Ten Things You Didn’t Know About Ventura’s Magical Dolphins

Featured Image by Island Packers

by Visit Ventura


Just the sight of them makes you feel right. The waters off Ventura (officially the Santa Barbara Channel and Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary) are rife with life, and, though it is wrong to pick favorites (how can a Blue Whale come in second in anything?), well, it’s quite possible that dolphins are the hand’s down favorite when it comes to sea life sightings.

And it’s not just humankind that’s mesmerized by Ventura’s dolphins.


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Happy coincidence, when Island Packers sets out to sea (for their affordable trips, click here), your odds of dolphin sightings are not guaranteed — but they are often very good. Sometimes very, very good. Just a glance at Island Packers’ marine mammal sightings (updated daily) offers proof. How many Common dolphins have Island Packers spotted in recent days? On August 2nd, they spotted roughly 2,000. On August 4th, roughly 3,000. Oh right, August 3rd. Roughly 8,000.

Image by Island Packers

But, while the sight of a pod a thousand strong is unforgettable, it’s not about numbers. In fact, it doesn’t even have to be about seeing them at all. Next time dolphins come vectoring in toward the boat, close your eyes for a few minutes. It is a soft and beautiful symphony, the only sounds punctuating the quiet, the exhalations of speeding dolphins, the sound like a snorkel being cleared, and the marveling exclamations of man.

And, as promised, a few more near-magical dolphin marvels…



SIZE: up to 32 feet
WEIGHT: Up to 6 tons


How long do dolphins live? Science doesn’t know for certain — all magic has a bit of mystery.


Why do dolphins swim over to the boat and ride the wake? Scientists think they may be conserving energy — though fun can’t be factored out. It’s also true that pure joy might be why they leap from the water — but they also might be communicating, or shedding parasites.


Dolphins are as smart as apes, and the evolution of their brains is surprisingly similar to humans.


Dolphins are semihemispheric sleepers; only half their brain sleeps at a time so that they can keep breathing and keep an eye out for predators. You may know a few humans who perform this feat in a waking state.

Image by Island Packers

Dolphin offspring will stay with the mother for as long as six years, depending on the species.


Dolphins can reach speeds of more than 18 miles an hour.


Dolphins have two stomachs; one for the storage of food, the other for digestion. Dolphins swallow their food whole — their teeth are used only to catch their prey. Nor will they win any Jenny Craig contests. A 260-pound dolphin might eat some 33 pounds of fish a day.


Why do dolphins breathe through blowholes? It prevents them from sucking water into their lungs when hunting, reducing the risk of drowning.

Orcas belong to the dolphin family. Reaching lengths of over 30 feet, not surprisingly Orcas are the largest member of the dolphin family.


Dolphins have delicate skin, so delicate they can be injured by the slightest touch of hard surface. But even the deepest of wounds heal remarkably quickly.


Come see for yourself. No one is better at finding dolphins than Island Packers’ captains and crew. Even better, from now through roughly mid-September, it’s whale watching season in Ventura.

Image by Byba Sepit


Shopping, dining, hiking, beach-going, beer-quaffing, wine-tasting, and all manner of fun in the sun (because that’s what Ventura does best). Want to know (almost) everything about Ventura? Please order our FREE 2020 Ventura Inspiration Guide here.