Sunday, May 24, 2009

Whale Watching!

We were up early, and out of the house a little after 8 am this morning. We needed to be on the pier, in Santa Cruz, by 9:30 am. My SIL/BIL both celebrated their 40th birthdays this month. To celebrate with everyone, they chartered a boat, and invited friends and family to go whale watching. It was pretty awesome!
These California Sea Lions, and seals, were all over the dock. The boat wasn't docked yet. I think these guys take over the dock every night. Then, every day, they have to be moved. They were pretty cute, and seemed happy to vacate the dock so that we could board the boat. Well, I am assuming they were happy. I don't really know. I don't speak seal. They didn't look UNhappy.
Welcome to Sunny California! It was pretty cold today. The fog was still in-it was early. We knew it would be cold on the boat, so we brought our winter gear. Here's Kevin, trying out the new coat he got for our Alaska trip.
Our ride for the day. What a ride it was! The water was quite choppy. We were rolling all over the place. Many were sick, in all aspects of being sick. From feeling yucky to throwing up. It was very rocky out there, and we were about an hour off of the coast. There were times that I didn't feel real super, but I never got sick. Kevin felt a little sick, and Riley-nothing. He ate and ate and ate, feeling fine. Going back to the pier was the worst part-very bumpy. Quinn was a little green then. He didn't get sick, but he sat with me, outside, not feeling real swell-even though the swells were HUGE (lol). We were told that if you felt sick, you should sit at the back of the boat, outside, where we were closer to the water, and the fresh air. That's what we did. I think that's what helped me. We froze, but at least we didn't hurl. 
Check this out! It's the tail of a whale! A Humpback whale to be exact. They feed here in the summer and fall. We saw many spectacular sights. Several times, they would lift their whole heads up, out of the water, mouthes open, to scoop up the anchovies. They would then dive down, and then we could see just how ENORMOUS they are, as the length of their whole bodies came slowly, rolling, out of the water. I swear I saw one roll over! I wasn't quite quick enough with the camera though. Those whales are kind of picky-they don't pose for pictures. It was a feeding frenzy out there today. Several whales, and lots and lots of dolphins, thousands of birds, and an endless supply of anchovies-glad someone likes those. The dolphins were so cute! They would swim alongside the boat, jumping out of the water, doing flips. It was an amazing adventure. If you get the chance, go whale watching!

Here's another shot of the whales back, as it went back under. They are easy to spot, once you see them spout. They blow air out, which causes water to fountain up. Then you wait for them to come up, usually just a little, and they would roll back down. Sometimes their tail would go straight up, and other times not. The times that they emerged with their heads way up, mouthes open, it was incredible! I'm hoping someone got pictures of that. I was too busy screaming. If you would like to see more pictures from today, check out my Flickr page.

Word for the Day: Sea legs (Ok, that's two). I still feel like I am on a boat. It's the weirdest feeling ever, but it was worth it. 

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