins training today. As soon as the Yacht America sailed out to sea, guests saw a group of seven Gray Whales. This large group split into a group of four and a group of three. Captain Troy decided to stay with the group of 4 and guests enjoyed fabulous views of these whales. The crew spotted a bait ball in the distance. The Yacht America sailed closer and found Pacific White Sides, Common Dolphins, and Sea Lions feeding on bait. Another great day with Next Level Sailing! 
1/25/20 6 Gray Whales, Pacific White Sided Dolphins, Sea Lions Despite a foggy morning, it turned out to be a very nice day aboard the Yacht America. As soon as we rounded Point Loma, we found a pair of Gray Whales. This friendly duo swam at a steady 4 knots and we had wonderful close views. Guests could even hear them breathing. We decided to see what else we could find. BLOW! A crew member saw a blow in the distance. Once we got closer, we found four Gray whales swimming side by side. What an incredible sight! This group was also very friendly and popped up right next to the Yacht America. On our way home, we spotted some Pacific White Sided Dolphins as well as Sea Lions. It was a great day with Next Level Sailing.
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.