Captain Dave’s Dolphin Safari – A Treat for all of the Senses

Sailing with Captain Dave’s Dolphin Safari in Dana Point offered an exclusive eye-to-eye underwater and above water sensory experience with 1000s of dolphins, as well as California Sea Lions and other beautiful sea creatures. We set out on a hi-tech catamaran for 2 and 1/2 hours of dolphin fun, and it was one of the most peaceful adventures of my lifetime. While the dolphins leapt and played right off of the bow, we stood with our mouths open at the unique experience. The exclusive underwater viewing pod let us swim with dolphins without getting wet and the hydrophone created the sound of underwater music for our ears. The certified naturalists made this exciting excursion educational and entertaining, too, and the homemade triple-fudge brownies made this a one-of-a-kind adventure a tasty treat. Captain Dave’s Dolphin and Whale Safari is a joy for all of the senses.

We left from the ocean view ‘Dolphin Deck’, one of the prettiest spots in Dana Point Harbor.  Captain Dave’s crew welcomed us aboard a high-speed, high-tech catamaran sailboat for an incredibly exciting experience where we got a chance to get within arm’s reach of huge dolphin herds. During the 2.5 hours, we witnessed massive families of Risso dolphins, Pacific Bottlenose dolphins, and Long Nose Common dolphins.

We had the option to stay comfortable and dry in the cockpit with 360 degree views, but we chose to venture out on the special “Tram Net” for a really close encounter. Several men, women, and children laid down and reached their arms through the net to actually touch the dolphins. As the dolphins jumped and splashed in the waves, many travelers were able to feel their skin and fins. At 8 months pregnant, I couldn’t exactly lay on my stomach for this personal encounter, but the smile on one six-year-old’s face said it all. It was sheer bliss!

Captain Dave’s Safari offers the world’s only Eye-to-Eye Underwater Viewing Pod! Below the surface, in the underwater viewing pod, we saw and heard dolphins up close. As four dolphins playfully swam within inches from the glass, I felt like one of the pod.

With an unbelievable amount of fins gliding in and out of the water all around us, we heard the unique languages of the dolphins with Captain Dave’s research-quality hydrophone. There were so many dolphins that it sounded like static filling the airwaves. Even swimming with the dolphins in Mexico didn’t give me such a personally connected feeling. It was incredible; we were part of their world!

The soft breeze, perfect California weather, and continued immersion with the dolphins created an unforgettable sailing experience.

Mrs. Capt. Dave’s triple fudge brownies, served complimentary at the end of the safari, completed the sensory treat.

From 6 to 86 years, we witnessed the delightful expressions on the faces of others and I’m quite certain our happiness was evident all day long. Captain Dave’s Safari was the most unique dolphin adventure to date.

You can check out our You Tube video at!

You can also see tons of photos and videos from Captain Dave’s other adventures on Facebook.

115 thoughts on “Captain Dave’s Dolphin Safari – A Treat for all of the Senses

  1. This is been a great season for seeing marine life of the coast of Southern California. With the perfect weather and happy marine animals, it makes for a great experience for all families!


    • always beautiful to see dolphins swimming, i love them and all they are able to do for children. this is a beautiful picture man i wish i could swim with one, well a well trained one of course -,-


  2. From what a friend of mine who works with and communicates with Dolphins shares, they are very intelligent beings and want us to understand them. They want us humans to know that they want to communicate with us to share their secrets to keeping a playful attitude and treating all other beings on the planet with respect. That is part of the mission of my new CD and concert series coming out in March. Thank you so much for sharing.


  3. My only experiences with Dolphins one on one have been at Ocean World in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. Even so, they were a delight to feed and to pet. I found them to be friendly, playful, and intelligent mammals. You are so fortunate to have had the opportunity to interact with Dolphins in the wild. Thanks for sharing.


  4. Glad you made a post of this. I was able to watch the video and ended drifting into an epiphany by the music alone.These photos are forensic detailed. What camera did you use?


  5. So cool!! I’m adding this to my list of things to do when we get back to the states. Coincidentally, I took a whale watching tour in Alaska with a Captain Dave and they served home made chocolate chip cookies… small world 🙂


  6. And Dana Point Marina is a great place to spend the land-leg of any day. (full disclosure, I designed the Wind & Sea, Jolly Roger and Sports Fishing village when I was very young – now much remodeled but exteriors still fairly intact).


  7. Swimming with dolphins was on my list and I finally did awhile back at the Kahala Mandarin Oriental Hotel on Oahu. It was amazing, although it sounds like Capt. Dave’s tour was pretty amazing too. Loved the pics!


  8. I am so amazed by this experience and so many of your other experiences too! You are really lucky you get to enjoy so many wonderful travel experiences. I love traveling and hope I get to visit as many places and get to experience adventures like this! Thanks for stopping by my blog earlier.


  9. Lesley,
    You are my hero. It’s no wonder that you have so many blog followers; you whisk us off to exotic places and we go on the most fabulous adventures. You LIVE life to the fullest. I cannot imagine in my wildest dreams how you’ve managed to create this life for yourself but you truly are an inspiration to the many of us who (more often than not) feel ‘burdened’ by life rather than invigorated by it. You give us hope because if you can do it, then why can’t we? I always look forward to our next adventure . . . .


  10. I so love dolphins, Lesley. Got to ‘meet’ one up close on my honeymoon. Can still feel that wet, rubbery skin. I also happened on one that was kind of ‘hanging out’ and we interacted. What amazing creatures they are. What a great post and wonderful experience you’ve shared. Thank you!


  11. I swam with the dolphins in the Bahamas & Bermuda.. It is an awesome experience. Can’t wait to share that with my daughter.. If she is anything like me she will have a great love of animals too. Thanks for sharing..


  12. This reminds me to upload the pictures I took of Dolphins in Panama to my blog! Thanks. Beautiful pictures and a great account of a fun trip. They are fun to shoot pictures of but hard to achieve good results with, so grats!


  13. That sounds awesome! – Much better than the swimming with the dolphins in Cozumel on my honeymoon. I was so excited about the idea of getting to be so close to such magnificent creatures until I saw that they were penned in off a dock. It looked so sad and depressing. I just couldn’t support that by giving my money to it so I opted out. Perhaps they were very well cared for and not able to be in the wild… ? I don’t know. It just seemed wrong to me…


  14. I’ve seen dolphins once. It happened when I was taking some friends around the island for a tour. We stopped off on the west side to see the beaches and there right in front of us was a pod of dolphins leaping and spinning right off shore. It was a thrill. I was enthralled and it was wonderful that it happened while I was with my friends.


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