Day Five


The day the storm took us out to sea



Yes, thatís right, we didnít take ANYTHING by storm this day. Instead, the Pacific Ocean took US by storm as we sailed 20 miles out to sea in search of marine life. It is *cold* that far out. Very cold. In fact, we were told to dress in layers. Just in case, we bought sweatshirts on the wharf before boarding the boat. To give you an idea, this is what Angie wore:




Not one, not two, but three hooded sweatshirts, in addition to t-shirt & jeans.



As we pulled out of harbor, we were seen off by a crew of lively sea otters and sea lions.








We were out quite a way and hadnít seen any sea life other than birds, when our guide, a marine biologist, spotted the spray of a whale surfacing. We knew we were onto something big when all the birds started swarming to a spot up ahead. As we got closer, dolphins appeared. Lots of dolphins, to the tune of hundreds of them, racing ahead.




As we drew closer, we could see the spray from 3 different whales within this circle of activity. Apparently this was a feeding spot, for the birds, the dolphins and the whales. They turned out to be humpback whales, which are prevalent in this area at this time of year.






This one got very close to our boat. That is a research vessel behind the whale. We went further out when the activity here quieted down. We came upon another feeding area and saw several more whales and more dolphins. We were out for over 4 hours before we headed back in, which took us another couple hours. We were really impressed with this particular whale-watching outfit, Monterey Bay Whale Watch. They tried really hard to find us some whales and kept us out a couple hours longer than normal because the activity was so good. They also contribute to research on marine life in the bay area and the tours are led by marine biologists.


This part of our trip will be something we will never forget. We were even lucky enough to see one whale come out of the water completely, rising up vertically then splashing back down into the water. It was simply breath-taking.


We were exhausted, frozen and wet when we got back to the wharf. We had some dinner right on the wharf and then drove to Sonoma. The main highlight was seeing the Golden Gate Bridge. We pretty much turned in upon arrival at our hotel.



Day 6





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