Since I’m teaching about marine mammals in Newport Beach now, I thought it’d be a good idea to go on a boat there and see what’s actually out there. Davy’s Locker has a lot of boats going out, so I headed out on the 3:30 for a two hour trip. They send boats out three times a day (I do a lecture before each boat leaves) so I was on the last whale watch of the day.
I was a little put off by the HUGE line waiting for the boat, and knowing it was sold out, I was afraid we’d be packed in like sardines, but the boat was very roomy, and there was plenty of space inside and around the outside and second floor of the boat to see whatever was out there.
I was also impressed to know the entire crew were American Cetacean Society trained naturalist (so they had the same credentials I have) . So while I’m not surprised to know that crews know a whole heck of a lot about the animals they see every day, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that they’d actually gotten certified.
When we pulled out, the first thing we did was cruise past Pirate’s cove. If it looks familiar, you may recall it as Gilligan’s Island, or as the cove from Robin William’s movie, Hook.
On the way out, we stopped along the breakwater to visit with Herman, the resident seal, who, on those occasions when he is seen, is seen on the same rock, sunning himself:
We also passed a buoy with sea lions, but that’s so common that I didn’t even take out my camera at first, until one of the guests pointed out that one of the sea lions had been entangled in fishing line, which was still wrapped around her neck:
Once we got out into the ocean, we passed several common dolphin without stopping. That’s a pretty good sign that the captain knows there’s something out there a little farther and we don’t want to miss it.
As it turned out, we never did spend any time with the dolphins.
This was the first of TWO blue whales for the trip. It stayed close to the surface, but didn’t fluke at all, and we could see a fluking whale further down the coast, so that’s where we headed.
We were not disappointed. The second whale was HUGE, and not at all shy about fluking.
On the way back, I took photos of the homes, land formations and the other boats.