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FROM THE DOLPHIN AND WHALE WATCHING CAPITAL OF THE WORLD!® Dana Point is excited to once again celebrate the fascinating and awe-inspiring migration of gray whales along the Southern California coast as part of its Festival of Whales, the longest-running whale festival in the world. Now in its 49th year, this annual celebration occurs over two weekends: March 7-8 and March 14-15. This Festival embraces one of the remarkable aspects of our coastal city, because Dana Point has the best access to where gray whales frequent as they migrate each year between Alaska and Mexico. That’s why Dana Point has been named the Dolphin and Whale Watching Capital of the World. If you’re like me, you look forward to the opportunity to glimpse these gentle marine mammals as they travel along our shore, sometimes even capturing sight of a mother and baby. Plus, you’re bound to see so many other wonderful marine wildlife including humpback whales fin whales, sea lions, dolphins and so much more! I also look forward to engaging with our local community and the many visitors who will join us to experience our city. Did you know that the Festival draws more than 50,000

visitors each year over these two special weekends? Its popularity is apparent when you consider that the Festival of Whales truly offers something for everyone. In addition to whale watching, exciting activities include sand sculpting, live music, the Dinghy Dash, Art in the Park, delicious Harbor eats and lots of learning experiences and educational hands-on activities for all ages. One of the more colorful activities of the event, the Festival of Whales Parade will begin Saturday, March 7 at 10 a.m. The City of Dana Point is pleased to announce that the Festival of Whales Parade is moving down to Dana Point Harbor this year. Parade staging will occur on the west end of the Island from Dana Point Yacht Club to Island Way. Attendees can view the parade along Island Way and Dana Point Harbor Drive. Wrap up the Festival with the Whale of a Concert barbeque and live music at Baby Beach on Sunday, March 15 from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. In closing, let me share once again how honored the City of Dana Point is to celebrate the Festival of Whales and how much we look forward to two splendid weekends along our beautiful coastline! —Mayor Richard Viczorek

The Festival of Whales is a part of the fabric of this community. For just shy of 50 years, celebrating the annual migration of California gray whales past the shores of Dana Point has been a tradition that has brought the people of this city by the sea together to witness a magical migration. This migration brings pods of gray whales together in a coordinated effort to continue their plus mile round-trip journey between the warm birthing and calving waters of Baja Mexico and the cold Arctic feeding waters of the Bering Sea; generation after generation. For the whales, although it’s simply a part of their instinctive survival behavior, enthusiastic breaches and slapping tail ukes seem to demonstrate a oy in the gathering. For confirmed whale nerds the sight of these magnificent creatures is a passion, having gained an appreciation via awe-inspiring interactions. For the uninitiated setting out for the first time seeking such interactions prepare to be amazed. The whales often eagerly swim up alongside boats filled with e cited humans perhaps as curious about us as we are about them. In that moment when our eyes meet, there is communication. And when the water droplets of a spouting whale catch the sunlight just right and the colors of a rainbow turn it into a “rain-blow,” there is magic. For either pod, cetacean or human, this springtime gathering is about togetherness. In that spirit, this year’s 49th annual Festival of Whales is bringing the city’s opening-day Magical Migration Parade back to the Harbor, where the rest of the Festival’s events are held. The March 7 parade route will begin on the island side of the Harbor and proceed over the Island Way Bridge, terminating at the corner of Dana Point Harbor Drive and Golden Lantern in the Brig Restaurant parking lot. The Pet Project Foundation’s post-parade street fair—“Whales, Tails & Ales”—will also be held in this parking lot. Join us and be a part of what the locals know makes Dana Point the Whale Watching Capital of the World, and incidentally a whale nerd’s paradise. —Andrea Swayne, Event Coordinator

The Shape of Things to Come Festival of Whales Artist and Logo Are Announced for 2020 By Lillian Boyd Mika Denny’s roots take her back to the Orange County coastline. With childhood visits to the Ocean Institute and residing in Dana Point during her art school days, it’s only fitting that the e periences that shaped her artistry have led her logo design to be selected for the 49th annual Festival of Whales in 2020. Denny, who currently resides in Santa Ana, submitted an entry in a previous year’s design contest for the festival. The Festival of Whales Foundation Board was very impressed with the submission, says festival coordinator Andrea Swayne. “This design really stuck out to the Board,” Swayne said. “Mika’s artwork is the perfect celebratory feel to represent all the fun new additions we have planned for the Festival of Whales in 2020.” Denny solely used Adobe Illustrator to create her design.

