Jillian is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. This means that purchases made through these links may earn her a commission. See her privacy and disclosure policies page for more information. Read on below for my Dolphin Watching experience….
Dolphin Watching in Newport Beach
This post is #3 in a series of 6. See post #1 here: 5 Things to do in Orange County
As I mentioned in the first post of this 6-post series, I found our Dolphin Watching cruise through Groupon. The cruise I chose departed from and returned to the Balboa Pavilion on Balboa Island in Newport Beach. It was easy enough to find, and there were actually two boats that departed at the same time. We chose to go on a Sunday evening at 6:30pm, hoping to catch at least the beginning of a nice sunset. We sure picked the right time for that!
The Cruise was actually advertised as “Whale and Dolphin watching cruise”, but we did not see any whales that evening. The amount of dolphins made up for it! Not only that, but before our boat even pulled out of the harbor, we got to see this guy!
This Sea Lion was hamming it up for our cameras right against our boat (probably hoping to be thrown a few fish.)
The ship’s captain did not announce much over the loudspeaker besides a short introductory mentioning that we may see 3 different types of dolphins. He also mentioned whales had not been spotted since a cruise 2 days beforehand. There were many cool houses and boats along the Newport Bay as we pulled out. I learned there are separate cruise tours specifically for learning about the history of some of the homes in the area.
Once we cruised out of the bay, it did not take very long before we spotted some dolphins!
And more dolphins……
and then a BIG pod of more than I could count!
We were able to get close enough I did not feel I needed binoculars. We stood for most of the cruise on the left side of the boat, towards the back. We noticed right away that if you stand too close to the front or on the front deck, you can get really wet! The nice thing, and a big reason I picked the tour company I did for the cruise, is because they advertised a bar and snack shop on their boats. Our boat had a nice seating area inside with a small snack bar that served quite a few things; candy, hot dogs, soda, alcoholic drinks, and more. It was a smart place to hangout if you wanted a break from being in the wind up above. Warning: these things are very windy, and you really have to brace yourself sometimes when the waves cause the ship to rock a little. I would suggest bringing a light sweater, and to not drink too much alcohol! I did not drink anything except this can of soda, but only so I could use this cute koozie my husband gave me before I left for California. Haha!
We saw Dolphins for pretty much the whole cruise until we headed back to the bay. The sun was beginning to set at this point. I must mention the scenery we had during the cruise was breath-taking. It was a great way to see up and down the Southern Coast of California.
If you ever get to go on a Dolphin (and/or Whale) watching cruise, I can say Newport Beach is a great place to book one. Do not forget your camera! I took a few on my cellphone, but most of these were taken with the usual camera I use for most of my photography: Pentax Optio WG-2 Digital Camera.
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