Southern California's scenic coast offers far more than unencumbered rays of sunshine and breathtaking shorelines. Nestled within southern Orange County resides the picturesque city of Dana Point. The small city boasts a majestic coastline, acclaimed hospitality services, and perhaps most importantly, renowned whale-watching tours.
Dana Point's sought-after tours are hosted by Capt. Dave Anderson, a respected ocean-life educator, and distinguished author and filmmaker, as Dana Point Harbor explains. According to Dolphin Safari, Anderson launched his whale-watching tours in 1995, which is when he learned that very few people actually knew of the wildlife that occupied Dana Point's coastal waters. Dolphin Safari explains that the seasoned captain purchased an underwater camera and hydrophone which he mounted to his boat in order to record the stunning sights captured during each expedition.
The video below provides a six-minute glimpse of one of Anderson's whale-watching tours complete with drone footage of blue and gray whales, and a megapod of dolphins swimming near the ocean's surface, as the YouTube description reports. According to Dana Point Harbor, Anderson uses "high-speed," "high-tech" catamarans that house a maximum of 49 passengers on any given tour, ensuring that the boat won't be crowded.
The footage below includes several shots of the catamaran and one of Anderson himself before he launches the helicopter drone to soar above the sea. Anderson's camera equipment wasn't always as high-tech as it's presented in this video. Dolphin Safari refers to Anderson's early days of filming at sea and how he relied on standard DVRs and handheld recorders to capture the wildlife. Regardless of his common camera gear, Anderson still managed to use the equipment to acquire material for his documentary "Wild Dolphins and Whales Of Southern California," which went on to win seven awards, as cited by Dolphin Safari.
Anderson's tours remain a popular attraction in Dana Point, especially as more and more people are exposed to his documentary and award-winning book “Lily: A Gray Whale’s Odyssey." Anderson has also received publicity through a number of television broadcasts, some of which include appearances on the Travel Channel, "The Ellen Show," and ABC, as referenced by Dolphin Safari.
Anderson's whale-watching tours are $65 for adults and can be booked on the Dolphin Safari website.