She says it all came down to color and shape. “I picked out the complementary colors that I know would make the eye happy,” Denny said. “I love playing around with interesting shapes. I love distinguishing shapes within other shapes. And I think that’s pretty evident in this design.” Denny says she was inspired by Japanese woodblock art for some of the design. “The splash of the whale tail makes the design pop out,” Denny said. “There are a lot of moving parts to it. The fun part of my creative process is playing around with shapes to create movement.” Denny was born and raised in Laguna Beach, which has served as prominent inspiration for her love of the ocean and nature. “Whales, in particular, are such an amazing thing to me,” Denny said. “They are so massive. In Dana Point, they just cruise on by. It’s awe-inspiring. You can’t believe that something that big can exist and be so close to us.” Denny attended Cal State Fullerton for her degree in graphic design. After retiring from an in-house creative

Mika Denny’s Japanese woodblock-inspired logo design was selected for the 49th annual Festival of Whales. Photo: Courtesy of Mika Denny

director position to be a full-time mom, Denny had more time to dabble in painting, mixed media work, children’s book illustrations and even jewelry-making. “I’m all over the place with my art. But ever since I was little, I’ve been drawn to it,” Denny said. “I’m so thrilled that something I’ve created is going to be part of something so big. It’s an honor.” Although a logo design contest has not been held for the past couple of years, the plan is to revive it for the Festival’s golden anniversary event coming up in 2021.



Gold anniversary logo contest announced for next year’s 50th Festival of Whales By Lillian Boyd For the 2021 golden anniversary celebration, the Dana Point Festival of Whales will once again be opening up a logo design contest to the public. “Fifty years is quite a milestone for a festival that started when the arbor first opened and the very first whale watching boats began taking passengers out to experience the wonders of meeting these giant ocean mammals in the waters off Dana oint said ndrea Swayne event coordi nator. t seems only fitting to allow members of the com munity who have long supported this event to once again have a chance at playing such an integral role in its history. Don Hansen started the Festival of Whales to bring awareness to the California gray whale. Hansen and his team recognized that until the Festival of Whales started, the public had limited access and knowledge of the whales migrating past Dana Point. Whale watching at that time was largely a school field trip activity and most adults did not whale watch said Donna Kalez, Hansen’s daughter and the General Manager for the company he founded Dana Wharf Sportfishing & Whale Watching. “The festival helped to bring public whale watching to the forefront, and the whale watching tour was born. Don’s love for the gray whale promoted people to come to Dana Point each year. Like the return of the swallows to San uan the gray whales always return to Dana oint. The Festival quickly became a family tradition. Visitors returned yearly, not just for the gray whales but also for the merchandise including the logo T shirt sweatshirts and posters. Throughout the Festival’s history, the logo has been chosen in a variety of ways. In some years, a local artist was chosen and voluntarily tasked with its design. long the way there also have been some very high profile artists commissioned to provide the iconic artwork representing the event. ig names such as world renowned marine life artist Wyland and ohn an amersveld creator of the iconic The Endless Summer movie poster as well as album covers for the Beatles, the Beach Boys, the Rolling Stones efferson irplane and the rateful Dead have both contributed their talent to the Festival’s collection of logos. In 2011, an update was made to the original 1992 design in celebration of the Festival’s 40th anniversary. From 2012 to 2016, art students at Dana Hills High School were granted e clusive access to a logo design con test open only to them. Then in 2017, the Festival of Whales Foundation Board opened up the logo design contest to the general public for two years. In those years, the Board was introduced to so many great artists and their work, the choice of logo designs for the 2019 and 2020 Festivals was made from among past entries. Past contestants may resubmit designs they have tried before; however, all entries must adhere to a strict set of guidelines that will include criteria such as using a ma i mum number of five total colors being submitted as ai psd or eps file and including an image/images of a gray whale among other requirements. The full list of requirements for submitting print ready artwork for the Festival will be posted on festivalofwhales.com, and information will be available at the Festival.

