Whale watchers out with Captain Dave’s Dolphin and Whale Safari in Dana Point, California, got more than they bargained for when a friendly juvenile humpback whale repeatedly swam next to and under the whale watching catamaran. This is called a mugging. The humpback whale mugged the boat so much that the Captain couldn’t leave! The muggings occurred throughout the day, on every trip, and other boats gathered nearby to watch this amazing spectacle.Prior to 2014, Dana Point was well known for gray whale and blue whale watching. Southern California hosts the largest population of blue whales in the world during the summer months. Humpback whales were only seen occasionally, but within the last year sightings have increased exponentially, including a humpback that took up residence in the area for a couple of months last year.
Like other baleen whales, humpback whales feed in colder waters and migrate to warmer climates for mating and calving. Humpbacks are seen off Southern California at sporadic times throughout the year when the whales are making their way up the coast in search of food or heading south to Mexico to mate and give birth. About 800 humpbacks are found off California in summer, mostly above Point Conception.
Humpback whales can reach lengths of around 50 feet with females being slightly larger and they can weigh up to 40 tons. Their long pectoral flippers can be up to 15 feet in length. Humpbacks eat small fish and krill.
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Captain Dave’s Dolphin and Whale Watching Safari offers daily, year-round, dolphin and whale watching trips from Dana Point, California, aboard a hi-tech catamaran sailboat with Eye-to-Eye Underwater Viewing Pods.