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Old 23 Apr 20, 03:15 PM  
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The 260 Mile West Coast Wander - August 2019 - Day 15 - Whale of a time!


Sunday 18th August

Had a really good night’s sleep the bed was super comfy and it was nice and quiet too. I took a travel sickness tablet as soon as I got up so I didn’t forget as i can suffer quite badly with travel sickness.

It was 9am when we went down for some breakfast. The breakfast room was really small and could only really hold around 20 people at a time. Luckily there was only another couple sat there eating so we were able to get some food and sit at a table to eat it.

We got chatting to the couple who were visiting from South Africa. They were really lovely and when we mentioned what we were doing in the morning they told us about how regularly they’d see the whales. They’d just come from San Francisco too and had also visited Yosemite which they’d really enjoyed.

The breakfast was quite good and plentiful, nothing really fancy but more than enough choice for us. We had waffles, omelettes, muffins, cereal and of course coffee and juices.

Our tour started at 11am so we set off around 10am to make sure we had enough time to get there, even though we’d passed Moss Landing on our way down to Monterey yesterday so knew where we were going.

When I was researching whale watching trips I was well aware that a great deal of them do depart from the Fishermans Wharf in Monterey. I’m not really that good with boats so I’d read that going form Moss Landing meant that the boat didn’t have to sail out as far to reach the deep water. I thought this would be better for me along with going with a morning sailing as the sea tends to be calmer.

The weather wasn’t too bad this morning it was a little grey and misty but at least it wasn’t windy or raining. I was thankful for having my new hoody from Yosemite to keep me warm and I put a pair of leggings on too.

We soon arrived and once we’d parked up we went to pay the parking fee before next using the restrooms. Then we looked around to see if we could spot a sign for Sanctuary Cruise?

Couldn’t see a sign but noticed a small group of people gathered at the side of the dock so we went to investigate. There was a lady there with a Sanctuary Cruise top on so thankfully we had found our tour.

We checked in with the lady called Laurie who was to be the marine Biologist on this tour. After going through the safety instructions we all introduced ourselves to the other members in the group. A few people had been whale watching before but like us there were a few first timers too. She then went through the safety briefing and then how to move around the boat. There was no need to be saving seats or anything and we were all free to walk around the boat at any time.

I wasn’t sure how many people would be on the cruise but there were around 20 of us in total so not too many which was good as the boat wasn’t really big.

Because of Poppy’s age she had to wear a life jacket and also Laurie explained about the anti sickness bands, I know how bad I can suffer with sea sickness so I rented a band for both Poppy and myself. They were $7 each.

I cannot stress how knowledgeable Laurie was, before we’d even got on the boat Laurie pointed out some Sea lions and some birds. As we set off we saw some mega cute Sea Otters.

Soon we were out into the sea and thankfully the waters weren’t too choppy.

We stopped for a few moments and a sunfish was pointed out to us. Laurie gave out information along the way about all kinds of marine and bird life in a very soft and friendly manner.

Laurie told us all to keep looking out for signs of whales and the next thing we knew we saw a whale blow, we couldn’t believe it! There were lots of Sea lions there with them feeding so Laurie explained.

There were 2 humpbacks, the captain didn’t go too close we kept a nice distance away but we still had a fantastic view of these incredible creatures.

It was another one of those I can’t quite believe it moments, the emotion took over and I couldn’t help but let a few tears out.

We bobbed about in the sea watching for a little while then the captain we would be heading a bit further out as earlier that morning they’d seen a different pod of whales.

The sea started to get really choppy and the sky went a bit dull again, I kept my eye focussed on the horizon as I could feel my stomach starting to churn a bit. I kept taking deep breaths too which really helped. There was some ginger biscuits on board I couldn’t believe that I’d not thought to have brought some myself though.

As I was looking out to the horizon i spotted some more humpbacks, I shouted and pointed to them and we headed over. It was another pod of 2 humpbacks and as we approached they lunged out of the sea. Oh my word we couldn’t believe it! One of the most incredible moments again and I couldn't stop getting really emotional again.

We stayed there for quite some time watching them feeding it was just so amazing and even the kids were suitably impressed.

These breathtaking whales kept lunging and every time they did I kept welling up, I couldn’t believe that we were stood there watching this. A dream of mine to see this had finally happened and I felt so privileged to witness this incredible sight.

Because the boat was in the same place for some time in was really bobbing up and down. The waves weren’t particularly big but they came onto the floor of the boast through the slats on the side. Our feet got soaked but of course it was worth it.

I was also feeling a bit ill with the movement of the boat and I really had to kind of concentrate looking at the horizon to hold it down. I did at one point stand at the back of the boat just in case anything did come back up but thankfully I managed to get through the sickness feeling!

We continued watching the whales then it was time for us to head back. I couldn’t believe how quickly the time had gone. On our way we saw some more super cute Sea Otters and Laurie pointed out more marine birds to us too.

It had been totally amazing I know how many times I’ve used that phrase but it really was and something that I’ll never forget.

Drove back to our hotel and we changed our shoes as they were all quite wet. It felt quite warm so we put some shorts on too then went back out it was now 4pm. The kids had a few snacks as we’d not eaten since breakfast, I wasn’t bothered about eating anything yet though and neither was Scott.

