What month to go?
The Humpback whales arrive here in mid April and stay in our bay feeding through November. During the entire summer the Humpback whales are actively feeding near the surface in groups of 2 to 10 whales with anywhere from 30 to 100 total whales in the area. Here are the percentages from the past 2 years of trips, month by month that saw whales durring the humpback season. April 65% May 80% June 95% July 99% August 99% September 99% October 99% November 85%.
What time of the day to go?
Departure times for Humpback whale trips are 8:30 am and 11:00 am. The 8:30 am trip usually has calmer sea conditions and the 11:00 am trip is usually warmer but might get a bit colder and rougher as the afternoon winds begin to blow. These winds can vary a good deal in intensity and timing from day to day. Typically they start to blow between 1:00 to 2:00 pm each day.
How to dress?
Please note that our boat is open for the best possible wildlife viewing, this means we are exposed to the wind and seas if it comes up early. You should be prepared for temperatures out on the water to be as low as mid 50's with a chance of going up into the 80's. You will need to dress in layers so you can adjust as the temperatures change. We recommend long pants, warm sweater, waterproof jacket, hat and gloves. You may bring a bag with extra clothing on the boat as there is plenty of room to stow these onboard.
What will you see?
Our main goal on each trip will be to find and spend as much time as possible with the whales, but since the central coast has such an abundance of wildlife we also find dolphins, porpoise, otters and sealions year round. For more detailed day by day account of what we have seen on our adventures over the past year please click on the recent sightings tab.
Is there a guaranty that we will see whales?
The short answer is no as this is not a zoo. Please understand that we are taking you out to see wild animals in a wild place which is the beauty of this experience. I will always use every bit of experience I have to find them for you but the truth is no person has any control over mother nature and while we do find whales on the majority of our tours there will be days that we do not. Please have realistic expectations as to what seeing wildlife in the real world is all about. Since I am not in control of the weather or the whales or anything else in the wild we do not offer refunds or credits for future trips when we do not see whales on a tour.
This tour is not recommended for anyone with neck or back problems that might be aggravated by traveling on a boat that at times may be bouncing around in an unpredictable manner. If you have any questions please call or text me at (805) 540 4667. It gets cold out on the water so please bring a warm jacket for this trip.
First, we only take out 6 passengers at a time so that everyone has a front row seat as we engage with the whales and other wildlife. I have been a captain / naturalist / adventure travel guide for over 40 years and really like this intimate setting where we can converse about the animals as we find them. Second, We believe that we have chosen the perfect boat to for these whale watching adventures as our 28 ft power catamaran "PACIFIC FLYER" is the most stable boat in this size range and offers a much smoother ride than any other boat we have ever been on. This gets us to the whales faster and allows us to spend more quality time with them than larger, slower boats with 50 to 100 people on them. Third, our bay is one of the best places on the coast of California to see whales as it is a prolific producer of anchovies. This brings the whales in to feed on them and in between feedings the Humpback whales are famous the world over for their playful behaviours such as breaching, tail slapping and pectoral slapping. Forth, local experience matters when looking for whales and we have been in continuous, year round operation since 2012. In that time I have personally taken over 14,000 guests out onto the waters of San Luis Bay to see the whales and other animals. Over the years our guests have rated us as the best boat tour in the area on both Tripadvisor and Yelp. So if you are looking for a knowledgeable, friendly captain to escort your family out for a safe, educational and memorable whale watching experience please join us for a tour. You are welcome to bring your own drinks and snacks.