Ocean Institute Whale Watching and More

March 7, 8, 14, 15

Ocean Institute Parking information: Parking is limited near the Ocean Institute and we don’t want you to miss the boat! Take advantage of the Festival’s FREE shuttle service that offers drop off to and pick up service near the Ocean Institute approximately every 15 minutes to multiple parking lots throughout the Harbor and Doheny State Beach. Another option is the water taxi between Dana Wharf and the Ocean Institute. Approximately a 15-minute ride and round trip tickets are only $5 per person. Operation during each Festival day between 10 AM and 4 PM. For more information or reservations, please go to www.ocean-institute.org or call (949) 496-2274.
 

March 7, 8, 14, 15

Ocean Institute-Ocean Education Center
During the festival weekends, a hands-on journey into the mysterious and captivating world of whales will allow visitors to explore a variety of fascinating phenomena unique to these magnificent animals. Guests follow the migration of the grey whale as they move through the facility, starting in Baja, moving on to the California Coast, and ending up in Alaska.

Along the way there will be opportunities to investigate how whales communicate and eat, to see how changes to the marine environment affects them, and to learn about ongoing research. Guests can even participate in our Whale of a Tale educational craft activity room for a suggested minimal fee.

Additional activities include hands-on dissections, animal feedings, ROV driving, and touch tanks in which guests touch live sea stars and other tidepool animals. You might even get a glimpse of our new and improved lobby and courtyard coming in Spring 2015!

March 14th& 15th include a mermaid exhibit and story time in which guests can learn about the value of recycling from a ‘real mermaid.’ Guests can take pictures with our friend from the sea and learn about human impact on whales. Public hours are extended from 10am to 4pm.

Non-member Admission: $6.50 adults, $4.50 children 12 & under. Member Admission: $4.50 adults, $2 children 12 & under. Children 2 and under are free. For more information or reservations, please go to www.ocean-institute.org or call (949) 496-2274.

*Admission includes entrance to the Maddie James Seaside Learning Center, Barn, and on Sundays only, tours onboard Pilgrim.

 
March 7, 8, 14, 15
Whale of a Tale Craft in the Ocean Institute

Join us in a room filled with stories and fantasy as guests make a variety of up-cycled whale crafts and learn about the values of recycling. Guests can come to a story reading and then make their own coordinating whale, or simply wander in and make what they choose.

Craft choices include:

  • Egg Carton Whale-Recycle used egg cartons as you make this adorable ‘mini’ whale spouting water.
  • Clothespin Whale- Participants learn how different whales eat different foods based on their teeth and species as they create their own whale puppet. Your whale’s mouth opens and closes, revealing its tasty dinner inside.
  • Paper Plate Whale-Guests can make an adorable whale out of a paper plate and review whale anatomy as they assemble its body.
  • Paper Bag Whale-Turn paper lunch bags into cute paper bag whales and fill them with recycled newspaper. Learn about the difference between fish tails and mammal tails as you build your paper bag whale.

Explore the rest of the Ocean Institute or read an educational children’s book while you wait for your craft to dry!

$2 suggested donation for craft expenses and to support Ocean Institute educational programs. Story times are at 11AM, 12PM, 1PM, 2PM, and 3PM, but guests can make crafts from 10AM until 4PM as they choose. For more information or reservations, please go to www.ocean-institute.org or call (949) 496-2274.

 
March 7, 8, 14, 15
Ocean Institute-Maddie James Seaside Learning Center

Discover the Citizen Science that actively happens at the Ocean Institute as you learn about the effects humans have on local watersheds. Join in Plate Watch and help us count invasive species in local fouling communities. Tour times TBA.

From 10AM-12PM enjoy our new wharf and experience life as a sailor onboard a whaling vessel with whaling artifacts and trying your hand at hauling on a line. Sing a sea chantey and perform a sailor jig to help pass the time. For more information or reservations, please go to www.ocean-institute.org or call (949) 496-2274.

 
March 7, 8, 14, 15
Ocean Institute-Pilgrim and Barn Activities

Enter our barn and step into a different world: the challenging life of a sailor. Experience existence onboard a square-rig brig as you try your hand at climbing on our practice yard and pass the time with knots and rope-work. Make your own scrimshaw medallion for a minimal additional fee TBA.

