Thursday, September 19, 2013

California Dreamin' Day Ten

A Whale of a Time

Monterey Bay is what they call a Submarine Canyon. The waters off the shoreline become very deep… as in miles deep with a series of finger-like canyons fanning out into the deepness. This makes the conditions perfect for whales to roam and frolic because of the tasty seafood buffet this area provides. It wasn’t long before we realized This was going to be a most exceptional day.”   

Within in a few minutes of leaving the dock, we began to view spouts not far off the shore. We thought we’d found the mother load of whales, there were so many spouts. As our 60’ boat drew closer (a much smaller boat than our previous trips) we found ourselves surround by 15 or 16 humpback whales…along with too many seals to count. Kate, the Naturalist on board, was giddy with delight… with five year’s experience, she had never seen anything quite like this before, especially so close to shore. 

The seals were doing synchronized diving, much like dolphins. The whales also seemed to be synchronized… moving the same direction in an organized fashioned.  She explained that the whales are quite intelligent and have figured out how to work together to herd the schools of fish and surround them in such a way that they can get a big gulp of fish. She called this a Bait Ball…  both whales and seals benefit from this form of food gathering. 

We began spotting more and more whales. There were a few other whale watching boats in the bay and they began reporting to each other the phenomena they were each experiencing. They figured there were close to a hundred whales in the bay. Hmmm… maybe because our morning prayer included a request to see whales today?  Never underestimate the value of prayer in your lives. It was more than I imagined it would be. Emilee would rather be shopping but she was still a good sport. What a way to end our trip.

We drove up the coast to find tidepools… we all agreed that California coasts are not as beautiful as Oregon. But it was still fun. A drive back to San Francisco to ride the cable car … lines too long. We were tired and it was late. Walked right past Ghirardelli; Dad must have had blinders on. Good thing, cause we’ve all gained weight on this trip. Drove to our hotel by the airport… had a great rate on DoubleTree.  We belong to the Hilton Honors program to collect free nights. They upgraded us to a lovely two-room suite, no charge. We will spend five hours here… it's gonna be so hard to leave this bed. We need to be at the airport at 5 a.m. It will be a very short night. 

All good things must come to an end... and our California Dreamin'  is no exception. We had some great adventures and some quality time with our Emilee before she heads off to college and we become empty nesters. Now that is sure to be an adventure... for each of us!

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