2009 / Rick Erkeneff Rick Erkeneff is a Dana Point resident, surfer and artist who holds a seat on the South Coast Water District’s Board of Directors. He created the 38th Festival of Whales logo in 2009.

2017 / Alex Ban Brasch Using his love of whales as inspiration for a design, Alex Van Brasch took home the top prize in the 46th Festival of Whales logo design contest. He used colored pencils and pen, then digitally edited the logo with text and alignment.

2015 / Alec Brady Alec Brady was named the first-place winner in the Dana Hills High School logo design competition. Entries were received through the school’s art department, and the Festival of Whales committee selected the winner as well as four runners-up.

2012 / Carver Moore Carver Moore was the first-place winner in the Dana Hills High school logo design competition for the 41st Festival of Whales. He went on to earn his BFA in Motion Pictures and Television Editing and works as a colorist in Los Angeles.



GETTING AROUND THE FESTIVAL WALKING DIRECTIONS FROM OCTA BUS STOP For those guests that are utilizing the OCTA bus stops on PCH, you can reach the Festival by walking down Dana Point Harbor Drive to the Harbor’s Golden Lantern entrance area or you can enter Doheny State Beach (direction sign at bus stop near bridge), walk along the barrier fence, then proceed towards the beach to the marked Festival of Whales shuttle stop. Ride the shuttle FREE to all event locations. PARKING AND FREE SHUTTLE INFORMATION The FREE shuttle runs each day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and services most parking lots and event locations. Daily and $3 per hour ($6 min/$15 max) parking is available at Doheny State Beach at the numerous automated payment machine kiosks located throughout the park, or better yet through the Passport Park-

The 2020 Dana Point Festival of Whales merchandise offerings include a colorful array of long-sleeve and short-sleeve T-shirts, zip front and pullover hoodies, trucker hats, backpacks, tote bags, lapel pins, notecards and posters. There’s something for everyone! Items may also be purchased at select Harbor retailers and festivalofwhales.com.

ing app available for smartphones and tablets at https://ppprk.com/park/. The benefit of the Passport Parking payment application is, in addition to making the initial payment for parking, time can also be added remotely from your phone or tablet. Free parking is available in and around the Harbor, along with paid ($3 per hour/$6 min/$15 max) parking. PARADE (March 7 only) Parade starts at 10 a.m. PARADE TIME SHUTTLE (March 7 only) On parade day, a special shuttle route will run from 7:30 a.m. to noon. HARBOR CRUISE Offered daily during the Festival between Dana Wharf and the Ocean Institute from noon to 5 p.m. Round trip tickets are $5 per person. Take in all the great sights from the water! Your captain will share interesting facts and features about the Dana Point area and its fascinating history. WHALE OF A CONCERT SHUTTLE (March 15 only) FREE shuttle service will extend until 6 p.m.

MERCHANDISE BOOTH LOCATIONS MARCH 7 • Baby Beach • Dana Wharf (in front of Dana Wharf Sportfishing & Whale Watching in the center of the large parking island) • El Torito Courtyard

MARCH 8 • Ocean Awareness Day at Baby Beach • Dana Wharf (in front of Dana Wharf Sportfishing & Whale Watching in the center of the large parking island) • El Torito Courtyard

MARCH 14 • Baby Beach • Dana Wharf (in front of Dana Wharf Sportfishing & Whale Watching in the center of the large parking island) • El Torito Courtyard

MARCH 15 • Near the Concert on the Water at Baby Beach • Dana Wharf (in front of Dana Wharf Sportfishing & Whale Watching in the center of the large parking island) • El Torito Courtyard



Whale of a Sand Sculpting Competition

Kids’ Fun Zone

Cardboard Classic Dinghy Dash & Expo

8 a.m.-1 p.m. Baby Beach 15

10 a.m.-4 p.m. Parking Lot on Golden Lantern between Harpoon Henry’s and Dana Wharf 6

