May 24, 2019


Your Holiday Weekend is Here !

Make your Memorial Day Barbecue Better with Fresh Fish 


Old Glory and Legend are on the water fishing Bluefin!

Both boats reported a handful on deck (up to 140 lbs) with a few hanging and favorable signs of fish for your Memorial Day weekend. Be sure to check back for updates and final counts.


Available Departures:

Friday:

Daiwa Pacific:  1.5 Day (Target Bluefin & Yellowtail):   7 PM:   $330:   Book Now

Top Gun 80:  2.5 Day (Target Bluefin & Yellowtail):   8 PM:   $725:   Book Now

Saturday:

Legend:  1.5 Day (Target Bluefin & Yellowtail):   7 PM:   $330:   Book Now

Daily:

Grande: Full Day Coronado Islands (passport required):   5:30 AM:   $155:   Book Now

Premier: 1/2 Day Local:   6:30 AM and 1 PM:   $52/$42:   Book Now

May 24, 2019Thru May 31, Kids Fish Free on any Open Party 1/2 Day trip when accompanied by a paid adult. Take advantage of this special and get your child Hooked on Fishing. Book Online and enter promo code KFF2019 at check-out.

 

See the Complete Trip Calendar Here




May 24, 2019

Don’t let that perfect trip on your favorite boat be ‘the one that got away’!

Open Party 2019 departure schedules are published and Now Booking!  

Need a certain date? Boat? Length of Trip? Filters at the top of the Calendar page make it easy.

 H&M Landing has Something for Everyone and Daily Departures.

Why wait? Browse our trip calendar and Book Your 2019 Ocean Adventure Today. 


May 23, 2019

We still have available room on tonight’s tuna trips! The Old Glory is departing tonight on a overnight trip so don’t miss out!

Departing Friday we have our full day trip on the Grande, and we still have availability on the Daiwa Pacific for a 1.5 day and the Top Gun 80 for a 2.5 day

See Older News

Contact Info

P: (619) 222-1144 F: (619) 222-0784 E: [email protected]Location:
2803 Emerson Street
San Diego, CA 92106

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January 20th, 2016

January 20, 2016

TODAY’S FISH COUNTS:  THE PREMIER ON THEIR EXTENDED 1/2 DAY TRIP FISHING IN MEXICO CAUGHT 81 ROCKCOD, 4 WHITEFISH FOR 10 PASSENGERS AND THE FAITH ON A LOCAL 1/2 DAY CHARTER CAUGHT 8 SAND BASS, 2 CALICO BASS, 2 SCULPIN AND 2 WHITE CROAKER.

THE PREMIER IS RUNNING EXTENDED HALF-DAY  MONDAY THRU FRIDAY 8AM -3PM   PASSPORTS REQUIRED    $85 INCLUDES MEXICAN PERMIT AND TOURIST VISA.  GREAT COUNTS!  BOOK NOW!

THE SEA ADVENTURE II IS RUNNING 3/4 DAY TRIPS TO THE CORONADO ISLANDS. THE  YELLOWTAIL ARE BITING!  PASSPORTS REQUIRED

GREAT WHALE WATCHING!  DON’T MISS OUT ON THIS EXTRAORDINARY OPPORTUNITY!

2016 PRIVATE CHARTER RATES ARE PUBLISHED! BOOK EARLY TO SECURE THE PRIME DATE AND TRIP OF CHOICE ON YOUR FAVORITE BOAT!

January 19th, 2014

January 19, 2016

 TODAY’S FISH COUNTS:  THE PREMIER ON THEIR EXTENDED 1/2 DAY TRIP FISHING MEXICO CAUGHT, 63 ROCKCOD.  THE JIG STRIKE CAUGHT 4 LOBSTERS AND RELEASED 94 SHORTS FOR 6 ANGLERS.

THE PREMIER IS RUNNING EXTENDED HALF-DAY  MONDAY THRU FRIDAY 8AM -3PM   PASSPORTS REQUIRED    $85 INCLUDES MEXICAN PERMIT AND TOURIST VISA.  GREAT COUNTS!  BOOK NOW!

THE SEA ADVENTURE II IS RUNNING 3/4 DAY TRIPS TO THE CORONADO ISLANDS. THE  YELLOWTAIL ARE BITING!  PASSPORTS REQUIRED

GREAT WHALE WATCHING!  DON’T MISS OUT ON THIS EXTRAORDINARY OPPORTUNITY!

