Voted the world's most unique whale watching adventure, check out Captain Dave's Whale and Dolphin Safari schedules and rates below.

Meet Captain Dave and the Orange County Whale Watching Team

Your guide, Coast Guard licensed Captain Dave Anderson,is an experienced marine naturalist, filmmaker, photographer, speaker and weekly columnist.

He'll teach you about Orange County, the whales who visit and the many dolphin who live here, as well as introduce you to a few of our other local marine friends like our California Sea Lions and brown pelicans.

Click here to read Dave's poem on dolphins.

Capt. Dave's Bio

In 1995 Capt. Dave Anderson was living aboard his sailboat in Dana Point, California and bringing people out to see whales & dolphins for his business, ‘Capt Dave’s Dolphin Safari’. When he told the other boaters what he saw out there, they were amazed. “That’s when it hit me, “ said Capt. Dave, “If they don’t know what is out there, then who does?”

Capt. Dave mounted an underwater camera and hydrophone on the bow of his boat and began taking his cameras on every trip to record what his passengers experienced first-hand. It took him five years to create the documentary “Wild Dolphins & Whales of Southern California”, learning how to film, edit and narrate as he went along, an experience that has forever changed his life. 

Most of Capt. Dave’s documentary was filmed on consumer digital video recorders (all he could afford at the time) and the first camera he used was actually a hand-me-down VHS-C from his wife’s parents, much of his footage is breathtakingly beautiful, a tour-de-force in garage filmmaking. It’s amazing what a few cameras, one home computer upgraded umpteen times and thousands of hours from one man’s life can accomplish.

While Capt. Dave’s primary responsibility was to his passengers and his business, his passion to film these animals carried over into his off hours, with many nights spent working into the wee hours editing. “The average Joe can be a filmmaker,” said Capt. Dave. “Nowadays, it doesn’t take money, as much as it takes desire and time…lots of time.”

Frequently called upon as an authority on wild dolphins and whales in this area, Capt. Dave is also a popular speaker, entertaining and educating a wide variety of audiences, from volunteer groups to marine mammal enthusiasts and school groups.

Capt. Dave has appeared on ABC, CBS, NBC, as well as local network affiliates and the Travel Channel. His photographs have appeared on the cover of newspapers and magazines and have appeared on special exhibit at various locales. He also worked with filmmaker Greg McGillivray for the IMAX film Dolphins, helping to locate large herds of dolphin.

Capt. Dave has traveled throughout California talking to other skippers and whale researchers to gain additional footage, as well as to Alaska, Hawaii, Mexico, the South Pacific and French Polynesia to learn more about the animals he encounters
from those who study them.

Committed to promoting awareness of Southern California’s ocean, Capt. Dave introduced & organized the first Ocean Awareness Day, now an annual two-day event during the Dana Point Festival of Whales.

More on Capt. Dave here



Meet the Dolphin Safari Team!

Everyone on the team is very special to us and each person contributes to the sense of family we have and friendliness we love to share. Here we are at our recent Employee Recognition Night. This is where we read all the great comments our passengers take the time to write about us. Thanks to all of you who take the time, it really means a lot to us!

Photo: Rob M.
Who is who?
Clockwise from the back:
Capt. Steve, Shannon, Jacque, Denielle, Val, Capt. Tom, Karen, First Mate Dale, First Mate Scott, Michelle, First Mate Mark, Claudia, Capt. Chuck, Randi, Gisele (Mrs. Capt. Dave), Arielle, Capt. Dave. Not pictured: Amanda, Capt. George, Capt. Peter.


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