At La Jolla Water Sports, guides undergo extensive training before captaining snorkeling excursions into the calm, crystalline waters of the Pacific. The experts escort 6 to 12 patrons at a time on shark tours) of the shallow, sandy flats where small-mouthed leopard sharks up to 5 feet long lounge on their easy chairs of sand. Snorkeling tours of the La Jolla cove grant participants, including beginners and kids, a siren's-eye view of rock formations, underwater flora, and marina critters including garibaldi fish, sea cucumbers, anemones, and starfish. The most action-packed of La Jolla Water Sports's offerings are the spearfishing tours in which leaders expound on the importance of safety and proper form as customers skewer fish before schlepping them home for dinner or as treats for pet grizzly bears.
Captain Ernie Prieto III is a third-generation fisherman with decades of experience casting in the rivers and oceans of Southern California and Mexico. He welcomes up to 40 passengers to cruise the coastal waters of San Diego and the scenic Coronado Islands aboard the Chubasco II, a 60'x20' ship with side-scanning sonar, a low deck, and all the gear you need to land a fish or escape from a really angry fish. The spacious Chubasco can hold up to 49 passengers and reaches comfortable cruising speeds, but it's Captain Ernie's know-how that makes for successful sport-fishing expeditions. He and his crew help beginners and experts catch Yellowtail, Barracuda, White Sea Bass, and Halibut. Each passengers is given a numbered burlap sack for their catches. At the end of the trip, passengers can opt to take their catches home to cook and eat or take photos with. The Chubasco's galley features cold beer, beverages, and snacks available for purchase.
The experienced staff at Seaforth Boat Rentals play host to watery adventures that were voted finalists for the KGTV San Diego A-List’s Best Water Activities in 2010 and 2011. Guided sailing adventures and WaveRunner tours shoot seafarers along the waterways for exceptional views of the coastline, splashing sea life, and dolphins circling on their own WaveRunners.
Consummate aquaphiles can haul various benefits⎯including reduced rates on the rentals of kayaks, canoes, and other seaworthy crafts, access to all five Seaforth locations, and free bicycle rentals in Mission Bay⎯with the Seaforth Sailing Club membership. Seaforth also offers sailing classes along with myriad sailing, yachting, and fishing charters for luxurious days on the water or early mornings spent serenading elusive sailfish.
Though she's only a few decades old, the Privateer has already retired to a warmer climate. In May 2011?after 28 years of ferrying passengers around on whale-watching trips in brisk Massachusetts waters?she made her way down the Atlantic, through the Panama Canal, and to the warm San Diego coast. She hasn't stopped working, however. The Privateer still carries up to 149 passengers across ocean waves during sunset cruises. With her roomy outdoor decks, she makes it easy for people to have unobstructed views of the pink-and-gold horizon kissing the Pacific's azure waters.
As twilight colors San Diego's skyline and the waters surrounding it, the 85-foot New Seaforth is just setting out onto the ocean. Onboard, passengers armed with rods and reels watch the coast shrink as they make their way to Point Loma and the La Jolla kelp beds in search of yellowtail, barracuda, and other fish who have late curfews. Joining them the whole way is Seaforth Sportfishing's crew, who help beginners set up their equipment and give more experienced anglers tips and pointers. And for those who've caught their limit or are waiting for a bite, the galley stands ready, serving up cheeseburgers and sodas or beers for them to sip while they watch the last color fade from the sky and the stars come out. On the way back to shore, during the summer months, passengers might catch Sea World's fireworks show to cap off their evening with a bang.
These twilight trips are indicative of the experience every Seaforth Sportfishing excursion offers. Captains aboard the company's 17 vessels?which range from 65 to 85 feet?also venture out on half-day trips for yellowtail, barracuda, bonito, and bass, or full-day trips into Mexican waters, where tuna and dorado flash beneath the surface.
Staff Size: 2?10 people
Average Duration of Services: 2?4 hours
Brands Used: Duffy Electric Boats
Pro Tip: Show up at least 30 minutes early
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Parking: Parking lot
Most Popular Attraction/Offering: Duffy Electric Boat rental
Recommended Age Group: All ages
San Diego Electric Boat Company transforms customers into captains, renting out luxuriously equipped Duffy boats to people looking to spend a bit of time on the waters of Mission Bay. Each boat accommodates up to ten adults, with a seat for each beneath a full canopy top. Between hull and canopy, passengers can remove or secure windows to fend off the sea's spray or that lone, vengeful seagull that has never stopped following them. The boats even come with a full stereo system, complete with iPod docks, empowering riders to DJ their own high seas adventure.