2016 PRIVATE CHARTER RATES ARE PUBLISHED! BOOK EARLY TO SECURE THE PRIME DATE AND TRIP OF CHOICE ON YOUR FAVORITE BOAT!

A Day On The Water That Was Just Too Good Not To Share

January 19, 2016

January 16, 2010 was THE most perfect day for a nature, whale watching cruise.  MV Bright and Morning Star left the H&M Landing dock at 10:30am with Captain Ben at the wheel and Captain Steve in the galley.  Diane and Gaynell were onboard as volunteers from the San Diego Natural History Museum and they were eager to tell the 30 guests making the trip about what they could expect to see on this 6-hour trip through San Diego Bay, out into the Pacific Ocean and offshore to the Los Coronados Islands.  It was not very long after we passed the Cabrillo Monument up on the tip of Point Loma and the giant kelp beds just offshore that we noticed a blow on the glassy smooth sea surface.  Sure enough, it was our first gray whale sighting of the day.  Everyone onboard was on their feet eager to get some good photos. This whale was migrating south, blowing at the surface a few times, fluking and making several shallow dives.  We noticed it swim in the direction of the U. S. Navy aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan which was just a little past Buoy One and not moving. Too bad there were only about 3-4 personnel on the carrier deck because all of a sudden the whale breached twice!   They may have missed this whale’s version of saying hello, but we certainly didn’t.  There were shouts of joy watching this 40-50 foot, 30-40 ton leviathan rise up and splash back down to the surface.

Whew, we’ll say thanks to this whale and continue our journey offshore.  Not much longer and what do we see but Common Dolphins leaping and swimming very fast right toward us.  Soon we were surrounded by several hundred of them.  Many came over to ride the Bright and Morning Star’s bow or to body surf in the wake.  They spent a few minutes checking us out before continuing to search for a nice school of fish for their lunch.  Another great opportunity to get some great photos of the dolphins, many with small calves.

OK, now we really have to get going, the islands are waiting.  As we get closer to South Island we notice how green it looks with the sparse vegetation taking advantage of all of our late December and early January rains.  We started seeing cormorants and pelicans flying from rocky outcrops on small bird-occupied islands.  The Los Coronados are a Mexico nature reserve where all types of feathered and furred wildlife can be seen.  You can fish or dive in the sparkly aquamarine waters around the islands, but as a reserve no one is allowed to anchor and go onshore.  Soon we are at a cove where Captain Ben very expertly points our bow toward shore so that we can get some views of numerous pinnepeds.  The little harbor seals lift their heads as if to say please don’t disturb us.  The California sea lions are all standing up, barking at us just like guard dogs in a backyard.  But what are those big brown blobs up onshore that don’t seem to move at all.  They are Northern elephant seals taking a rest.  We notice one enormous male who is bigger than anything else on the beach.  There are also several females tossing sand over their backs; a few of them have small to medium-sized elephant seal pups.

Continuing on our cruise along the shorelines of Middle and North Islands we begin to see just how much bird life there is to see on the islands.  We are fortunate today to see both the Black Oystercatcher and the American Oystercatcher making their way along the edges at low tide in search of mussels.  The low tide also gives us excellent views of numerous urchins and brightly-colored sea stars all clinging to the rocks until the tide rolls in and they are once again submerged out of view.  We see hundreds and hundreds of cormorants, nesting pelicans and gulls and then a really special treat — brown boobies flying out over our heads and then back to their nests where we observe a few fluffy white booby chicks.  Even a peregrine falcon put in a special appearance, perched high up a hill.  Cameras are just clicking away.  Captain Ben told us many pirate stories and some facts about the early history of the islands.