8 a.m.-1 p.m. Baby Beach 15

Dana Point Fine Arts Association Show & Sale

Boat Builders’ Brekky and BBQ on the Beach

10 a.m.-5 p.m. Harbor walkway near Mariners Village 6

Wyland Art Lessons in the Wild 9-9:45 a.m. OCean Adventure Catamaran, Dana Wharf Dock 3

Wyland Clean Water Mobile Learning Center 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Baby Beach 15

Festival of Whales Parade 10 a.m. Dana Drive > Island Way > Dana Point Harbor Drive 1-2; Parade Announcer 8

Street Fair, “Whales, Tails & Ales” 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Dana Point Harbor Drive and Golden Lantern 2

Marine Mammal Lecture Series 10-11 a.m. Harpoon Henry’s 13

Ocean Institute Education Center 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Ocean Institute 5

Sailing & Stand-up Paddling Clinic 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Westwind Sailing, OC Sailing & Event Center 7

So Cal Woodies Car Show

Ocean Institute Education Center

10 a.m.-4 p.m. Harbor walkway 11

10 a.m.-3 p.m. Ocean Institute 5

The Legendary Corvette Car Show

Sailing & Stand-up Paddling Clinic 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Westwind Sailing, OC Sailing & Event Center 7

The Antique & Classic Boat Society 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Harbor walkway 6

So Cal Woodies Car Show 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Harbor walkway 11

The Legendary Corvette Car Show 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Harbor walkway 11

Art in the Park 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Island Way and Dana Point Harbor Drive 8

10 a.m.-4 p.m. Harbor walkway 11

Art in the Park

Marine Mammal Lecture Series

Dana Point Fine Arts Association Show & Sale

10-11 a.m. Harpoon Henry’s 13

10 a.m.-5 p.m. Harbor walkway near Mariners Village 6

10 a.m.-3 p.m. Ocean Institute 5

Kids’ Fun Zone 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Parking Lot on Golden Lantern between Harpoon Henry’s and Dana Wharf 6

Ocean Institute Education Center British Invasion Car Show 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Harbor walkway 11

Just Havin’ Fun Car Club Show 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Harbor walkway 9

Dana Point Fine Arts Association Show & Sale

Ocean Institute Education Center

10 a.m-5 p.m. Island Way and Dana Point Harbor Drive 12

10 a.m.-5 p.m. Harbor walkway near Mariners Village 6

Ocean Awareness Day 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Baby Beach Park 15

Diamond Dig

Noon-4 p.m. Baby Beach Park 15

Kids Fishing Clinic and Trip Noon-12:30 p.m.; 12:45 p.m.-5:15 p.m. Dana Wharf Docks 3

Noon-4 p.m. Baby Beach 15

Harbor Music Series

Harbor Music Series Noon-3 p.m. Dana Wharf, Mariners Village 10

Noon-3 p.m. Dana Wharf, Mariners Village 10

Walking Tour of Town Center

Walking Tour of Town Center

p.m. lue antern Street/ acific oast Highway 16

p.m. lue antern Street/ acific oast Highway 16

2-3 p.m. OC Sailing & Event Center 7

9 a.m.-noon. Doheny State Beach 14

Dana Hills High School & San Juan Hills High School Young Artists Show & Sale

Whale of a BBQ

Capt. Dave’s Presents “Entangled Whales: What Can We Do?”

Whale of a Beach Cleanup

10 a.m.-4 p.m. Parking Lot on Golden Lantern between Harpoon Henry’s and Dana Wharf 6

10-11 a.m. Harpoon Henry’s 13

11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Baby Beach 15

Whale of a Pizza Party

9 a.m.-9:45 a.m. Dana Wharf Dock 3

Kids’ Fun Zone

Marine Mammal Lecture Series

10 a.m.-5 p.m. Harbor walkway near Mariners Village 6 Noon-2 p.m. Capt. Dave’s Dolphin Deck near Baby Beach 4

