San Diego SEAL Tours
San Diego, California
After a year of not being able to do much because of the pandemic, I found something outdoorsy and different to try. I’m not sure how I heard about the SEALTours, but it may have been a Groupon email. I do remember seeing these vehicles during San Diego Comic Con several years ago near the Embarcadero, but I had forgotten all about it until I saw that email or advertisement. I checked out the official website before purchasing our tickets through Groupon to make sure they were actually open and running. I discovered that they were indeed open and the prices were actually cheaper than what Groupon was offering so I bought our tickets directly from the San Diego SEAL Tours website.
Trusted Tours and Attractions runs the San Diego SEAL Tours and you can find their other excursions here. We had a late morning tour time departing from Seaport Village on March 13, 2021. We were plenty early and checked in at the ticket booth then walked around Seaport Village and Embarcadero Park until it was time to start our tour. They were only running at 50 percent capacity due to the COVID restrictions so the groups were spaced apart from each other, and mask-wearing was mandatory.
|Passing by the Star of India|
The “boat” drives you through the city where you can see the USS Midway and Maritime Museum, Lindbergh Field, and other locations on its way to the water. There is a Captain and a First Mate who acts as tour guide for each tour. The guide will point out various San Diego historical buildings and facts while on land and on the water. It was a cool, cloudy morning when the tour started and the windowless vehicle made it particularly cold. The guide handed out small lap blankets to anyone who wanted one to keep warm.
Once on the water we weren’t moving as fast and the morning marine layer finally burned off making it a perfect day to be out on the water. The highlight of the tour is to see where the sea lions congregate, and you’ll pass by this area twice so that each side of the vehicle will be able to see them up close.
A particular, and rare from what I heard, highlight for us was seeing a dolphin from the U.S. Navy’s Marine Mammal Program heading back to base while we were heading back to the shore when the escort/training boat stopped and had the dolphin do a couple of flips for us to see. Unfortunately, the dolphin was on the opposite side of the boat from us so we really could only see its tail as it flipped over. Our guide informed us that seeing the Navy dolphins is a once in 25 tours type of thing to see, and that the trainers purposely stopped to show the dolphin to us.
|The blue circle is the dolphin\’s tail|
When we returned to shore we had to stop in a parking lot so that the driver could collect any debris or kelp/seaweed that may have collected around the wheels. There was a plastic bag or two and a few long pieces of kelp removed from under our vehicle.
|View of Downtown San Diego|
I used the tour to test out my new phone and the gimbal I bought for it. I figured being on a boat would be a great way to see how well the gimbal stabilizes video. I was also still learning how to use the gimbal and my new phone. It would have been nice to have my camera, but I wanted to use my phone and gimbal. Check out the video made from clips from a few parts of the tour.
I highly recommend taking the San Diego SEAL Tours if you are looking for something fun and different to do. Remember to tip your Captain and First Mate before disembarking, too!