You can see whales up and down the coast of California but the best whale watching experience is in Dana point. Once known as Capistrano Bay, and called “the most romantic spot in California.” Capistrano Bay changed its name and is now known as Dana Point. With a long history of surfing and whale watching, Dana Point is one of the most beautiful areas on the California coast. If you have never been whale watching before and decide to take a first time visit, here are some simple things to remember so that you have a pleasant time.

1) Research

Do a bit of research first, find out when the whales are migrating and what you might see. You can also ask the boat company where you will take your tour for the best chances. Usually, winter is when the grey whales migrate, but there are chances of dolphins and whales many times in the year. Learn a bit about what you will see, then when the guide teaches you all the various marine aspects; you will have a better understanding and appreciation of these wonderful beasts.

2) Comfort

Wear something comfortable, as well as prepare for any seasickness. While it might be warm on the shore, the ocean is often much cooler, with a chilly sea breeze from the spray and evaporation coming off the water. Even if you don’t feel you need it, bring a coat and at least a windbreaker. A hat with a brim will help with the glare of the water and give you better visibility. Wear comfortable shoes as you might be standing in them a lot when you see a pod go by. Depending on the season it is probably a very good idea to bring rain gear as well, as they say in in California when it rains it pours. Prepare for seasickness even if you don’t usually get motion sick, it is always a good idea to prepare in case. If by chance you do get motion sick, it can turn a pleasurable experience into a nightmare. Another good tip to remember is sunscreen, the sun bounces off the water and increases intensity and if you are not used to it and spend all day outside, you can get a painful sunburn.

3) Photos

Make sure you have a lanyard or wrist strap for any photographic equipment, as well as a waterproof case depending on the time of year. It is possible that you have an up-close meeting with a whale and you get a breach or a flipper splash that might soak the camera or cellphone and put a little damper on the trip out. Prepare for that, you can generally get dry bags in the area, which is basically a pouch you can wear around your neck that keeps things dry and safe from water.

4) Relax and enjoy

Listen to the guide and ask questions, make it a learning experience. There is always the chance that no whales or dolphins will show, but if you have done your research, you will have the highest odds. Even if they don’t show though, it is still an enjoyable experience to be out on the water and hear about all the information and lore that the guides entertain and inform you with.

If it is your first time seeing the whales, or your 100th, enjoy it and tell your friends. Let’s help protects these wonderful creatures. Once you see them you will understand why people throw themselves in front of whaling ships in various parts of the world where they hunt them. You will fall in love with nature and the joy you will see that the whales and dolphins show. Some other great tips for traveling and whale watching can be found online, but we just wanted to make sure you don’t miss the joys of whale watching.