All too soon it was time to start our journey back to San Diego Bay.  But, we couldn’t leave the islands without saying adios to four more migrating gray whales, surfacing, blowing and sounding in unison as they continue their journey down to the lagoons on the west coast of Baja.  Everybody was ready to kick back, relax, enjoy the light breezes and the beginning of what will certainly be a beautiful sunset.   Anyone and everyone, whether a San Diego resident or a welcome visitor, should get out on a cruise, get out in the ocean and see the wondrous wildlife that we are fortunate to have just off our coastline.  And get out there NOW.  If you only have time for a 3-hour cruise, no problem, the whales are cruising on by.  But, if you can manage a 6-hour nature cruise you will be in for a double delight.  Happy Whale watching everyone See you out there.
Gaynell  

January 18th, 2016

January 18, 2016

HERE ARE THE FISH COUNTS FOR TODAY:  THE PREMIER EXTENDED 1/2 DAY TRIP FISHING IN MEXICO, 25 ANGLERS CAUGHT 105 ROCKCOD AND 1 LINGCOD.  THE JIG STRIKE LOBSTER HOOPING CAUGHT 14 LOBSTERS, RELEASED 87 SHORT LOBSTERS FOR 10 HOOPERS.

THE PREMIER IS RUNNING EXTENDED HALF-DAY  MONDAY THRU FRIDAY 8AM -3PM   PASSPORTS REQUIRED    $85 INCLUDES MEXICAN PERMIT AND TOURIST VISA.  GREAT COUNTS!  BOOK NOW!

THE SEA ADVENTURE II IS RUNNING 3/4 DAY TRIPS TO THE CORONADO ISLANDS. THE  YELLOWTAIL ARE BITING!  PASSPORTS REQUIRED

GREAT WHALE WATCHING!  DON’T MISS OUT ON THIS EXTRAORDINARY OPPORTUNITY!

2016 PRIVATE CHARTER RATES ARE PUBLISHED! BOOK EARLY TO SECURE THE PRIME DATE AND TRIP OF CHOICE ON YOUR FAVORITE BOAT!

January 17th

January 17, 2016

THE PREMIER IS RUNNING EXTENDED HALF-DAY  MONDAY THRU FRIDAY 8AM -3PM   PASSPORTS REQUIRED    $85 INCLUDES MEXICAN PERMIT AND TOURIST VISA.  GREAT COUNTS!  BOOK NOW!

THE SEA ADVENTURE II IS RUNNING 3/4 DAY TRIPS TO THE CORONADO ISLANDS. THE  YELLOWTAIL ARE BITING!  PASSPORTS REQUIRED

GREAT WHALE WATCHING!  DON’T MISS OUT ON THIS EXTRAORDINARY OPPORTUNITY!

2016 PRIVATE CHARTER RATES ARE PUBLISHED! BOOK EARLY TO SECURE THE PRIME DATE AND TRIP OF CHOICE ON YOUR FAVORITE BOAT!

January 16th

January 16, 2016

 

THE SEA ADVENTURE 80 REPORTED EPIC WHALE COUNTS ON TODAY’S  TRIPS! CAPTAIN SCOTT McDANIELS REPORTS THEY WERE ALMOST CLOSE ENOUGH TO TOUCH!

THE PREMIER IS RUNNING EXTENDED HALF-DAY  MONDAY THRU FRIDAY 8AM -3PM   PASSPORTS REQUIRED    $85 INCLUDES MEXICAN PERMIT AND TOURIST VISA.  GREAT COUNTS!  BOOK NOW!

THE SEA ADVENTURE II IS RUNNING 3/4 DAY TRIPS TO THE CORONADO ISLANDS. THE  YELLOWTAIL ARE BITING!  PASSPORTS REQUIRED

2016 PRIVATE CHARTER RATES ARE PUBLISHED! BOOK EARLY TO SECURE THE PRIME DATE AND TRIP OF CHOICE ON YOUR FAVORITE BOAT!

January 15, 2016

January 15, 2016

THE PREMIER IS RUNNING EXTENDED HALF-DAY  MONDAY THRU FRIDAY 8AM -3PM   PASSPORTS REQUIRED    $85 INCLUDES MEXICAN PERMIT AND TOURIST VISA.  GREAT COUNTS!  BOOK NOW!

WHALE WATCHING IS IN FULL SWING AND IT HAS BEEN EXCELLENT, SEEING LOTS OF GRAY WHALES, A FEW HUMPBACKS, DOLPHINS AND SEA LIONS!!! 

  THE FIRST STRING & THE SEA ADVENTURE 80 REPORTED SEEING LOTS OF WHALES ON TODAY’S  TRIP!

