10 mistakes to avoid when you go whale watching

When you go whale watching, especially with a top rated whale watching tour, you want everything to be perfect. You want to have a great and memorable whale watching experience. Here are some of the things you need to NOT do when you go on the excursion.

Not wearing the right clothes

California is warm and sunny, but the ocean often is not. The ocean breeze is usually a lot cooler than the land. There is also a high chance that you will get damp or wet from sea spray, or if you are lucky enough to have a whale breach next to you, you can get splashed. So whether you think you need it or not, bring a jacket or windbreaker, and preferably a water-resistant one.

Getting there late

If you want to have a good seat, a place you can listen to the guides well, then get to the boat early. Getting there late, while fashionable for parties, can make you literally miss the boat.


Whether you usually get seasick or not, it is a good idea to prepare for it. If you don’t know if you do, then definitely make sure you bring seasickness pills. You can buy some at almost any pharmacy, they are not expensive and worth the small investment. The enjoyment of the cruise for yourself and your family might depend on it.

Not wearing sunscreen

Unless you live and work in California, and even if you do, make sure you wear sunscreen. The water multiplies the sun you receive like a big mirror. You might enjoy the cruise, but a damper on your enjoyment might be looking like a lobster after. It is definitely worth the small effort to reap the benefits of no pain later.

Taking bad pictures

We all know you want to take pictures of all the dolphins swimming next to the boat underwater, but to be honest; it will just look like you took a picture of the ocean. Do your best to take a picture when they are out of the water, or just use video, as it will show the movement below the water better. You can also buy special filters for your camera that will help cut glare.

Touching the animals

That are wild animals, and they can bite. They are not toys or pets. They are curious of you but keep your hands away, just take picture and enjoy being close to them

Feeding the animals

Do not try and feed them as they are quite happy eating what they are supposed to. They probably don’t even eat what you throw them. Leave them to be healthy and not litter the ocean and keep your food to yourself.

Not listening to the guide

The guide is there to guide you, they are the boss. What they say on the boat goes. Respect them and if they ask you nicely to do something, like the move back from the rail, please do so. It’s all for your safety and the animal’s safety.

Complaining that you aren’t seeing anything

Though most of the time, if you go with an experienced whale watching crew, you will see whales and dolphins, it is still nature and therefore unpredictable. If you don’t see anything, just enjoy the anecdotes and information that the guides tell you, they are there to entertain and inform.

Not securing your camera or phone

Make sure you have your camera on a wrist strap or a lanyard. A dry bag can also be a good idea. You can usually buy small dry bags in the area that just hang around your neck. The last thing you want to do is drop that expensive camera or phone in the ocean or get it wet

Hopefully, if you avoid all these things, then you will have a much better chance at an enjoyable whale watching experience or any other of your ocean travel adventures. Just remember to respect the ocean and the people around you. Whales are a wondrous creature, full of majesty, we are lucky to still have them. Let’s all work at keeping them around and making the world a better place.