Tip of the Week

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Whale Watching off the California Coast

For a recent weekend trip, I went whale watching, something I've wanted to do for a long time.  This is where sites like Groupon, Google Offers and Travelzoo come in handy.  The special I had purchased several months ago was for whale watching with the Blue Ocean Whale Watching group out of Moss Landing, CA.  For those not as familiar with the California Coast, Moss Landing is North of Monterey and South of Santa Cruz and San Francisco.  There are many other whale watching companies, even ones leaving Monterey Bay and San Francisco Bay.  I enjoyed the ability to go to the top deck of the Blue Ocean group's boat, one of the few, if not, the only company with a top deck.  Just beware that some companies have smaller boats than others, so if you are prone to seasickness I would find out the size of the company's boat.

Moss Landing Harbor
Leaving the harbor, we saw plenty of sea lions and all sorts of sea birds.  The most interesting fish which was the biggest sight to start the morning out was the Mola or sunfish.  Now I've read many books about marine life and have been to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, but a Mola fish was one fish that I knew nothing about, I've never even heard about it until that morning.  So of course I needed to do more reading about it, because our naturalist guide piked my interest.  The Mola is a very strange looking fish and I was memorized just watching it that I didn't even captured a photo of it.  Thankfully the company's photographer did and he posts some of the photos from each outing on their website (such a great bonus!).  Check out National Geographic's site (here) for more information on the Mola fish.

Leaving the harbor
The rest of the trip was exciting watching a pair of humpback whales surface and dive and ending with a large pod of dolphins swimming and playing.  The dolphins put on quite a show!  I loved the outing and would go on another whale watching trip, maybe further south in Southern California or north in Washington and Oregon so I could see more whales and even some Orca's.

There!  I see the whale!

Humpback whale tail as it dives

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