Evidently May is the month to see whales in Monterey Bay. When we checked the recent sightings we saw orcas, blue whales, grey whales, humpback whales, pacific white sided dolphins and risso dolphins on the list. So it was anyone's guess what we might have seen that day.
Armed with our anti-nausia medication, Carrie Burch and I embarked on our whale watching adventure with the hopes of at least seeing one whale with a tail slap we could hopefully get a photo of - our show turned out to be so much more
Every whale watching trip begins with California sea lions.
They haul out wherever they please.
Our ship headed straight out towards another boat we could see in the distance. Within half an hour we saw our first whale sign - snot.
We arrived to see a mama humpback whale with her calf.
And we were in for a show.
A Close Encounter
While they were easy enough for the boat to follow at a suitable distance, the whales themselves chose to come even closer to our boat
Breaching and Surfacing
As enjoyable as seeing them side by side was, we were taken by surprise when the calf body breached the surface.
We missed the first with a photo we were so surprised. We also developed a greater appreciation for anyone who photographs marine life. It's incredibly tricky. Luckily Carrie was up to the task.
Fortunately for us, the calf was in a playful mood
and treated us to more of a spectacular show.
The calf enjoyed playing, floating on its back and sticking its fins out.
Of Flukes, Fins, and Tail Slaps
And we were treated to so many tail flukes and slaps that we actually get to chose the best photo rather than just the ones in focus.
Humpback calf head stand - show off
Note the belly lines on the calf.
The Secondary Contenders Risso Dolphins
Sea OtterAfter two hours of watching Mama and her calf, they entered more treacherous areas by the shore so we returned to the dock. On the way, this adorable sea otter was sunning itself.
They may look cute and cuddly but they are basically wolverines of the sea.
After we docked we wandered over to a place I thought I remembered harbor seals being when I went kayaking with Karen.
I remembered correctly
Harbor seal punch ensues.
Let's be honest, I'll still go.