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Catch up on the news about Captain Dave's Dolphin and Whale Watching Safari.

June 4, 2010 

Caught On Tape: Killer Whales On the Hunt

Whale Watcher Family Talks About Seeing Orcas Attack Sea Lion in the Wild

(CBS) A pod of killer whales in Southern California has been caught on tape killing a sea lion. It's an almost unheard of event to capture, but that's exactly what Dave Anderson did.

The award-winning filmmaker and owner of Captain Dave's Dolphin and Whale Safari appeared on "The Early Show"Friday with his wife Giselle Anderson and their daughter, Ariel, to talk about seeing the killer whale hunt in-person.

Dave and his family were preparing for a trip to Yosemite National Park when Dave got a call from one of his boat captains about the hunt in progress. said, "We've been doing year-round whale watching for about 15 years and we have daily trips out there. ... But I have never seen anything like that this pod of killer whales. It was just incredible."

He explained eight killer whales were attacking the sea lion and throwing it around.

"It was something I've never seen before all the years I've been out on the water," he said. "And the whales actually came over to our body and they were sticking their heads out of the water looking at us. One of them even came right over to the window, and everybody got to see it. People screamed on the boat. The whale's eyes were looking right at the people. So instead of whale watching, it was people watching."

Gisele called the experience a "blessing."

"For me as a mom and for us as just people who love to take people out to see these animals, to see them doing something in the wild that I've never even seen on Discovery -- actually popping their heads up out of the water and vocalizing and talking to one another was so exciting. We looked at each other and went, 'Do you hear that?' It was really fun. And just to see some of the other behaviors that they exhibited was quite an experience -- quite a blessing for us."

Arielle, who was on the bow during the attack, called the experience "amazing."

"They were like seven or six feet away," she said. "... They were putting on such a show."

June 4, 2010

Fox 11 and Fox 13

Reporter: Al Naipo
Text Story by: Associated Press

Dana Point - A boatload of watchers got their money's worth when they witnessed a rare encounter of eight killer whales killing and feasting on a sea lion off the Southern California coast.

Video taken Tuesday by Capt. Dave's Dolphin & Whale Safari shows the the orcas playing and eating in front of passengers on a charter cruise near Dana Point.

Capt. Dave Anderson says it was the first time in two years he has seen a killer whale off the Orange County coast.

Anderson says one of the whales swam up to the whale-watchingboat and stared into the window of the underwater viewing pod. He says another put its mouth on the engine of the backup boat that he was using to photograph the whales.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009 

Ocean expert Capt. Dave is into film, philanthropy as well

Special to the Register

Dave Anderson of San Juan Capistrano has the ocean as an office on a daily basis. As the owner and captain of Capt. Dave's Dolphin & Whale Safari in Dana Point, he has a dream job many of us would love.

He's also involved in various volunteer organizations and has even made a film, proceeds from which are regularly donated.

Here's a closer look:

Q. What's it like to have the ocean as your daily view?

A. When the weather is nice — great, fantastic, wonderful.

Q. When did your fascination with a career on the water begin?

A. As a teenager, when I decided I wanted to sail, bought my first boat and took it out on the water. I was hooked.

Q. How has your job changed or benefited your life?

A. It's not just a job, it's who I am. My job and my life are intertwined.

Q. What is the film you made?

A. It's called "Wild Dolphins & Whales of Southern California." It took five years of taking my camera to work every day, writing the script, editing and narrating. It won seven awards at the International Wildlife Film Festival and was a finalist at WildScreen, the "Green Oscars," in England.

Q. How have the film proceeds you have sent to Malawi helped people there?

A. We've supported the village in Malawi, Africa, since 2004. Our support through the proceeds of the film has helped to install an irrigation system, latrines, better education, purchase livestock, health resources and vaccines.

Q. What are you passionate about?

A. After learning about John Muir and what he did to help protect Yosemite –
telling people all about the beauty of the place and encouraging them to come and visit – it's been my desire to do the same for the wild dolphins, whales and other creatures off our coast.

Q. Any advice for someone who might want to follow in your footsteps?

A. With God's help, anything is possible. My life is a good example of that.

Q. Your wife seems to be one of your biggest fans. Does she help you day in and day out?

A. Gisele is the organization behind the organization, and without her, we would collapse under our own weight. And yes, she is my biggest fan.

Q. To date, what has been the most rewarding aspect of being Capt. Dave?

A. On the boat, it's seeing people respond to the animals and hearing from them about how much they love my film and how it's changed the way they see the ocean.

Q. What's the online whale show you're working on?

A. Top secret … we're almost ready.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Dolphins at our doorstep 

Capt. Dave's Dolphin Safari offers daily trips to see dolphins not far off Dana Point. Unlike whales, you can watch and interact with the frolicking dolphins year-round.

The Orange County Register

DANA POINT – Dolphins jumping out of the water. Dolphins surfing the wake. Dolphins feeding. Dolphins mating. Dolphins swimming with the catamaran.

Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of dolphins. Everywhere!

If you're thinking Hawaii or Florida, where most folks believe the highest concentrations of dolphins are found, you aren't close.

No, this Discovery Channel-like episode occurs daily off our coast - live, up-close and personal.

"Isn't this amazing?" passenger Paul Kim of Laurel, Md., said Wednesday as dolphins frolicked all around the boat. "Why don't people come out and do more of this? I can't believe it."

Capt. Dave's Dolphin Safari in Dana Point, featuring a catamaran sailboat, is the only known charter business designed to take people out to see the dolphins at Orange County's doorstep.

Once the whale-watching season ends, the sportfishing landings send their boats out fishing. The whales might be gone, but the dolphins remain year-round, and Dave Anderson takes advantage with daily trips just a few miles off Dana Point.

Few people know that California has about 400,000 dolphins – more than Florida, Alaska and Hawaii combined, Anderson said. Or few people care.

"Dolphins are like the booby prize if they don't see a whale," Anderson told a group of six passengers as the 35-foot catamaran motored out to sea. "When I take people out to show them whales and dolphins, I ask them afterward what they liked most and they almost always say, 99.9 percent of the time, they like the dolphins best.

"We have a living, breathing, moving Yosemite off our coast, and people that live here are unaware of it."

The seas were calm and the skies overcast as Anderson scouted the horizon for signs of life. He said they saw a nice pod of 1,000 dolphins the day before. "Hopefully, we'll be able to relocate them," he said.

It didn't take long. Minutes later, Anderson spotted some jumping in the distance. The show would soon begin.

"They're the only animal in the world that'll come over to you to play," Anderson said. "Not to find food, but to interact with another species."

As if on cue, the dolphins started racing alongside and zigzagging in front of the boat, putting on a spectacular show.

"Wow," said Tiffany Larson of Bend, Ore. "They're everywhere."

Passengers stand on the hull and get so close to the dolphins they can almost reach out and touch them. You can even hear their voices - a high-pitched squeaking.

Inside the cockpit, a screen shows dolphins swimming in and out of view.

What's different about viewing dolphins from the catamaran compared to the sportboats used for whale watching is the intimacy.

"That's what the boat is all about," Anderson said, adding that it's like getting down on the floor to be at eye level with a child.

The smaller boat is not intimidating and doesn't disturb the dolphins, who are quickly drawn to it. You'd think these animals were paid performers.

They rarely miss a performance. The odds of seeing dolphins on a given day are pretty good – an 85 percent success rate for the 2-1/2-hour trips. The show Wednesday was a hit.

As were the others, Larson was impressed. She had seen dolphins in the wild before when living in Hawaii.

"But never this many. They're just everywhere," she said. "And never this close before. The last time I saw a dolphin this close was at Sea World."