Whale watching is a favorite California Pacific Coast activity. Every year the whales migrate north in the spring. They start in Baja California and graze their way to their summer place in the North Pacific Ocean. And they usually pass Ventura County beaches by swimming between the mainland and the Channel Islands. People charter boats and go out to see if they can see a whale up close. Sometimes the whales will swim in close to the mainland shore to feed, and wave their tails and make all the spectators excited.
We had heard the university faculty and staff people were meeting at Pt. Mugu to go whale watching one evening in late April, so The Professor and I packed a picnic dinner and drove out to Pt. Mugu. We never did connect with the group, but we walked around the big rock at the point looking for the best spot to sit and scan the water for a sighting.
We saw squirrels and seagulls.
We stepped over wild flowers.
We sat on rocks and ate our sandwiches and carrots and talked with the other watchers. We used our spyglass* and looked north and south and straight out to sea and saw--nothing except more birds and a couple of boats. We were just about ready to pack it all up and head home since the whales had all decided to skip this matinee performance.
And then! Way out on the horizon, there he was! A whale spouting and breaching! Can you see him in the photo?
I'll zoom in a little so you can see better. See? There he is! That little white spot waaay waaay out there almost at the horizon.
Yeah. We thought the whole thing was a bit anti-climatic, too. Maybe next year, we'll buy tickets for one of the boat charters and go out there by the islands. Maybe we'll be lucky and see the whales up close.
*The spyglass is really a pair of binoculars. But I like the sound of the word spyglass. It sounds so much more romantic and Melville-ish.