THE SEA ADVENTURE II IS RUNNING 3/4 DAY TRIPS TO THE CORONADO ISLANDS. THE  YELLOWTAIL ARE BITING!  PASSPORTS REQUIRED

2016 PRIVATE CHARTER RATES ARE PUBLISHED! BOOK EARLY TO SECURE THE PRIME DATE AND TRIP OF CHOICE ON YOUR FAVORITE BOAT!

Nature Cruise, Saturday January 15

January 15, 2016

A wonderful trip on the Bright and Morning Star today.  We left the dock around 10 with about 85-90 passengers, the majority being Sierra Club members who had chartered the boat.  On board with the Sierra Club was Alicia Retes ( a whaler who lives in the Bay area) and Renee Owens, a biologist who specializes in marine life.  The whalers on board today were Debbie Burnette and Judy Peacock.

It was a nice sunny day and as we made our way into the ocean, a small group of common dolphins was spotted.  The passengers enjoyed photographing them and seeing them bow ride.  As we headed south towards the Coronado Islands we saw “blows” in the distance and our first gray whales were spotted.  There were 3 whales heading south, snorkeling and fluking…but not in the usual pattern. They would take a breath, dive…take a breath, dive.  After staying with them for awhile we continued south to the islands.

The first island to visit was South Island and we went into the cove below the fishing shacks and where the old casino has once been.  The passengers enjoyed seeing the photos of the old casino as it looked in its “hey-day”.  Spotted some sea lions and harbor seals resting on the rocks.  Over on the other side we went into the cove where the elephant seals and some new pups were, along with the sea lions and harbor seals.  Then it was over to Sunset Cove, where more elephant seals and pups were spotted.  Then on to Bird Island and the brown boobies and oyster catchers.  Great photo opportunities for all.  The new brown booby chicks were so cute to see.

Over on Dead Man’s Island we spotted the usual array of Brown Pelicans, sea gulls, cormorants, etc.

As we headed back to San Diego more “blows” in the distance and we were fortunate to have 3 more gray whales snorkeling along in what seemed to be a usual pattern…..they must have felt more comfortable with us.  More common dolphins observed along the way also.  The gray whales continued to snorkel and dive…As we looked south towards the Coronados (from the stern), a couple of breaches in the distance and 2 really tall blows…could it be those fin whales from the day before??

More blows to the east and west of us as we headed in and it seemed as there were whales everywhere we turned…

All in all, a great time and wonderful trip to the de los Coronados…thanks Captain Ben

Judy Peacock

January 14, 2016

January 14, 2016

THE PREMIER IS RUNNING EXTENDED HALF-DAY  MONDAY THRU FRIDAY 8AM -3PM   PASSPORTS REQUIRED    $85 INCLUDES MEXICAN PERMIT AND TOURIST VISA.

WHALE WATCHING IS IN FULL SWING AND IT HAS BEEN EXCELLENT, SEEING LOTS OF GRAY WHALES, A FEW HUMPBACKS, DOLPHINS AND SEA LIONS!!!      

2016 PRIVATE CHARTER RATES ARE PUBLISHED! BOOK EARLY TO SECURE THE PRIME DATE AND TRIP OF CHOICE ON YOUR FAVORITE BOAT!

January 13, 2016

January 13, 2016

Excellent Whale Watching reported by the number 1 Whale Watching boat on the West Coast, the Sea Adventure 80. Captain Scott reports great sightings daily of South bound Grays, hundreds of Dolphin and plenty of Sealions. Take the time and go exploring offshore with the West Coast leader.

January 12, 2016

January 12, 2016

THE PREMIER IS RUNNING FOR SURE ALL NEXT WEEK (WEATHER PERMITTING)  MONDAY THRU FRIDAY 8AM -3PM   PASSPORTS REQUIRED    $85 INCLUDES MEXICAN PERMIT AND TOURIST VISA.

WHALE WATCHING IS IN FULL SWING AND IT HAS BEEN EXCELLENT, SEEING LOTS OF GRAY WHALES, DOLPHINS AND SEA LIONS!!!      

2016 PRIVATE CHARTER RATES ARE PUBLISHED! BOOK EARLY TO SECURE THE PRIME DATE AND TRIP OF CHOICE ON YOUR FAVORITE BOAT!

H&M Landing gets new managing partner

January 12, 2016

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SAN DIEGO — H&M Landing has announced Frank Ursitti as the new managing partner of United Sportfishers/H&M Landing in Point Loma.

