Current Conditions

Fall is Here – Humpbacks, Minkes, and Fin Whales

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Fall is here! Water temperatures begin to drop, tons of anchovies in the area off Newport Beach, and quite the variety of both baleen and toothed cetaceans. Whales we’ve been seeing the last couple weeks have been mostly humpback whales and minke whales, even a pair of giant fin whales and the occasional early Southbound gray whale. Dolphin sightings have been phenomenal – some trips seeing 3 and 4 different species of dolphins. My last trip saw the dolphin QUADFECTA – common dolphins, bottlenose dolphins, risso’s dolphins and pacific white sided dolphins. We, East Meets West Excursions, is super excited to see what the next few weeks bring us – hopefully lots of humpback whales!

ORCAS off Orange County

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Unbelievable and unprecedented week with 4 days of orcas. A pod of 8-10 Eastern Tropical Pacific Orcas (killer whales) have found an affinity for our waters off Newport Beach. They are normally further south off Mexico and Central America. They have been on the hunt and have turned back around twice now to return. No telling what they will do but I don’t think we have seen them for the last time this week.
Humpback whales, minke whales, common dolphins, bottlenose dolphins and risso’s dolphins also seen.

Humpback whales return!

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What a variety of sightings we have been enjoying this summer – blue whales, humpback whales, minke whales, fin whales, and brydes whales – short beaked common dolphins, long beaked common dolphins, offshore bottlenose dolphins (including the world famous Patches), and even risso’s dolphins.

Big news this week has been the return of numerous humpback whales to our waters off Newport Beach. Tons of anchovies for these whales to feed on. We are hoping these whales stick around for some epic late summer through Fall action with the humpbacks!

Dolphins have been incredible with some of the most amazing pods (some with over 1000 individuals) of both long and short beaked common dolphins. Acrobatic pods of offshore bottlenose dolphins have been a consistent encounter as well.

Summertime fun!

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Whales: Good signs of more blue whales beginning to move through our waters off Newport Beach, a sprinkling of minke whales feasting on schools of anchovies, and perfect conditions for humpback whales to call home.

Dolphins: Trifecta of common dolphins (long and short beaked pods of 100+ individuals), offshore and coastal bottlenose dolphins, and even our rarely seen risso’s dolphins have been making an appearance throughout July.

Whale of a Variety – Humpbacks, Blues, Fins and Minkes

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June is shaping up nicely with quite the variety of whale sightings aboard East Meets West Excursions, Newport Beach – Humpback whales, Blue whales, Fin whales and Minke whales! Blue whales and humpback whales continue to be our focus. Large volume of anchovies have brought in humpback whales and lots of dolphins with pods of 500+ being common. Blue whales have been traveling a lot and one area has been holding a few blues and a fin whale foraging on krill. I think we will be seeing more humpback whales with the strong sign of anchovy spread all over, as well as more giant blue whales. Our local humpback whale has been making its rounds and loves to throw in some spectacular surface behaviors. Even seeing breaching minke whales the past 2 days. Lots of fun!

Whales turn Gray to Blue!

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Our blue whale season aboard East Meets West Excursions is officially underway and off to an early start. Large concentrations of krill has brought numerous blue whales into our area off Newport Beach. Blue whales are the largest creature ever to exist! They can grow over 100’ long and weigh 150 tons! The key element for lots of blue whales is krill. They exclusively feed on this small shrimp like crustacean. It has been a great week of blue whale sightings and we are hoping the volume of krill increases as more blue whales move in. We have also seen the occasional fin whale and gray whale but our focus has been on these giant blue whales.

Photo of fin whale with our boat in the background credited to Craig DeWitt of Capt. Dave’s Dolphin Safari, thank you Craig!

Gray whales in the surf!

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It’s that time of year when the mother and baby gray whales (cow/calf pairs) leave the breeding lagoons and begin their 6000 mile trek north. It is an exciting time because they travel very close to the coast and are known to break from their migration and play in the surf line. Numerous pairs this past week have angled in and out on shows in less than 10’ of water – rolling, bubble blasting, and spyhopping. Good signs offshore of krill, red crab, and some anchovies moving in. Blue whales and humpback whales should be starting to appear with more regularity as we enter into May. Dolphins have included amazing pods of commons, bottlenose and white sides.

April Whales and Dolphins

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As we enter April, our gray whale migration begins seeing a transition from pods of adult whales to more and more mother and baby (cow/calf) pairs. Quite a few giant fin whales moving around 3-6 miles off the beach both above and below our harbor. Dolphins have been a fun variety of coastal bottlenose, pacific white sided, and commons. Come on out to see the cow/calf gray whales make their way back to Alaska – a very fun and often shallow encounter as these whales love to play in the surf and kelp!

Gray Whale Bonanza!

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Our northbound gray whale migration is in prime time! Lots and lots of gray whales, many days seeing 15-25 gray whales combined aboard East Meets West Excursions. Now is the time to get in on this coastal and picturesque whale watch. Even a few fin whales and the occasional humpback whale in the mix. Dolphins have included inshore bottlenose, pacific white sided and commons with the occasional mega and superpod over 1000+.

Gray Whale Migration in FULL Swing!

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Ahoy! Gray whale migration is in full swing! Lots of gray whales make their annual trek between Alaska and Baja. The migration just had a turn last week when we began seeing more northbound whales than southbound. Most of the whales we are seeing have been to the breeding grounds and are now heading back to their feeding grounds. Some amazing pods of 3 and 4 full grown adults are swimming through the area – the best whale pods we’ve had so far this season. And it should only get better through March and April. Even seeing a few fin whales throughout the week. The dolphin Front has seen a very nice variety of excellent pods of pacific white sided dolphins and coastal bottlenose dolphins. Even had a superpod of 1000+ common dolphins Sunday morning that stampeded and left everyone in awe!