April 6, 2018

Be a Visitor In Your Own Neighborhood

Living in the Dana Point neighborhood means getting to know the local tour businesses more than it means knowing the guy who runs the market. In Orange County: land of strip malls and wide spread-out streets; where it takes too long to get anywhere and where you have to drive everywhere, one of the best things we all do to relax is go down to the harbor where foot traffic is the only means of point A to point B.  I miss culture and museums, art and great food…all things the cities I have lived in have offered me.  Living in this suburbia can feel like living in the Truman show.  Yeah it’s pretty but where’s the meat you know what I’m sayin? BUT it is the ocean that reminded me again why I am here.  The ocean has a strong centering force.  Getting out there on or in the water makes me become present like no other place can.

I’ve walked by captain daves dolphin safari more than one occasion. Josh and I have chatted I think about 4 times about bringing our out of town guests whale watching. I’ve been whale watching before, up at the farallons in San Francisco but this little local safari was pretty rad for its ease compared to that trip.

First of all if you live in town or anywhere close by it’s really awesome that you can take a weekday morning off and be back to your day by lunch. The coast drops off in Dana point pretty quickly so you get to marine life within 1 mile of leaving shore.  We departed at 8 and we’re literally frolicking behind a pack of several hundred dolphins within an hour of leaving shore.  The wide catamaran boat was super spacious, complete with three little netted hammocks that you can lay on right over the open ocean.  Kids ( and me) laid on them, our faces smashed into the netting peering down at the dolphins rushing in the waters is below us.  They’ve converted the hulls of the catamarans to be plexiglass.  There, wedged into that little glass hull, you can lay going 25 miles an hour surrounded on all sides by the water and swimming dolphins. Amazing really.  I could hear them echolocating to each other, the wooshing of the water and the clicks of the dolphins bringing me to my happy place!

As Lady luck would have it we didn’t run into any larger whales that day but that is just the way of the water. You never get what you are asking for- sometimes you get a way better show! Huge ups to the crew that took us out. Captain Craig, Steve the photographer and … were such a pleasure to meet.  Passionate are those who spend 14 hours a day brining land lubbers closer to whales. And passionate people feed my soul.  I can’t wait to go back again and highly recommend you get you and your kids on a boat with them soon. The season for blue whales is happening right now!

You can sign up for a safari with them online here.  There are several boats a day!

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