As managing partner, Ursitti will be handling the day-to-day operations of the West Coast’s largest sportfishing fleet.

When Phil Lobred decided to retire his position of managing partner, which he had held for 36 years, he chose Ursitti as his successor.

“I knew he had the experience, insight, temperament and entrepreneurial spirit to take the business forward,” said Lobred.

Ursitti, 53, has been working in the sportfishing industry since he was a teenager. In the summer of 1977 he began working on sportfishing boats from Channel Islands Harbor and continued to work as a crewman on boats from the CISCO fleet until earning his Masters License in 1981.

He then began operating boats for Channel Islands Sportfishing until February of 1990 when he purchased his first charter boat, Coral Sea, and began spending five months each summer season fishing out of H&M Landing with the balance of the year from Channel Islands Sportfishing in Oxnard.

In 1999 he purchased the first boat he ever worked on, a Ranger 85 to expand and diversify his charter business to include whale watching and eco-tourism adventures in the waters throughout Channel Islands National Park and Marine Sanctuary. He formed
Channel Islands Whale Watching in 2000 and founded Channel Islands Marine Floating Lab, a tactile marine-science field-trip opportunity for students in 1997.

In San Diego Ursitti is excited to be able to offer a school field-trip opportunity with H&M’s whale-watching program that offers a pre- and post-trip curriculum that meets common core state standards.

Founded in 1935, H&M Landing is the West Coast’s oldest sportfishing company, with the largest commercial passenger fleet. H&M offers fishing year-round, for surface game fish in spring, summer, and fall and rock cod through the winter months.

See more at: The Log – California’s Boating & Fishing News

H&M Landing lands new managing partner

January 12, 2016

3QFC_web_1a_Frank_Ursitti_at_H_M_LandingH&M Landing has announced that Frank Ursitti is the new managing partner of United Sportfishers/H&M Landing in Point Loma. Ursitti will be handling the day-to-day operations of the West Coast’s largest and most diversified sportfishing fleet.

When Phil Lobred decided to retire his position of managing partner, which he had held for 36 years, he chose Ursitti as his successor. “I knew he had the experience, insight, temperament and entrepreneurial spirit to take the business forward,” said Lobred.

“Looking ahead, I am very proud of the fleet we have assembled here at H&M,” said Ursitti. “Many of the boat owners and captains have decades of experience providing successful sportfishing as well as eco-tourism adventures.”

“I followed my passion, and it paved the way for my success,” said Ursitti, 53. He has been working in the sportfishing industry since he was a teenager. In the summer of 1977, he began working on sportfishing boats from Channel Islands Harbor and continued to work as a crewman on boats from the CISCO fleet until earning his masters license in 1981, becoming the youngest licensed master at the time.

He then began operating boats for Channel Islands Sportfishing until February of 1990, when he purchased his first charter boat, the “Coral Sea,” and began spending five months each summer season fishing out of H&M Landing with the balance of the year from Channel Islands Sportfishing in Oxnard.

Ursitti has worked to improve and expand his own passenger boat business. In 1999, he purchased the first boat he ever worked on, the “Ranger 85,” to expand and diversify his charter business and his business portfolio to include whale watching and eco-tourism adventures in the waters throughout the Channel Islands National Park and Marine Sanctuary.

In 2000, Ursitti formed Channel Islands Whale Watching, offering whale watching and wildlife cruises into the waters surrounding Channel Islands National Park and National Marine Sanctuary. In September of 2014, he purchased the vessel “Constitution” to further enhance his ability to offer whale-watching tours through the Channel Islands. In addition, both the “Constitution” and the “Ranger” have extended range to offer longer fishing trips throughout the Channel Islands and down the Baja California peninsula.

In 1997, Ursitti founded Channel Islands Marine Floating Lab, a tactile marine-science field-trip opportunity for students. This program fosters stewardships of the world’s ocean and provides an in-depth look at the diversity of life in the ocean, from its very basic forms all the way up the food chain to the largest animals on the planet.

In San Diego, Ursitti will offer a school field-trip opportunity with H&M’s whale-watching program that features a pre- and post-trip curriculum meeting common core state standards.

“Our field-trip opportunity promotes stewardship of the marine environment and allows students a firsthand look at marine life in a natural setting,” said Ursitti. “We look forward to working with San Diego’s students and faculty to provide a unique learning experience.”

