Rather than the larger tours most local companies give, Biagini said he wanted to focus on the smaller crowd (five people max) so he could provide a unique and intimate experience with some of San Diego’s most majestic underwater creatures.
“What I really want to focus on is the customer experience here, and also how to get the most beautiful images of these animals” said Biagini. “What's the most respectful way to approach them? How do we go about making sure that it’s not only that the passenger that gets the best experience? How do we do it in a way that is sustainable and eco-friendly to the marine life?”
Biagini will take out his Gone Whale Watching tours daily for two to three hours and will be offering special workshops on drone photography and other long-range trips — like the ones he usually takes on his own. Everything from spontaneous trips to catch a rare orca sighting to staying out a little longer because a pod of dolphins decided to put on a show is possible with Biagini.
“Last week I went out to San Clemente Island and that's 65 miles from Mission Bay,” he said. “A typical tour here doesn't go much further than 10 to 12 miles. But when you extend out to such a different part of the ocean, you come across things that you don't see in the near coastal waters.”
Like the rare and exotic Bryde’s whale that he witnessed lunging out of the water into a school of tuna fish.
“To get offshore and see things like that is a really special feeling. It's really unique. And now I'm gonna be offering all different kinds of unique trips like that.”
Another unique addition Biagini is bringing to the whale watching business is his personal photography skills. Every tour comes with all the wildlife photography he takes as well as one drone photo of the tour participants (with hopefully a breaching whale in the background).
His boat is also not the usual whale watching vessel. His Key West Cuddy Cabin is a style that’s more for offshore fishing, making it less of a “wet ride” like the inflatable boats typically used. Participants can also enjoy the “Dolphin Seat,” a spot right in front of the bow that gets you so close to the water that you’re “just almost touching dolphins."
While Gone Whale Watching may have come as a surprise to some, it's been Biagini’s plan all along.
“This is something I kind of had my eyes set on from the moment I got into this industry,” he said. “There's just something about being on a boat full of people who have never seen what I see every day and get to share that experience with them firsthand. It's just really an incredibly fulfilling feeling.
“I knew that I always wanted to be able to do this my way, and show people basically what I do when I take my own personal boat out every day. It really is a dream come true."
Gone Whale Watching will set sail on its first tour on Friday, Aug. 30. Tickets are $80 per person and can be purchased by visiting gonewhalewatching.com.