Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Whale Watching

This past weekend, Casey and I drove down the coast to Moss Landing to do some whale watching.  I'd say that it was more nature watching, but we did get to see some whale action.

We thought that the morning fog would burn off and give way to a sunny, beautiful day.  But it's been pretty hot inland lately and the fog was pretty dense and didn't let up.

We started out of the harbor, and almost immediately got word of a humpback whale in the area.  We soon found it and the gasps began.

This was pretty much the most exciting part of watching the whale.  It was feeding and would stay under for about 12 minutes each time.  But between each dive, it would come up and take a few breaths.  When it was ready to dive back down, its back would arch and its tail would glide out of the water and slip back in.

After a few dives and with four other boats crowding the area, we opted to go closer to shore and try our luck with some dolphin watching.

After a short ride in, we soon found the playful pod, as interested in us as we were in them.  They came up pretty close to the boat and one even swam right under the bow!

Here's the shot of the day, with two baby dolphins swimming close to their moms and getting a peek at us.  The excitement on the boat was at its peak and we hung out with the dolphins for a good amount of time.

We got to see some other wildlife on our boat tour as well.

 Littered throughout the water were these Lion's Mane Jellyfish.  At one point they were everywhere and I couldn't help thinking about Finding Nemo.  It was pretty amazing seeing these in person as I've included them in a few paintings.

Here is what I'm going to call a seagull, but it seems pretty different than the ones I've seen.  This one looks more like a land bird of prey with sea bird wings.  

One amazing thing that we got to see, which I couldn't get a good shot of, was a 15 ft. Great White Shark.  This sucker was huge!  Mostly, we just saw a large, dark shadow swimming around, but at certain angles, we could see its white belly and make out its large silhouette.  It was more exciting because this was the first sighting the boat tour had ever had of a great white.  For that, it was even more special.  

As we headed into the harbor, we passed by a dock with a ton of sea lions.  These blubbery guys were growling and rolling and flopping all over each other.  

Here's another shot of a sea lion coming out of the water, climbing on the others and getting in a fight with this other guy.  Pretty interesting fight tactic with the upside down bite move!

I'll leave off this this shot of a pelican, posing for the shot.  

In the end, the whale watching was actually the least amazing part of the tour, although it was still pretty rad to see such a large mammal.   

1 comment:

celia said...

Love your pictures!!! What a cool experience you and Casey had!!!