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Watching Whales

San Diego, California: Up and at it early this morning for a three-hour cruise with Legacy. This whale watching tour was recently recommended by our friend, Hans. He went with his family a few weeks ago and they saw so many (fin) whales. It was so cold and foggy this morning, I made the kids wear practically everything in their suitcases.

Lucy and Leo, waiting to board the boat.
Yes, Leo wears his flannel shirt every day.
Big bull sea lion on the bait dock in the Mission Bay harbor.
(Photo by DT)

The weather was not cooperating as we left the protected harbor and cruised beyond the jetty, but the sea was simply as smooth as glass. The huge boat held very few passengers, so it was easy to move around the decks to check-out what the captain and on-board naturalist saw in the water and sky. There were many sea lions and harbor seals on the way out to sea, and a nice pod of dolphins. As we continued NW out of the bay, we came upon maybe 10-12 blue whales - the largest animal on earth. It is very rare to see a blue whale and even rarer to see several together (not counting a mother and her calf). The crew were pretty awed at their luck seeing so many blue whales, then one of them flipped to the side and "waved" at the boat with a fin!

Very difficult sighting a grey mammal in a grey sea
Lucy was loving the trip
Look Out Leo

When the blue whales came into view, the captain cut the engine and we floated as the whales moved around the boat, at one point swimming under the craft. It was rare to see a tail, common to see a water spout, and we saw so many whales rise from the ocean and glide along on the surface, their massive backs staying out of the water for quite a long time.

Blue Whale

As soon as the captain cut the engine and everyone was crossing back and forth across the boat, Little Lucile began to feel a little punky - even though (as you can see from the above video and photo) the sea was flat... and we stayed-put for an hour or more before it was time to head back to port.

A little queasy girl

As soon as the boat headed back to the bay, Lucile perked up and wanted to eat a chocolate candy bar! Seriously? I would only let her have a few bites, but I could tell she was fine after only a few moments. It helped that the sun came out just as we came to the jetty.

Weird kids, laying the sun, pinching noses and seeing who
could hold their breath the longest.

On the way back to port, we came upon a pod of bottle nosed dolphins, the largest species of dolphin. They were quite friendly, and are also rare to see in the area. What an odd day of animal viewing we had today. Largest whale species. Largest dolphin species. Livin' large in San Diego. We really recommend this company for a whale watching trip. It was about $50 per person for a three hour trip, truly a bargain.

Hungry Girl

By the time we arrived back to our hotel, Lucile was starving. She ordered the burger from the kid's menu. This menu must be geared toward much older kids that our grandkids. I don't know many adults who could take down that huge burger. Is it larger than her head? She impressively finished half. After homework, Gramps took the kids down to the boardwalk to ride the roller coaster at Belmont Park. He's a much-more liberal/fun grandparent than me. The coaster was built in 1929. Of wood. I kinda voted NO when I saw the coaster last evening while walking to pizza. Leo and Lucy loved it, of course. So much for seasickness.

Dinner at a neighboring hotel and early to bed tonight as we are returning Leo for a day to his parents so he can attend a birthday party.

Until my next update, I remain, your San Diego tourist correspondent.

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