The Nicholas Endowment generously gifted the Ocean Institute with a grant in order to provide ocean-based programs to organizations in the community. As a result, the Ocean Institute in Dana Point personally reached out to Breakthrough San Juan Capistrano and offered several fun and educational options. We were able to schedule a marine mammal cruise, which was made available to all of our students as well as their families.

On Saturday April 1st, over 70 of our students and families went aboard the R/V Sea Explorer at the Ocean Institute. The Ocean Institute provided two cruises to accommodate all of our participants. The first cruise left at 9:30 in the morning. We had the honor of having Dan Stetson, Executive Director of The Nicholas Endowment, on board the first cruise. Breakthrough had the opportunity to see two gray whales, a pod of dolphins, sea lions, and a variety of birds on the morning cruise. The second cruise left at noon. The students and families on the afternoon cruise got the rare treat of seeing a humpback whale! On top of encountering various marine mammals, we received hands-on experience in taking and viewing specimens from the ocean floor. The Ocean Institute staff also gave participants a deeper understanding of whales and dolphins, which included allowing them to touch a real baleen.

We truly appreciate all of the staff at the Ocean Institute as well as The Nicholas Endowment for the enriching experience.


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