When I was younger I thought I’d quite like to be a marine biologist. As it turned out, I discovered I get sea sick on a boat and marine biology was actually one of my least favourite modules at university. However, I did love the module we did on whale and dolphin biology and I have long had a strong admiration and love for cetaceans. I therefore could not miss out on the opportunity to go whale watching when we were in California. The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary is a protected marine area that is home to a vast array of wildlife and offers the opportunity to see cetaceans year-round. I was quite excited to be going on a whale watching trip, especially after seeing dolphins and a whale on our drive up the Pacific Coast Highway the previous day. I had taken some anti-sickness medication the night before (then again in the morning) and also armed myself with an anti-sickness band, both of which thankfully turned out to work well for me. We woke up early and made the short drive from Monterrey to Moss Landing. It was a cool day and I was glad to be wrapped up as it was even colder out on the water. We did not have to go far before we spotted our first humpback whale. We had literally just left the harbour when some kayakers got an awesome surprise as a whale surfaced pretty close to them! I think that being out on the water in a kayak and seeing all the wildlife would be a great experience but the idea of tackling big waves in the ocean and the risk of capsizing personally terrifies me.
It turned out to be humpbacks galore; I think we must have spotted around 30 whales. There was also a raft of sea lions, who were so fast and agile as they leapt out of the water.
We also spotted a couple of sea otters, who went drifting past. These guys are super cute! Mind you, we saw the not-so-cute side to them back in the harbour as a couple attempted to mate! I’ll leave you to google that one.
It was a really great trip but I wished it had been shorter in duration as I began to struggle after a couple of hours. It was totally worth it though. My husband probably disagrees as unfortunately he was very sea sick, bless him. He wasn’t able to enjoy the trip at all and I don’t think I’ll ever get him on a boat again!
Afterwards, we drove up to Santa Clara where we would be staying for a couple of nights. We made a quick stop at Levi’s Stadium so Ross could pick up another 49ers jersey that he was wanting to get. We then headed to our Airbnb accommodation, which was a fab apartment. I was quite embarrassed when we arrived as my eyes were streaming from the minute I got off the boat earlier in the day and I am sure I looked like I was crying!! I was also super fatigued by this point so goodness knows what our host thought of me haha. She was a really nice person and very helpful. Ross nipped out to get some food and as soon as I had eaten my dinner, I promptly fell asleep. I was shattered but it had been such a wonderful day.
If you would like to catch up with the rest of the posts in this series, you can find them here.