Wyland Art Lessons in the Wild

10 a.m.-5 p.m. Island Way and Dana Point Harbor Drive 8

Dana Point Fine Arts Association Show & Sale

Capt. Dave’s Under the Sea Eco Carnival

8 a.m.-noon. Baby Beach 15

10 a.m.-3 p.m. Ocean Institute 5

British Invasion Car Show 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Harbor walkway 11

Art in the Park 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Island Way and Dana Point Harbor Drive 8

Ninth Annual Clam Chowder Cook-Off 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Baby Beach Park 15

Harbor Music Series Noon-3 p.m. Dana Wharf, Mariners Village 10

Art in the Park 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Island Way and Dana Point Harbor Drive 8

Harbor Music Series Noon-3 p.m. Dana Wharf, Mariners Village 10

Whale of a Concert on the Water Noon-5 p.m. Baby Beach 15

Whale of a Concert BBQ and Spirits Garden 12:30-4:30 p.m. Baby Beach 15

Kids Fishing Clinic and Trip Noon-12:30 p.m.; 12:45-5:15 p.m. Dana Wharf Docks 3


Dana Wharf Whale Watching 8 A.M.-4 P.M.

Campfire Talk with Ranger Serpa: Whales, the Mighty Monarchs of the Ocean

Capt. Dave’s Dolphin & Whale Watching Safari

6:30-7:30 p.m. Doheny State Beach, North Day Use Picnic Area A 14

Ocean Institute

10 A.M.-12:30 P.M. 8 A.M.-4 P.M.

luff top viewing at eadlands Nature Interpretive Center

Purple numbers coincide with map locations on opposite page.

Purple numbers coincide with map locations on previous page.

Set Your Sights on Whale Watching While in Dana Point for the Festival of Whales, don’t miss one of the many great options for experiencing sea life up close. Choose from multiple whale watching experiences, offered daily, by land and by sea.

Ocean Institute

Capt. Dave’s Whale Watching Safari

Join the Ocean Institute’s scientists on a whale watching cruise aboard the R/V Sea Explorer. The 2 1/2-hour cruises will start at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. on each day of the festival. Test your new knowledge in the search for whales, dolphins, and sea lions. Assist staff in collecting samples of sea oor mud and the smallest organisms on Earth. Tickets are $35 for adults, $15 for children. 24200 Dana Point Harbor Drive. 949.496.2274. ocean-institute.com.

Capt. Dave’s provides trips aboard their customized catamarans, which allow guests to get up close to sea life. The Manute’a offers underwater viewing pods and eye spy dolphin and whale tram nets. Multiple trips are planned for both weekends. Tickets for the Manute’a are $65 per adult (13 and older) and $45 per child. Tickets for the FAST CAT are $65 per person. 24440 Dana Point Harbor Drive. 949.488.2828. dolphinsafari.com.

Land Locked?

Dana Wharf Whale Watching Hop aboard one of Dana Wharf’s adventure cruises for a chance to catch a glimpse of the huge variety of underwater sea life with their multiple whale watching trips every day. Cruises depart on the hour and are narrated by expert captains aboard a variety of vessels. Ticket costs vary, ranging from $15 to $55. 34675 Street of the Golden Lantern. 949.496.5794. danawharf.com.

Walk along the bluff top Dana oint ature nterpretive enter s three miles of trails to view the whale migration from above. The Center is open daily from 10 a.m-4 p.m., and the trails are accessible from 7 a.m. to sunset. 34558 Scenic Drive. 949.248.3527. danapoint.org.

By Lillian Boyd Aura Gonzales has always lived near the ocean, growing up to admire how it impacts our daily lives and how our daily lives impact the ocean. “I want to be a marine biologist,” Gonzales said. “Being so close to the water has given me a unique appreciation for the ocean.” Gonzales, a senior, is a student in Randy Hudson’s marine ecology class at Dana Hills High School. She’s already applied to several colleges noted for their marine biology programs. Experiences such as going out at sea on the Dana Pride only a rm her belief she is on the right path. ach year students from D S fine arts classes set sail out of the Dana Point Harbor. The goal is for the students to channel their experience out on the water into their creative projects, which will be displayed and sold during the annual Festival of Whales celebration. Dana Wharf Whale Watching donates a whale watching trip each year to take a group of art and science students from Dana Hills on the trip. “We just taught about marine mammals, so this trip has been perfect timing,” Hudson said. “We talked about plankton, whales and all mammals in between.” During the field trip the students were able to see a gray whale breach several times. Each time the gray whale was sighted, the captain repositioned the Dana Pride to safely follow the whale. Students had their smart phones and DSLR cameras at the ready, aiming to capture the breach. “It’s so important that young kids get a chance to see these kinds of creatures out in

