Friday, May 09, 2008

Whale Watching

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.


Flower said...

I see him!!! Even if you didn't spy him, the day was nice to hear about!!
The green and white flowers are some of my favorites! The white ones a very new to the market. Miniture white daisy mums..what more could I ask for!
ps..I'm first!!

Ally Jay said...

I reckon you had a pretty good day even without the close up of the whale. We 'supposedly' get dolphins through our bay but despite hours of watching we've neever been lucky enough to spot them, but when I went sailing there was a whole pod of them.
It's Mother's day in NZ and Oz this Sunday too, so have a great day.

ellen b. said...

I do see the white way out there. It's great you got out to enjoy and have a picnic anyway :)

Caroline said...

Looks like a wonderful way to spend the day. A white splash is about as close as we've gotten to see whales too. I'll admit I'm a little apprehensive about being out on the water so near them.

Joanne Kennedy said...

How fun! I live in So. CA too and every year we go out on the boat and go whale watching. So far, every time we have gone we have been lucky enough to see a whale and always lots of dolphins, which are a favorite of mine.

Oh I'm having a give away over at my blog if you want to take a peek.


Anonymous said...

Close up or not with the whale, a gorgeous spot for a picnic!

Barbara said...

just about saw him on full screen.
Interesting and the sea so calm.
People go seal watching here.

Islandsparrow said...

Glad you a nice day anyway.We have seal watching here - and I guess there are Beluga whales nearby but I've never seen them from the shore.

Lovella ♥ said...

I can so relate to wanting to capture them. . they are quite elusive. I do wonder if the one you captured is the same one I captured off the coast of Maui. They must be making their way up the coast to see us. . .We'll send them back in winter.

Cindy Garber Iverson said...

I can see the whale! Very cool!

Cindy at Rosehaven Cottage

Knitting Linguist said...

Very cool! It does sometimes feel anti-climactic, but I always find it reassuring to actually see them out there :) Taking a whale-watching boat tour can be a really excellent thing, if it's a lucky day and they get you close up -- definitely worth a shot!

Anonymous said...

Willow, your photos put a smile on my face! With my non-zoomy lens, I'd barely see that spot. What a lovely day, even if you didn't connect with the group.