Capt. Dave's Weekly Ocean
As seen in the Orange County Register/Dana Point
News May 19, 2005
by Captain Dave Anderson
word on the water this week is common, common
dolphin that is, a terrible name for a beautiful
animal. With over 400,000 of them off our coast
they are the most prevalent marine mammals. This
week we had several megapods of common dolphins
in our area. We were following one such pod last
Friday when the whole pod of approximately a thousand
dolphins coagulated into a tight group and then
began speeding up. Suddenly they began charging
up the coast tearing up the ocean all around them.
When one witnesses this you are in awe.
all the things I have ever seen in the ocean,
being in the middle of a mega pod when they are
all leaping completely out of the water, in full
speed porposing, stands out as one of the most
awe inspiring. Photos do not do it justice, though
I am including one I took. Imagine being in a
jeep, riding in the middle of a herd of stampeding
horses out on a flat desert plain and you have
some idea of the moment. I pulled out my video
recorder, held it as steady as I could and watched
through the viewfinder listening to the sounds.
What I saw on the tiny monitor was so beautiful
it brought tears to my eyes. Everyone on the usually
noisy boat fell silent, as for just a moment;
we were part of this stampeding herd.
wife asks me how I can enjoy what I am seeing
if I am busy filming or photographing it. It is
difficult to explain but I really do enjoy it
and I find the experience is even more satisfying
when I am able, as I did on Friday, to come home
and share this moment on tape with my family.
It is a challenge to get good photographs and
footage on a rocking boat with animals that appear
and disappear quickly, and not at all where you
hoped or expected. Sometime it can be very frustrating,
but overall I enjoy the challenge. I think there
is something built into us that makes us want
to share our experiences with others. It is not
enough for me to experience it. I want others
to know and to experience it as well, which is
why I started Dolphin Safari, and why I make my
films and why I write this column. And it is why
I saw so many of my passengers using their cell
phones to tell friends and relatives who will
never really be able to properly visualize what
we all witnessed.
week we also got a report of several fin whales
about twenty miles out and our first report of
blue whales in the area seven miles out, unfortunately
we did not see them ourselves and we did not see
any gray whales this week either. We did see bottlenose
dolphin and also a Mola mola, which is a giant
ocean sunfish. We haven't been seeing very many
of the Mola's for a while so between them and
the blue whales it's beginning to look a lot like
Capt. Dave Anderson
Dave Anderson runs Capt. Dave's Dolphin &
Whale Safari out of Dana Point Harbor. He recently
completed the award winning documentary film "Wild
Dolphins and Whales of Southern California." Capt.
Dave will be sharing his photos and stories and
letting us know what he and other skippers are
seeing off the Orange County coast.
a daily log of sightings see www.dolphinsafari.com
or call 949 488 2828.