Have you ever been whale watching? I have. I was in either kindergarten or 1st grade. All I remember is going with my class and seeing nothing. Since then (yes, literally) I’ve always wanted to go and take a boat ride and actually see these majestic beasts.
I love whales. I love watching documentaries about them. I love hearing about them. They fascinate me and of course scare me, too! The closest I have ever come to a whale is at Sea World.
So, imagine my excitement when I was recently invited to go on a whale watching tripto check out a surge in sightings of the second largest whale, The Fin Whale,off the coast of Long Beach.
This was it, folk. A life long dream about to come true for me. I will actually get to see a whale in open water. The Aquarium of the Pacific and Harbor Breeze Cruises have been monitoring the normal Grey Whale season and have been really astonished by the sudden surge in Fin Whales.
Not only is this gray whale season, but we are seeing massive fin whales and even orcas. Fin whales are endangered animals, and last month we had 45 sightings of these magnificent animals!- Kera Mathes, Aquarium of the Pacific whale research coordinator.
The morning couldn’t have been more perfect. We started off the morning by seeing some common dolphins playing in the waves. They were so cute! And shy.
As Long Beach Harbor got smaller and smaller, the beautiful ocean scenery was mesmerizing. Once the experts spotted the whales, the fun really began. Check out the slide show:
And my video!
Please excuse the rocky video. Even though the boat was at a stand still, we were still rockin’ and rollin’ all over the place. (:
The whole trip left me on cloud nine. The whale were absolutely amazing to see. According to one of the whale experts, during the trip they got a tip from Dana Point that they just saw some Orca Whales heading north. They estimated they the whales would make their way to Long Beach by the afternoon. Oh boy did they ever spot Orca Whales. They saw about 30 Orcas. That would have been breathtaking to see and experience.
Here are some tips for a great whale watching trip:
- Stay warm! Wear layers of clothing. As you get hot on the boat, you can take off the sweaters and jackets.
- Medication. If you know you get sick, make sure you take motion sickness meds. I didn’t take any so I have to clue as to how they work. Do your own research!!!
- Wear good shoes- Don’t wear anything with elevated heels or platforms. Tennis shoes are best. Flats and warm boots work, too! Not only will they keep you warm, but you are on a boat. It will get “rocky” and the boat sways side to side.
- Camera Ready- Keep your camera ready. The whales appear and all of a sudden disappear without any warning.
- Keep the kids close by- Like I said before the boat travels a pretty fast speeds and it does get a little bumpy and choppy. My daughter got a little scared with how the boat maneuvered the waves.
- Sit back and enjoy the ride!
The public is invited to embark on an educational whale adventure through the Aquarium of the Pacific’s Whale Watch Combo. Adventurers will explore the nearby seas aboard the specialized Harbor Breeze Cruises whale-watching boat, the Christopher, to seek out such travelers as gray and fin whales, various dolphin species, sea lions, a host of migratory sea birds, and possibly orcas!
Aquarium experts will be on board to answer questions and discuss tips for helping whales and other animals inhabiting local waters. Included in the adventure is a visit to the Aquarium to meet over 11,000 ocean animals and to learn about whales through the award-winning bilingual (Spanish) Whales: Voices in the Sea kiosk exhibit. The Whale Watch Cruise combo ticket is available for purchase on-site at Aquarium of the Pacific and may be purchased in advance by calling 562-590-3100. Prices are $44.95 per adult (12+); $29.95 per child (under 11); $40.95 per Senior (62+); all tickets include Aquarium admission. The two and a half hour whale watch excursion with Aquarium experts is available daily at Noon & 3:00 p.m. For more information, the public can visit http://www.aquariumofpacific.org/education/info/gray_whale_watch.
This is not a paid post. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Big gracias to the Aquarium of the Pacific and Harbor Breeze Cruises for the wonderful, educational, complimentary trip.