Friday, August 3, 2012

A Whale of a good time! Whale watching on the Bay

Last weekend my husband and I were able to check one more thing off of our bucket list-whale watching on the Bay. What an awesome adventure this was. We decided to take a tour out of the Santa Cruz Harbor with Stagnaro Charter Boats. The morning was dark foggy (as usual) as we all went aboard for our four hour whale sightseeing excursion.
   The boat was a bit smaller than I expected and was packed with tourists from front to back. The crew filled us in on the rules and we were off! First we headed passed the always adorable seals lazily waving us by. The pelicans had a blast of their own diving in the wave trails left by our boat. Some landed on their feet and some, well, did a face plant. The kids really loved this scene and I have to admit I did as well. As we drove out to the  Bay, the brisk wind and water really gave you a chill. Thankfully I was dressed for a Midwest winter and stayed relatively comfortable. Ladies, don't bother trying to look cute for this trip.

The further we moved out into the Bay, we could see the water spray way off in the distance. It was a Blue whale! The largest animal that ever existed was just beyond our boat. That was a really wild thought! Although there were no fancy breaching jumps or fin slaps, just seeing this amazing creature out in its own habitat was out of this world!  The ship crew were just as excited as we were and made sure to give us specific areas to look to and information about their spray, size, behavior and answered all questions we had. At all times the crew was respectful of their area we were in knowing this is their feeding ground and habitat.
Blue Whale

Humpback Whale Fin

Humpback Whale

A little further into the bay we hit Humpback whale alley! Boats from around the area quietly crept forward to catch the most animated scenes ever. These large creatures seemed as if they were out there just as curious about us as were were of them. At one point three humpbacks were feeding near each other and swam yards from the boat. It was so close you could feel the water spray rush over you. I never expected to see so many whales and so close! I am a PBS Nature nerd so this was just simply amazing.

Humpback Whale

Humpback Whale Fin
The waters were very rough and it was not easy to stand without hoping not to get tossed overboard. The day was sadly coming to an end and we had to say so long to our new whale friends. As soon as we hot the Santa Cruz Harbor the sun decided to come out. Next time, I will take the later cruise for sure. 

I am a much better photographer than a writer so I hope you enjoyed the photos from the day. If you are ever in need of something to do, go whale watching! It is an experience you will never forget.

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