Founded in 1935, H&M Landing is the West Coast’s oldest sportfishing company, with the largest commercial passenger fleet. With local and extended trips down the Baja coast, H&M offers fishing year-round, for surface game fish in spring, summer and fall and for rock cod through the winter months.

H&M has offered whale-watching every winter since its founding.

Original Article: sdnews.com

January 11th, 2016

January 11, 2016

THE PREMIER IS RUNNING FOR SURE ALL NEXT WEEK (WEATHER PERMITTING)  MONDAY THRU FRIDAY 8AM -3PM   PASSPORTS REQUIRED    $85 INCLUDES MEXICAN PERMIT AND TOURIST VISA.

WHALE WATCHING IS IN FULL SWING AND IT HAS BEEN EXCELLENT, SEEING LOTS OF GRAY WHALES, DOLPHINS AND SEA LIONS!!!      

2016 PRIVATE CHARTER RATES ARE PUBLISHED! BOOK EARLY TO SECURE THE PRIME DATE AND TRIP OF CHOICE ON YOUR FAVORITE BOAT!

January 7th

January 7, 2016

THE PREMIER IS RUNNING FOR SURE ALL NEXT WEEK (WEATHER PERMITTING)  MONDAY THRU FRIDAY 8AM -3PM   PASSPORTS REQUIRED    $85 INCLUDES MEXICAN PERMIT AND TOURIST VISA.

WHALE WATCHING IS IN FULL SWING AND IT HAS BEEN EXCELLENT, SEEING LOTS OF GRAY WHALES, DOLPHINS AND SEA LIONS!!!      

2016 PRIVATE CHARTER RATES ARE PUBLISHED! BOOK EARLY TO SECURE THE PRIME DATE AND TRIP OF CHOICE ON YOUR FAVORITE BOAT!

January 7th

January 7, 2016

THE PREMIER IS RUNNING FOR SURE ALL NEXT WEEK (WEATHER PERMITTING)  MONDAY THRU FRIDAY 8AM -3PM   PASSPORTS REQUIRED    $85 INCLUDES MEXICAN PERMIT AND TOURIST VISA.

WHALE WATCHING IS IN FULL SWING AND IT HAS BEEN EXCELLENT, SEEING LOTS OF GRAY WHALES, DOLPHINS AND SEA LIONS!!!      

2016 PRIVATE CHARTER RATES ARE PUBLISHED! BOOK EARLY TO SECURE THE PRIME DATE AND TRIP OF CHOICE ON YOUR FAVORITE BOAT!

A whale of a field trip

January 4, 2016

When La Mesa resident Frank Ursitti became the managing partner of Point Loma-based H&M Landing in April, he had already been in the sportfishing and ecotourism business for 39 years.

“I’ve been a career Southern California sportfishing guy,” he said. “It’s been an incredible ride, that’s for sure.”

As the man who is now in charge of the day-to-day operations of the West Coast’s largest and most diversified fleet of sportfishing boats, Ursitti is already making changes to grow H&M by expanding its school whale-watching program to San Diego.

Ursitti founded Channel Islands Whale Watching in 2000 which offered whale watching and natural tours around Channel Islands National Park.

“Our business is hugely successful up north and now given the opportunity here as managing partner of H&M, we’re going to put some of those programs in place –– i.e. our school program for whale watching.”

The whale-watching school program will offer teachers both pre- and post-trip curriculum that meets state standards so their students will be well-prepped when they come as well as activities when they return to the classroom, Ursitti said.

Each boat has naturalists on board to talk about the natural history, population decline and over-harvesting of whales. Boats also include a library, models of whales (Ursitti calls them “action figures”); and will soon have samples of baleen and krill for students to learn about how whales feed.

Whale conservation is one of the biggest lessons for students who learn about how the grey whale was hunted to the brink extinction twice and how protecting whale species is positive for both environmental and economical reasons.

“If you really look at it on a global scale, whales are worth far more today in terms of ecotourism dollars than they ever were as a product for oil, food, etc. So we talk about the importance of that conservation.”

Frank Ursitti, managing partner of H&M Landing (Photo by Jeff Clemetson)
Frank Ursitti, managing partner of H&M Landing (Photo by Jeff Clemetson)

“Growing up in this industry, we never would see [whale migrations] occurring on a consistent basis, but we have in recent decades,” he said. “Whaling, globally, is at an all-time low and that certainly sets the stage for species recovery.”