We thought we’d go to the 17 mile drive so we went over but when we got to the booth to pay we were told that the drive was closed due to the car auctions. She did say it would be reopening tomorrow but we wouldn’t have enough time to do the drive, I was a little disappointed but there wasn’t much we could do about it.

After a quick think we headed over to Lover’s Point as I’d noted this was a place of interest. It didn’t take us long to drive to Pacific Grove and we parked up on one of the roads nearby and took the short walk down to the park.

What a pretty place this was with a gorgeous little sandy beach. Even though the day was getting on a bit there were still plenty of families enjoying the beach and sea.

The park area looked lovely too, a great place for a family picnic and the views out to the ocean were spectacular and we even saw some dolphins swimming in the distance.

We thought it would be a nice walk into Monterey so we started on the coastal path which was stunning to walk down. The buildings in this area were so pretty with lots of beautiful Victorian houses and then the views out to the sea were fabulous. We spotted a few Sea Lions playing on the rocks and then further along we spotted some more Seals who were happily relaxing on the beach.

This route into Monterey was also very popular for cyclists and quite a few families pedalled past us along the way.

The walk took us around 20 minutes so it wasn’t far. We past the Aquarium, I think it was closing? Then we were at Cannery Row.

A little further along we spotted Bubba Gump and we went in for a table. We were advised of a wait time of around 55 minutes, we didn’t really fancy going anywhere else so that would have to do. It gave us time to look around the shops on Cannery Row.

Just then it started to rain, only a fine drizzle but it was continuous and enough to get us wet. We kept looking in the shops which were really nice until it was time to go back.

The table we were given was in a lovely spot looking out to the sea, still looking beautiful even with the drizzle.

We all ordered, the food was really good it had been quite a few years since we’d visited Bubba Gump’s. We had so enjoyed our experience here.

Decided against having a dessert at Bubba Gump’s as the kids had spotted the Ghirardelli’s across from there. They so wanted a sundae so we went over there next.

I’d picked up a coupon whilst we’d been browsing through the shops which were for a free bar of chocolate when you purchased a sundae from Ghirardelli’s. The kids chose a different sundae I was too stuffed to eat a full one so Poppy and I shared the delicious treat.

We were going to sit outside as the view was fab even in the dark but it was still drizzling. We did spot another Sea Otter though, can’t get enough of seeing those cuties!

Walked back along the path it was quite cool now and I was wishing I had my hoody or leggings on. The drizzle was a pain too but we kept walking and we came across a deer which just wandered across our path. We thought it was such a strange thing to see and we had no idea where it had come from?

We were soon at the car and we took the short drive back to our hotel. Once we’d all showered and warmed up a bit we watched some TV, of course we put our favourite Weather channel on. I did a little packing as usual there wasn’t much to pack away as we’d not unpacked much!

Lights went out around 10.30 after what had been the most memorable of days. Seeing the Humpback whales was one of the most amazing sights and a dream come true for me.

I was hoping that the weather would improve for the morning for our drive down PCH.

Thanks for reading

Steps – 14,865

Edited at 07:06 PM.
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Old 23 Apr 20, 08:31 PM  
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Fantastic day, your pictures are beautiful. I had decided against whale watching for our upcoming trip, I have experienced it once before in Iceland and whilst I tried to enjoy it I spent the majority of the journey focusing on the horizon with the worry of sickness! Thanks so much for sharing, I can’t wIt to read the next instalment.
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Old 23 Apr 20, 09:15 PM  
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What a fabulous day! Would love to see such Whales but also suffer badly with motion sickness. It always impacts me in Florida on certain rides! Is it doable then - did Poppy suffer much?

Sounds like a yummy meal at Bubba Gumps and w sundae finished off the day nicely xx
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Old 23 Apr 20, 09:57 PM  
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Great day Julia - you can really tell how much the experience meant to you through your writing. It sounds like a brilliant trip.
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Old 23 Apr 20, 10:29 PM  
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Wow the whales looked amazing, fantastic day x
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Old 25 Apr 20, 10:51 AM  
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Wow. What a fantastic day!

M x
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Old 25 Apr 20, 02:19 PM  
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What a fabulous Day! good tip about Moss Landing too i may look into this instead of the wharf area as Jacob gets terribly sick. Fantastic photo's of the whales i only hope they breach like this when we go, i would love to see that up close.
Great reading as always xx
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Old 25 Apr 20, 09:03 PM  
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Fantastic pictures, what a great day!
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Old 27 Apr 20, 10:28 AM  
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Wow! just caught up on your report. Can't wait for the next installment. The whole trip sound amazing.
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Old 29 Apr 20, 09:30 PM  
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I’m so glad I’m not the only one who shed a few tears when seeing the whales. It was such a pinch me moment, I’m really pleased you got to see them. Sea Otters are officially my favourite sea creatures, serious cuteness overload!
I lied when I said Monterey was my favourite place, it’s actually Pacific Grove which is where we stayed. The whole part of that coastline is just so dramatic with the vivid colours of the sea and the purple of the flowers along the edge. Ah take me back there!
Ooh more yummy sundaes from Ghiradelli, they’re just so good
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