Friday, August 20, 2010

Whale Watching

We decided yesterday that we would drive down to Monterey for the weekend.  It is my son's 10 birthday on Sunday.  Whales have been sited in Monterey Bay because there are a lot of krill in the water right now.  So I asked hubby if he could possibly take off Friday so we could drive down there.  So we found a hotel near the Wharf and bought our whale watching boat tickets.  This morning we headed down to Monterey.  We made a pit stop in Morgan Hill and we decided to have some lunch since it was lunch time.  We needed to be in Monterey at 1:00pm and at the Wharf by 1:30 because the whale boat was leaving at 2pm.  We got down to Monterey around 1:15 and checked into the hotel.  The hotel front desk clerk said it was a mile walk from the hotel to the wharf so we decided to walk but we didn't see the street on the map the clerk gave us.  We finally made it down to the wharf and found out we were on the wrong wharf so we had to walk back down the wharf and over to the other wharf.  So it felt like we walked and walked and walked...  Hubby called the whale boat people to tell them we were trying to find them and they said they would wait for us.  We finally get there all red faced and sweaty.  We get on the boat and not too long afterwards they set off to find the whales.  Going out of the harbor we saw otters and sea lions.  A little ways out we saw a pod of Risso's Dolphins.  We had to motor 45 minutes out to see the whales.  They congregate at the edge of the Monterey canyon where the sea floor drops from a few hundred feet to a couple of thousand feet. We finally got out into the ocean and there were quite a few hump back whales out there.  It was amazing to see.  One actually came close to the boat.  There were some calves with their mothers in the pod.  There were also a lot of birds flying around like an Albatross.  There were three or four boats out there and 20 or so whales in two pods. These were Hump Back Whales. Blue Whales have been spotted this year but we didn't see any today. We stayed with the whales for about an hour. Mostly we just saw their backs in a distinctive arch that gives them their name but they raised their great tales before diving and occassionally lifted up their heads to see us. It was well worth the hassel of trying to find the right dock.

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