Modern production of products is also a reason for whale populations returning. “We produce so many things synthetically that we don’t need to go after whales for oil or for meat.”

And with more whales there are more tourists wanting to experience them in the ocean.

“Ecotourism is booming here in Southern California. Everyone wants to go out and see nature in the wild –– not necessarily in a wild animal park or in a zoo –– and there’s no greater experience than whale watching here in Southern California. Here you can go out and see an animal that knows no boundaries, knows no barricades and is doing what it does in its natural environment.”

The whale-watching program for schools is new to the Point Loma boats at H&M Landing, but the company has offered another program for schools here for almost 30 years –– the Marine Floating Lab. “[The program] is one of the most tactile approaches to introducing students to the marine environment,” said Ursitti.

Students learn physical oceanography by using a mud grabber for sediment samples; a secci disc device to measure water clarity; a sounding to check depth; and an anemometer for wind speed.

Students learn about ocean biology by dredging for organisms; using a touch tank to handle animals collected with an otter trawl; and viewing plankton under a microscope in a lab. “Students will break down a sample of water and they can see exactly what’s in there as far as phyto or zooplankton so they can get a really good idea of the food chain.”

Humpback whales are seen in San Diego in spring and early summer.
Humpback whales are seen in San Diego in spring and early summer.

The Floating Lab is a popular field trip that around 10,000 students experience annually, Ursitti said. “We have students that come from the desert, Arizona, north of Orange County, San Diego County, of course. We have a group of 300 students [from Oceanside] coming in two weeks and we’ll use multiple boats.”

The success of the Floating Lab gives Ursitti confidence that the whale-watching program will also be a big hit with schools and teachers wanting to give students something memorable and educational in a field trip experience. Most of all, though, it is the now-predictable whale migrations that make it possible to offer students and tourists a first-class whale-watching experience.

“January into April, it would be very rare not to see a grey whale,” he said. “As we get into the summertime, we have fin and blue whales. We see southbound pods on their way to Baja Mexico calving lagoons. March and April will see northbound grey whales with mothers and calf pairs and spring to early summer we see humpback whales in our region.”

Click here For more information on H&M Landing’s school programs, whale-watching tours or sportfishing trips, or call 619-222-1144.

Original article by Jeff Clemetson | La Mesa Courier
Click here to see the full article.

Ailing Ohio teen gets special treatment here

January 4, 2016

The giving spirit is alive and well in the hearts of San Diegans as one good deed blossomed into another, then another, for a visiting family from Oberlin, Ohio.

A Special Wish Foundation is Ohio’s version of the nonprofit Make-A-Wish Foundation created to grant special requests to children suffering from life-threatening illnesses.

Kyle Riggs, 17, has Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Instead of the often-requested trip to Disneyland, Kyle wanted to come to San Diego to see the zoo, safari park, SeaWorld, a Chargers game and, especially, to go ocean fishing.

The foundation covered or secured donations for the flights, nine-day San Diego Marriott stay and rental car for Kyle, his mom, Cindy Carrico, and his sister, Cayla. 13. The San Diego Zoo and Safari Park offered complimentary passes.

When Marcia Allen, of the Ohio foundation, asked H&M Landing for a discount on a private charter for Kyle and his family, its staff contacted charter Capt. John Guest. He not only offered the trip for free (a $1,000 value), he called some of his friends.

As a result, the Everingham Brothers Bait Co. is donating the bait and Capt. Guest’s past employer at Toyota of Escondido is underwriting the fuel cost and lunch.

Kyle arrived Monday, too late to see the final Chargers home game, but when Capt. Guest learned that Kyle was a Chargers fan, he contacted the team’s front office and was assured the Chargers would arrange a special surprise for Kyle.

H&M Landing employees asked state Fish and Wildlife folks to donate or discount the family’s fishing licenses. Upon finding out that wasn’t possible, staff members chipped in to pay the license cost.

Kyle’s half-day fish outing is set to depart at 6:30 a.m. tomorrow with Capt. Guest at the helm. The name of Guest’s fishing boat says it all: “Faith.”

Original article by Diane Bell | Dec. 23, 2015 | The San Diego Union-Tribune
Click here to see the full article.

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