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Blue Whale

Big Animals Expedition, Coast of California

Blue Whale, coast of California - Big Animals Expeditions with Amos Nachoum  - Dive Discovery

Blue Whale - Big Animals Expedition
Worldwide Blue Whales experience13 years
whereSan Diego, CA
max no. of guests 5 guests
expedition leader Nick LeBoeuf & Kyle McBurnie
departure2016: Jul. 31 – Aug. 6
duration7 days
pricing 2016: $9,800/person
(hotel & airfare not included)
activitiesFree Diving & Snorkeling
temperatureWater: 66° – 72° F (19 – 22° C)
Air: 70°+ F (21+° C)

A Hundred Tons of Gentle Giant

The largest living things on Earth, blue whales can reach ninety to one-hundred feet in length and weigh over a hundred tons. During last year's expedition, a magnificent blue whale cruised effortlessly directly in front of our kayaks. It was a good eighty feet in length — longer than any whale I had ever seen. It's not surprising when you realize that at birth they are twenty feet long and weigh in at two and a half tons. Tragically, over the years the blue whales have fallen victim to poaching and have become reclusive as a defense mechanism. I have spent years developing a stealth technique for getting as close to these shy animals as possible, all while keeping the whales in a state of comfort and calm.

BigAnimals Expeditions' Logistics

To locate the elusive blue whales we have observing posts along the Baja peninsula. Additionally, we deploy a scouting plane days prior to our trip and while we are on the water searching for the big animals. Our vessel is the forty-five' Waterhorse, and can accommodate 22 divers. We only bring 5 guests, 5 two-seater kayaks, and 5 professional kayakers. With the information from the Baja observer and the scouting plane, we are able to send a plane to a specific location along the coast. When you arrive, we are able to meet the blue whales in Mexican waters by Coronado Island. Then, for environmental reasons, we shut down our boat and launch the smaller, quieter kayaks in order to stealthily approach the whales from a greater distance. You sit up front with mask, fins, snorkel, and camera in hand while the professional kayakers pull you in close enough for the encounter of a lifetime.


"Thanks for the wonderful trip and the great picture! The experience exceeded my expectations and it has been truly the trip of a lifetime! I was very impressed by the meticulous planning and the high motivation of everybody involved. It was a pleasure and a privilege to spend time with you, the crew, and the kayak guides in such an extraordinary setting." Prof. Dr. Jens, Humboldt University – Berlin, Germany

Blue Whale, coast of California - Big Animals Expeditions with Amos Nachoum  - Dive Discovery

General Itinerary

Day 1: ARRIVE San Diego. Check in to the hotel of your choice. The rest of the day will be spent preparing cameras, discussing logistics and strategy. We meet in the evening for a briefing and dinner.

Day 2 - 6: We operate out of Mission Bay. For the next five days, a spotter plane will leave early in the morning, weather permitting. (The marine layer is sometimes too low to fly and scout for whales. In this case, the pilot will wait until the layer rises high enough to fly safely.) The pilot searches for Blue Whales for 3 to 4 hours in an area 15 to 25 miles offshore between San Diego and Mexico.

We leave by boat each morning towards the area being scouted. While waiting for the scouting report, if we come across an encounter with other marine life along the way, we will free dive in the lovely blue Pacific. (There are many different marine animals arriving in Southern California waters at this time of year to feed and breed. We will have a ball, even if not a bait ball.) What makes this expedition so unique is that, in addition to having a scout plane with us everyday, we also employ five master kayakers to paddle us as quietly as possible to the shy blue whales.

Each sea kayak has two seats. The guest seat is at the front of the kayak, where you'll have mask, fins and camera ready to go at any time. The kayaker sits in the back to paddle you as fast as humanly possible to the approximate location of the incoming Blues. Since we are in constant communication with the pilot, and the skipper can observe from the dive boat, Amos and the kayakers are kept apprised of all whale movements at all times so that your kayak will be able to reach your whale quickly and silently. All five kayaks go out at one time – all guests plus Amos go out on the kayaks to the open sea and remain at sea for as long as the blue whales are around us. In the event we have good contact with the whales we will stay out until evening. At the end of the day, we return to shore.

Day 7: Depart San Diego for home, having had a whale of a good time!


Tour price includes:

  • Five days trips aboard the Waterhorse
  • Spotter plane assistance for 5 days, 3 to 4 hours per day
  • Five two persons Kayaks
  • Five expert Kayakers to take us quickly and quietly out to the whales
  • Lunch and snacks on board
  • Underwater and topside photography instruction
  • Only five guests per trip

Not included in tour price:

  • Airfare to and from San Diego
  • 6 nights hotel
  • Meals which aren't specified above, soft drinks or alcohol
  • Airport taxes, cabfare, car rental
  • Activities outside of the itinerary
  • Items of a personal nature (phone calls, tips, drinks)
  • Scuba gear (this is a snorkeling expedition only)
  • Overweight luggage
  • Items not specifically mentioned under "Tour Price Includes"
  • Insurance - we strongly recommend you buy your own travel, health, and diving insurance
  • Additional costs incurred due to independent travel arrangements
  • Gratuities

*Subject to change, inquire on availability*

For more information
Dive Discovery
1 800 886-7321
(415) 444-5100

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