When I thought of whale watching tours and holidays, California would never have been somewhere I’d have considered going. But when we planned to spend our final full day in the USA relaxing at Dana Point beach, whale watching was instantly recommended as a must-do activity while we were there.

Dana Point itself seemed like a beautiful community and, until the wind picked up, I could have sat for hours watching the families paddling and surfers frantically paddling to catch the sporadic waves.
dana point beachOur boat was booked for 4pm with the logic that we’d at least see a beautiful sunset if nothing else so when the time came, we excitedly headed down to the pier. As soon as the boat left the harbour, we were treated to the sight of dozens of seals basking in the afternoon sunlight on a large rocky outcrop.
seals dana pointThe wind whipped our hair into a frenzy as we sped out to sea and there was an air of excitement as everybody craned their necks, keen to be the first to spot any signs of movement. It wasn’t long before we were rewarded…
dana point dolphinIt started with a solitary dolphin fin surfacing briefly above the water and before we knew it, there were dozens leaping from the water.

whale watching wander with lauradolphins dana point
As the sun began to set, more and more dolphins arrived and there was something incredibly special about seeing them wild and free. I actually swum with dolphins last year and while it isn’t an experience I’d change, knowing that they hadn’t been trained to put on this beautiful display here was just so much more meaningful.
dana point sunsetThe sunset provided a beautiful backdrop and just when we thought we couldn’t get any more in awe, we saw them.
whale watching dana pointTwo grey whales on their journey northwards. They eluded us for a lot of the two hour boat ride, only occasionally surfacing to breathe which produced those amazingly distinctive sprays of water. However, towards the end, the dolphins helped us out and the two species started playing together. It was then we saw more of their bodies for the first time as they popped up their heads and even rolled over backwards.
dana point whale watchingIn the picture above, you see the head and fins of a grey whale, with a dolphin to the left. I mean really, it doesn’t get any better than that. It was with great sadness that we said goodbye to our new friends and sailed gently back towards land, talking excitedly about how amazing our spontaneous whale watching trip was.

One week in America and we covered Universal Studios, Las Vegas, Santa Monica, Dana Point and Hollywood. Is it greedy to want to go back for more already?

Laura x

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