Saturdays watch crew members demonstrate how to climb aloft at 11AM. On Sundays guests can participate in tours onboard the Pilgrim, going below decks and learning about various parts of the ship and its history. Tour times TBA.

* Included with general admission to the Ocean Education Center:
Non-member Admission: $6.50 adults, $4.50 children 12 & under. Member Admission: $4.50 adults, $2 children 12 & under. Children 2 and under are free. For more information or reservations, please go to www.ocean-institute.org or call (949) 496-2274.

 
March 8
Ocean Institute-Transparentsea Screening

Join us as we “dive with the whales” and learn about their migration along the California coast as we watch Dave Rastovich lead Surfers for Cetaceans on an aquatic journey mirroring this migratory path. The Transparentsea Voyage begins in Santa Barbara and traces the southern migration of the California Grey and Blue Whale. The film offers a “behind the music” look at the journey, with a focus on activism. The film stars various celebrities and musicians, including Angus Stone and Band of Frequencies.

In honor of Ocean Awareness Day, the film addresses how humans are currently affecting whale populations and inspires viewers to change their behavior and make a difference for our marine friends.

Explore our labs and view animals you might encounter as a whale. Labs open for viewing at 4PM and the screening begins at 4:30PM.

A $5 donation for admission is recommended. For more information or reservations, please go to www.ocean-institute.org or call (949) 496-2274.
 

March 7
Whale’s Tale Tallship Sailing Adventure
From “Devil Fish” to “Friendliest Whale,” explore how time and discovery have shaped man’s perception of the magnificent Gray Whale. Join us for an exciting tallship sailing adventure as you gain new insights into man’s evolving relationship with the ocean and the giants that roam our California Coast. Join us for a pre-sail whaling talk in the boathouse at 12:15 PM, with sailing from 1 PM to 3:30 PM.

Cost for Non-members: $40 adults, $23 children 12 & under.
Cost for Members: $36 adults, $21 children 12 & under (min. age 4).
For more information or reservations, please go to www.ocean-institute.org or call (949) 496-2274.

 
March 8
Facts & ‘Fin’tasea Sailing Adventure
How are humans impacting our friends in the sea? Find out when a ‘real mermaid’ shares facts about her friends and ways you can help protect not only the whales, but all of the animals in the ocean. During your sail onboard our tallship, the Spirit of Dana Point, guests will learn about man’s ever changing connection with the sea and its mysterious creatures. Join our mermaid for a pre-sail talk at 12:15 PM, with sailing from 1 PM to 3:30 PM.

Cost for Non-members: $40 adults, $23 children 12 & under.
Cost for Members: $36 adults, $21 children 12 & under (min. age 4).
For more information or reservations, please go to www.ocean-institute.org or call (949) 496-2274.

 
March 14
LiteraSea Sailing Adventure: Moby Dick & The Essex
If you enjoyed reading Herman Melville’s Moby Dick or look forward to seeing Ron Howard’s In the Heart of the Sea, then this is the sail for you. Re-enact life onboard the Essex, an 1820s whaling ship that inspired Moby Dick. Watch literature and history come to life as you sail onboard our tallship, the Spirit of Dana Point. Join us for a pre-sail whaling talk in the boathouse at 12:15 PM, with sailing from 1 PM to 3:30 PM.

Cost for Non-members: $40 adults, $23 children 12 & under.
Cost for Members: $36 adults, $21 children 12 & under (min. age 4).
For more information or reservations, please go to www.ocean-institute.org or call (949) 496-2274.

 
March 15
Two Years Before the Mast: A Tallship Sailing Adventure
You have watched students reenact life as a sailor onboard the Pilgrim, you have heard about Richard Henry Dana Jr.’s book, Two Years Before the Mast, and now it is your turn to experience life as a sailor in the 1830s. Come relive the adventure and learn about Dana Point’s history in a hands-on and interactive way as you haul lines and sail onboard our tallship, the Spirit of Dana Point. Will you survive for two hours before the mast? Join us for a pre-sail history talk in the boathouse at 12:15 PM, with sailing from 1 PM to 3:30 PM.

