When Pinocchio cried "whale," everyone assumed he was up to old tricks until his nose became ominously static. Tell a whale of a tale that needs no embellishment with today's Groupon: for $16, you get one ticket to a two-hour blue or gray whale-watching cruise from Dana Wharf Sportfishing & Whale Watching in Dana Point (up to a $32 value). This Groupon is not valid on Tuesdays. Junior mariners younger than 18 must be accompanied by an adult, and children age 2 and younger are admitted for free.
Currently celebrating its 40th year, Dana Wharf Sportfishing & Whale Watching introduces land-logged humans to the watery wonders of the deep blue sea and its mysterious residents. Tours depart the docks daily at 5 p.m., and guests are encouraged to arrive 20 minutes early. Customers should be aware that tours leave earlier as the season gets later in order to depart before sunset, and tours move to the daytime in December and January, departing at 10 a.m., 12 p.m., and 2 p.m. daily. Through October, breathtaken blowhole fans can view blue whales who've emerged from their hibernation nests to stretch baleen, and those who redeem their Groupon later will see grey whales showboating swimming skills on their November–April migration. From the comfortable vantage point of a whale-watching cruise coasting through the warm, krill-rich waters just offshore, seafaring sightseers may encounter the gentle giants as well as pods of dolphins hoping to one day be promoted to whale. Each cruise is narrated by a knowledge-saturated captain and even comes with an aquatic-life guarantee: in the rare event that the whales and dolphins are occupied with underwater income-tax filing, each passenger will receive a ride-again voucher (with no expiration date) that can be redeemed at any time.
Encountering the sea's majestic creatures strikes awe and humility into the hearts of land lovers and nautical nomads alike. Whale aficionados can hope for a repeat of the 2010 season, which showcased 216 blue whales, 43 fin whales, 14 killer whales, and a very confused Regis Philbin paddling for his life.
Dana Wharf Sportfishing & Whale Watching
Dana Wharf Whale Watching's expert crews and skippers glide their watercrafts on the open seas to soak up sunshine while searching for rare and endangered whales as they migrate south to avoid tax season. Expert captains steer crafts through frothy spumes and narrate each trip, educating passengers on the abundant life beneath the glassy waters. Guests can treat their eyes to breathtaking views of the scenic Orange County coastline and the beautiful Pacific ocean while surveying the seascape for natural wildlife. Voyagers can either venture into the boat's full-service galley for a hot meal or bring their own food and nonalcoholic drinks to stave off hunger and resist eating the ocean's jagged, hamburger-shape coral.