Friday, 15 January 2016

Whale-Watching Experience in San Diego

I've seen whales performing up-close behind aquariums. In fact, I even dined with killer whales at Sea World (Dine with Shamu), where we get to take a glimpse between the interactions of the trainers and the whales while enjoying our food. But no matter how close I get, it can never be compared to the experience of watching a real whale in its natural habitat - the ocean.

I've never imagined what it would be like to be in the middle of Pacific Ocean (not literally), but we did get really far off the coast. Far enough to be worried sick if the boat ever capsized on us.

But it was a breathtaking experience.

I have to admit that I visited this attraction with high hopes and expectations, including the form of transport. I have never been on a yacht before and to be honest, I was quite thrilled. In the end, we were given a motor boat which probably fits about 6 passengers. I was actually fine with that except that I just had a cup of Starbucks coffee. Oh, and the entire trip is about 3 hours out in the sea, with no toilet. 

This was the boat of another group, ours is similar except that we had a mini shelter for the driver. 

The tour guide said that there might be chances of seeing killer whales and even dolphins. We travelled for about an hour but there was no sight of whales at all, and we only spotted a sealion sunbathing. While we were disappointed about it at the beginning, I was enjoying the bumpy boat ride. Sometimes it actually feels like I'm on a mini roller coaster! Because of the weather and the boat speed, the wind is actually very chilly, so its recommended to wear a winter hat to protect the ears. 

I was about to give up on any hopes when the tour guide suddenly point out to the ocean and told us that there were appearances of grey whales! 

From the photo, you can see that there is a stream of vapour from its blowhole, that's how we are able to notice the whales from far. The vapour stream will show for a few times before the whale dives back into the water and exposes its fin. Usually, the whale will resurface in the next few minutes or so. That's where you can observe the pattern.

Since we were viewing from a distance, I felt that it was a little pity. So far, we saw a few groups of grey whales, but there were no sight of other types. But at least we were lucky enough to spot whales! After all, it was an unique experience!

I was really looking forward to see dolphins though. The tour guide told us that dolphins are usually curious creatures which will surface near the boat to interact with humans. OMG. I think I would be extremely thrilled if it happened.

On the way back, we spotted another huge group of sea lions sunbathing. They look so adorable!!! I was really tempted to reach out and touch them but I was warned that they might bite ): 

I saw some videos on their FB page and I really envy those that were able to spot humpback whales, killer whales and even dolphins! If you're interested, you can try it out too! Once in a lifetime experience!

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