Harbor Breeze Cruises has run whale-watching cruises for over 15 years, regaling passengers with breathtaking views of marine animals. Aboard one of Harbor Breeze's vessels, passengers are educated on the characteristics of whales while looking out for gray and blue whales during their respective seasons. Other varieties of marine life commonly seen are fin, humpback, and minke whales, along with orcas and several species of dolphin. Customers aboard the ships, customers also enjoy lounge areas where they can enjoy a snack or drink, and expansive deck areas for viewing and photography.
They're out there somewhere. White sea bass. Captain Allyn Watson hunts the elusive fish aboard The Dreamer, a 46’ vessel that cruises the Pacific at speeds of up to 15 knots. He knows the waters well; after all, it’s that expert knowledge that helped him placed first in Hubbs Sea World Research Foundation's white sea bass competition for seven consecutive years. He's not alone this time, however. Today, Captain Watson’s accompanied by a faithful crew and a group of passengers, each armed with a fishing pole and a hunger for seaward adventure. As they drop anchor in the middle of calm waters, lines fly from all sides of the boat. It’s a bad afternoon to be a sea bass.
Allyn Watson is just one of the independent captains who works out of Pierpoint Landing. There, their eight boats occupy spots at the docks, ready to carry groups on fishing adventures that can last anywhere from a few hours to weeks at a time. Aboard the 75’ Toronado, Captain Ray Lagmay and up to 49 passengers take overnight trips to catch barracuda, rockfish, and other targets. Meanwhile, the Southern Cal and its leaders, Captain Ryan and Captain Mitch, snag similar fish during shorter, half-day trips.
Instructors at Pacific Sailing's ASA-certified sailing school teach a variety of students the basics of navigating coastal waters and instruct students in specialized types of sailing or in the students' greatest areas of interest. Captains lead group and private lessons that cover basic keelboat sailing, basic coastal cruising, bareboat chartering, and coastal navigation—providing the skills necessary to unfurl and tie a sail or navigate using electronics, the light of the stars, and directions from a well-traveled seagull. The instructors conduct their lessons and lead skippered day sails, sunset sails, and overnight trips at the helm of Colgate, Hunter, Catalina, Irwin, and Beneteau sailboats.
The classes at Roworx are led by US National Team rowers at the location of the 1932 Olympic rowing events and 1968 Olympic rowing trials, which means students can get an up-close look at Olympic-level training while they're burning calories and building muscle. The fast-paced workouts rely on stationary rowing machines, which by turns replicate the sensation of paddling down a river of choppy water or thick banana pudding, a sensation enhanced by the views of the water just outside the class window. To further build strength and endurance, the instructors save time in each class for weight training.
Gondoliers bedecked in striped shirts nurture romance while serenading guests during languid gondola rides along Huntington Harbour's lush waterways. Equipped with 13-foot oars, Sunset Gondola—led by Bepi, the 2012 U.S. Gondola Nationals winner—features authentic Venetian vehicles that stretch 37 feet from end to end. While some packages come with amenities such as chocolate-covered strawberries, guests are encouraged to bring along their own snacks and beverages. Gondola rides are also available for special occasions, including proposals, wedding ceremonies, and mustache debuts.
With so much vibrant blue ocean nearby, a simple, mobile dive certification operation like LA Dive and Ride makes perfect sense. Owner Andy Brohard has spent years in the water, first as an enthusiast and later as a certified SCUBA instructor, offering lessons to beginners looking to master the art of the dive themselves. Newbies begin with an online education program, then practice their dive skills in serene, safe pools around Los Angeles. From there, four dives off Catalina Island indoctrinate newcomers into the real-life world of scuba diving, all while Brohard or members of his staff watch carefully. Both private and group sessions are available, and LA Dive and Ride occasionally schedules club meetings every month with guest lecturers, screenings related to diving and the ocean, and other cool events.