This year, students from both Dana Hills High School and San Juan Hills High School were given the . Photo: Lillian Boyd


the wild,” Hudson said. “Now that we’ve had a chance to see whales breaching, the students have that experience, that connection, and they can relate on a more personable level when we go back to the classroom. Whales are directly impacted by human activity, so it is crucial that this next generation is educated

and develops an appreciation for these great species.” Students taking classes in multimedia design, ceramics, drawing and painting, marine ecology, as well as digital photography, got to partake in the annual field trip to seek creative inspiration through whale watching.

This year for the first time ever students from San Juan Hills High School also were able to enjoy the whale watching experience. One retired teacher was also able to board the trip as a naturalist for Dana Wharf Sportfishing & Whale Watching. ana einer taught at John Malcom Elementary School in Laguna Niguel. Several of her former middle school students were also on the trip, now as high school students. “I taught for 31 years with Capistrano Unified School District einer said. started being a naturalist for Dana Wharf in 2018 after I retired from teaching. Now I run into students and families all the time who come out whale watching. It’s wonderful to see the community come together to appreciate these mind-blowing whales migrating along our coastline.” This year, the students have the opportunity to enter a Dana Point Arts and Culture Commission juried contest to compete for a chance to have their work chosen to be on display at the Dana Point Community Center in April and May. Dana Point City Council will recognize the winners at a City Council meeting. The work will be for show and sale on March 15 at the DHHS/SJHHS Young Artists’ Show and Sale at the Festival of Whales. The annual inspiration field trip fulfills an important part of the Dana Point Festival of Whales Foundation’s mission to share an appreciation for the beauty and majesty of the ocean environment and its inhabitants,” said Andrea Swayne, Festival coordinator. “We hope something as awe-inspiring as the sight of a breaching whale can plant a seed that will grow into a lifetime of environmentalism.”

By Captain Todd Mansur Imagine what life would be like as a gray whale traveling from the Bering and Chukchi Seas all the way to Baja Mexico. You might have to add a few miles if you decided to start a little bit further north at The North Pole because the food was better. That’s clocking in 5,000 to 7,000 miles one way, all to enjoy a warm swim in the Mexican lagoons, where the whales will continue mating, calving, nursing, and socializing. It’s an amazing concept if you think about the life of the o cial alifornia marine mammal the alifornia gray whale, as it migrates from the north to the south and back again, enduring the many hurdles of boats, predators, and massive weight loss and fasting by these majestic creatures. ray whales have a different body shape than those of rorqual whales, such as the blue, humpback, and minke whales, in the way that they eat and travel. It’s almost like comparing a hybrid to a gas-guzzling vehicle averaging a loss of one gallon of fatty lipids for every 16 miles traveled. The gray whale’s shape and lack of multiple ventral grooves do not allow them to pull in large amounts of water like the humpback or blue whale when feeding. The gray whale is different in how they get food as bottom feeders; they focus on amphipods—small shrimp-like organisms that live in the mud, as well as mollusks and tube worms. They get fat and happy creating large reserves of fatty lipids in the Bering Sea, as they can’t eat and travel as they make their migration along the coast to their final destination of Baja Mexico. Gray whales are recognized in appearance by barnacles, whale lice, gray-and-white-freckled modeling skin, lumpy back heart shaped spout and absent dorsal fin. They are unique in how they grow their population while mating during their travel. The female ovulates first in ovember giving opportunity for conception during her southbound migration and, if unsuccessful, also 40 days later. That would be her second and last ovulation of the year, which would have her mating in the lagoons. Fifty