Cost for Non-members: $40 adults, $23 children 12 & under.
Cost for Members: $36 adults, $21 children 12 & under (min. age 4).
For more information or reservations, please go to www.ocean-institute.org or call (949) 496-2274.

 
March 13, 14, 15
The Interactive Dolphin & Whale Film Festival

The inaugural Dolphin & Whale Film Festival is March 13-15 in the after-hours of the Dana Point Festival of Whales.

Tickets are on sale now in limited quantities! http://www.phinfest.eventbrite.com

Follow the double searchlights to the Ocean Institute every night after Festival of Whales March 13th-15th to experience whales like never before.

Everyone loves dolphins and whales, but few know the conservation efforts necessary for them to remain free and protected, and fewer have access to films or experts to ask direct questions. Hosted by Ocean Institute in partnership with Festival of Whales, PhinFest will showcase a new form of nighttime entertainment that will inspire you to learn while you view and interact with dolphins and whales in new and exciting ways. Since the scientific merit of cetaceans typically gets lost in Hollywood-type movies, PhinFest will debut films that have both educational and inspirational value curated for the new generation of ocean millennials, to engage the learning from a point of curiosity, wonder and interaction.

Experience powerful films that will inspire you, see digitally projected wild dolphins & whales close up virtually swimming back to the cove nearby. Hear the chorus of dolphins and whales in the open air; become totally immersed in their world using new interactive digital technologies of sight and sound. Participate in discussions with renowned experts about their work in research, protection laws, and how you can help the critical status of cetaceans around the world. This is set to be a historic event you won’t want to miss.

However, it’s not just about raising awareness; PhinFest is raising funds for conservation heroes such as Ocean Institute, Animal Welfare Institute, American Cetacean Society and Orca Research Trust.

For VIP guests, PhinFest kicks off Friday March 13 with an afternoon on-board Ocean Institute’s 65-foot whale watching sea vessel R/V Sea Explorer for a 3 hour tour to engage the local cetaceans with the experts who study them, like Dr. Naomi Rose and Alisa Schulman-Janiger, including filmmakers who document them like Rick Wood, Shari Macy, Howard Garrett, Susan Berta who will all add unparalleled scope and depth to this rare tour. As the sun sets, Sea Explorer docks and #PhinFest officially launches as we transform Ocean Institute into an underwater ocean environment showcasing whale and dolphin projections swimming across the courtyard walls. The opening night reception features local food, signature cocktails and entertainment in the courtyard with access to all science rooms. Once inside Samueli Hall, an awards ceremony will honor the outstanding achievements of Dr. Naomi Rose, the renowned marine mammal scientist of Animal Welfare Institute and, since 2000, a member of International Whaling Commission’s Scientific Committee. Alisa Schulman-Janiger, director of American Cetacean Society/L.A. Gray Whale Census and Behavior Project, will also be recognized for her work in studying local orca and whales over the last 30 years. Both scientists will also be present the following day, March 14, as part of our expert panel for Fragile Waters’ Southern California debut.

Tweet your questions @phinfest to get real-time answers from our panel of experts during each Q&A.

For PhinFest pass holders, Saturday starts at 5pm as we participate in the debut of the critically acclaimed film Fragile Waters, about the endangered Southern Resident Killer Whales of the Pacific Northwest. A panel includes Director Rick Wood, Producer Shari Macy, who dedicated the last 2 years to create this important scope of work, with Producers Howard Garrett and Susan Berta of Orca Network. Preceding Fragile Waters will be the GoPro Series Orca Rescue, A Day In The Life of Lolita the Killer Whale, by Dr. Ingrid Visser. Sunday, PhinFest VideoHero of the Year Contest semi-finalists, as voted by the public on www.phinfest.com will be screened! After the winner is announced, Captain Dave of Dolphin Safari will premiere his film that took 10 years to produce. The TransparentSea Voyage takes center stage as pro-surfer star Chris Del Moro joins Director Justin Krumb and Chris Troy of Surfers For Cetaceans to share stories of following the historic grey whale migration down the coast through Dana Point in 6 tandem kayaks.

Tickets are on sale now in limited quantities! http://www.phinfest.eventbrite.com

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