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Whale Watching

Melbourne, Florida
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Whale Watching

My husband and I will be visiting Newport in 2 weeks. Are there any good areas for spoting whales in the area. I've seen a lot of advertised tours, but we were hoping to some watching on our own. Any ideas? Thanks

Davey's Locker
Dolphin & Whale Watching, Boat Hire, Nature & Wildlife Tours, Boat Tours, Fishing Charters & Tours
california
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11,773 posts
169 reviews
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1. Re: Whale Watching

It really is better to go out on a boat. I don't know about spots in OC but in Los Angeles County if you go to Point Vicente there are whale spotters there with a daily log of what they've seen. The good thing is that they will point you in the direction of anything that is passing by.

Last week there was a gray whale in very close at Trump National in one of the coves, but needless to say, I missed it. It was there for about 3 hours according to some County Sheriffs who were sitting there all day just to tell people that come May 1 no dogs are allowed on the beach. That's where our tax dollars go, folks.

Edited: 28 April 2012, 20:52
Melbourne, Florida
9 posts
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2. Re: Whale Watching

Darn, guess I was looking for something a little less "organized' and hoping to avoid the traditional tourist tours.

Thanks

Encinitas...
Destination Expert
for Zion National Park, Joshua Tree National Park
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18,246 posts
15 reviews
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3. Re: Whale Watching

If you should change your mind and do a whale tour, this one is very good.

Its aboard a catamaran with two underwater viewing pods.

If you look at the website it gives a running total of the creatures they have seen.

www.dolphinsafari.com

Just above the harbor where that boat is moored is the Dana Point Headlands. There are nature trails and an amazing view of the coastline.

There is a nature center up there that opened a year or so ago.

Edited: 28 April 2012, 21:19
california
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11,773 posts
169 reviews
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4. Re: Whale Watching

You could also do the cheap tours out of Newport Landing or Dana Point. If you google hard enough you will find them for $10 or $15,

Your alternative is to rent a sailboat and hope you get lucky.

We have seen blue whales every time we go out in July/August of the Newport coast.. It is quite something to be sailing along and have a giant spout go off not far from the boat! We had one watching us last year, think it was a curious youngster peeking above the waterline.

Edited: 28 April 2012, 21:46
Phoenix, Arizona
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932 posts
27 reviews
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5. Re: Whale Watching

We just returned from a week at the beach. We used Dolphin Safari and were very pleased. We saw a Fin Whale, a Minke Whale and tons of dolphins.

Newport Beach...
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222 posts
2 reviews
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6. Re: Whale Watching

To see the whales on your own, you would either need to rent your own boat, or find a place on land and hope to be lucky enough that you can spot a whale that is passing by.

The problem with the first option is that it would be expensive and you would not likely have the same skill/experience as a professional guide at finding, spotting and following the whales. Also, many of the whale and fishing boats communicate with each other over VHF radio, telling each other where the whales are. Without out being in that loop, you are two eyes looking for whales, rather than a hundred.

With the second option, there are also several problems. First, you would have the same problem of being two sets of untrained eyes looking for whales. Also, the whales generally do not come too close to shore, so you would be looking for specks and splashes on the horizon. Also, the whales are moving (as they migrate or look for food) and thus even if you spotted one, it might be a 1/2 mile away before it comes up again. The boats can follow the whales as they move.

That being said, there is one good place I know of where you might be able to see whales from land: palosverdes.com/rpv/…

This is a Whale Interpretive Center, and they have a viewing deck, where volunteers sit with binoculars and track the passing whales. If there are whales out there, you can walk up and the volunteers will more than likely be happy to point them out to you. Bring binoculars.

Overall, I personally think your best bet is the Dolphin Safari (mentioned above). It's not a super touristy trip, its a small boat, and you might find as many locals as tourists on the trip. Believe me, when he is able to take you close to the whales, you will be thanking yourself for going with the tour, rather than staying on land.

Newport Beach, CA
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1,931 posts
23 reviews
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7. Re: Whale Watching

I realize that the OP has probably already visited but for others with similar questions here is an article that may provide many answers. So, as long as it's up I think it will be of interest to anyone thinking of going on a whale watching trip. It's from the local paper and its' title is: "On the OC Coast, a giant whale jam-up." …ocregister.com/2012/…

8. Re: Whale Watching

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