Monday, April 29, 2013

We Spotted a Gray Whale at Dana Wharf!

CC gets ready to board the Dana Pride at Dana Wharf.
When it comes to whale watching, some days it's more like water watching. That's what our captain said last weekend, when the whole family and I headed out to sea to go whale watching at Dana Wharf Sportfishing and Whale Watching.

It was a beautifully warm day, as sunshine spread out over the ocean, prompting a group of sea lions to lounge on a jetty of rocks.

Instead of bundling up like we did last year, we brought hats and slathered ourselves with sunscreen before embarking on our sea-faring adventure. (Even Baby Will got in on the fun!)

And while the chances of seeing an actual whale aren't ever 100% -- which is fine, because the trip alone is so relaxing and beautiful -- I was not-so-secretly hoping to catch a glimpse of one of those elusive creatures. Double that for CC.

And lucky for us, a baby gray whale and its mom decided to give us a show.

A gray whale spraying water through its blowhole.
I'm not sure which one it was, but either the mom or baby seemed fearless when it came to surfacing (but not full-on breaching) from the water. The whale sprayed water several times through its blowhole and glided just beneath the surface.

It was amazing, and what struck me was how tightly the whales hugged the coastline. We weren't in the middle of the ocean (as you can see from the pic above). It was truly a thrilling moment.

What was doubly amazing for me was how CC totally schooled me on ocean-life facts. At one point, when we were in the galley below, she asked me who would win in a contest between a whale and dolphin. I went with the obvious "a whale, because it's bigger," while CC opted for the dolphin.

"Why?" I asked.

"Because it's more intelligent," she said.

It wasn't 20 minutes later, while the captain was telling us some interesting oceanic facts over the loudspeaker, that he said Bottlenose Dolphins had no known predators (even sharks!) because ... they're so intelligent! (Apparently they could totally flip a shark over, causing it to become stunned.)

CC: 1. Mom: 0.

We had such a nice time. Unlike last year, I stayed in the galley with Baby Will for most of the ride. (He has such fair skin, unlike his sister, and I didn't want him to burn.)

A very sleepy Baby Will and me.
I'm hoping we do this every year -- whale or no whale.

34675 Golden Lantern
Dana Point, CA 92629
Tickets: $45 (Adults); $25 (Children ages 3-12); $35 (Seniors/Military) 

(Note: Media tickets provided)

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