percent of gray whales will be born north of Los Angeles, with gestation of 12 to 13 months along with their annual migration. This is why we see numerous calves traveling southbound in waters off Southern alifornia. The average calf will nurse six to Captain Todd Mansur eight months, with fatty lactation being most important in the first five to si weeks creating the build-up of blubber and fat protein to keep them warm. It is the hardest thing for them to thermalregulate in their migration back to the cold-water temperature of the Bering Sea, as well as give them the energy and strength needed to travel the 5,000-mile trip to the Bering Sea with their mother. A calf averages 12 feet long at birth and will grow at a rate of two pounds an hour, gaining up to 48 pounds a day. The average calf leaving the lagoons with its mother will be 18 feet long. I think that people forget how unique the gray whale is. We are pretty darn lucky here in Southern California to be able to experience these “friendly whales” as they migrate from November to April along our coastline, peaking in our backyard off the coast of Dana Point in February and March. Dana oint is a landmark for whale sightings due to its weather, underwater canyons,

shallow waters, large kelp beds, and the close proximity of the continental shelf, which creates the “perfect navigational highway,” allowing us to have close accessibility to see the gray whale in its natural state. Their migration is different than any other in how they travel close to our shore, adding 3,500 extra miles to the already long adventure. In California, we have judicial guidelines to keep these beloved creatures free of risk by honoring their space with a safe distance ust like you would a fire engine with its lights and sirens on—pull over, create space behind, and do not cross paths intentionally in order to protect them. They were once hunted into near-extinction in the mid1800s and once again in the 1900s. They became overhunted in Southern California and Mexico and were once called the devil s fish as they became aggressive once they knew they were in unfriendly waters during the whaling period. The history of how they were hunted is not a history we want to repeat. It is one of the natural wonders of the world to see the way the mothers and calves interact in the Mexican lagoons, allowing us to touch and kiss their young, living up to the name “friendly whales.” Now is the perfect time to come learn more about the California gray whale as we celebrate them during the th annual Festival of Whales here in Dana oint. ome wave hi to them aboard a whale and dolphin watching adventure, as they play along our shores. This time of the year is a special time, as we have witnessed so many of them with their young. Come and enjoy a free, pre-trip Marine Mammal Lecture Series about the gray whales from me—your whale expert, Captain Todd Mansur—at Harpoon Henry’s at 10 a.m. on March 14, before you board your whale watching vessel. Captain Todd Mansur has had a career on the ocean for the past 32 years with Dana Wharf Whale Watching. Through a variety of experiences, he has had the opportunity to observe hundreds of marine species, both fish and mammals. He is the Director of Marine Mammal Education Programs for Dana Wharf Whale Watching, A Certified Marine Naturalist with the American Cetacean Society, he is on the Board of Directors for the Gray Whale Foundation and leads all field trips and assemblies. For more information, visit danawharf.com and graywhalefoundation.org.

Cetacean Sensation

Dana Point is Officially the “Dolphin & Whale Watching Capital of the World”® By Lillian Boyd Dana oint is now o cially the Dolphin & Whale Watching apital of the World thanks to two local women who took on the initiative in . Donna ale of Dana Wharf Sportfishing & Whale Watching and isele nderson of apt. Dave s Dolphin and Whale Safari teamed up despite the competition between their whale and dolphin watching charters in Dana oint arbor. nderson and ale will be walking in this year s Festival of Whales parade together for the first time as co founders of Dana oint s newest registered trademark. The duo states that with a variety of year round whales more dolphins per s uare mile than anywhere in the world pristine coastline calm seas the first and longest running annual Festival of Whales and a captivating harbor minutes from the open ocean Dana oint alifornia is indeed the Dolphin and Whale Watching apital of the World. The Festival of Whales parade will be held on Saturday arch at a.m. and it will begin at Dana Drive and sland Way in Dana oint arbor.

Profile for San Clemente Times

49th Annual Festival of Whales Event Guide  

San Clemente Times

49th Annual Festival of Whales Event Guide  

San Clemente Times