10 June 2007

Whale weekend

My friends and I had a wonderful, relaxing weekend. We ate, talked, napped, and walked on the beach. Asilomar is just lovely. Here are a few pictures from the grounds: the grounds as viewed from the beach across the street, one of the buildings designed by Julia Morgan, and a dune flower of some sort.

On Saturday we went whale watching. Despite pretty calm waters and wristbands and non-drowsy Dramamine (which did make me drowsy) I got seasick. But it was worth it anyway. We saw sea lions and otters and many types of birds (I missed seeing the puffins, though--too sick to make it to that side of the boat). Here are some of the sea lions and cormorants as we left Monterey harbor.

Then, of course, there were the whales. We saw maybe a dozen or so humpbacks, which are darn impressive creatures. Some of them came quite close to the boat. We got to watch them lunge-feeding and engaging in other interesting sorts of whalish behaviors. Did you know that a diving humpback leaves a distinctive round flukeprint on the surface of the water? I didn't. Here's one of the whales demonstrating how they got their name.

Despite how excited we were over the whales, the real highpoint for me was the dolphins. We saw dozens, maybe a hundred or more of them. They swarmed around and under the boat, riding the bow and the wake. Some of them were nearly within arm's reach. There were three species, too: Pacific White-Sided, Risso's, and Northern Right Whale. I adore dolphins, and it was so cool to be so close to so many of them, especially since they'd chosen to come play with us. It was well worth the puking.

Back at Asilomar, we lounged and walked some more. Both evenings, a raccoon attempted to join us in our room, and a scrub jay kept hopping over to me while I was reading. Here's that jay and last night's glorious sunset.


Kelly said...

Sounds like a wonderful trip. Glad you had a good time!

Knatolee said...

What a fantabulous trip!!! I adore whales. Gordon proposed to me while we were whale-watching on the shore in Tadoussac, Quebec, and I designed our wedding invitation with drawings of whales as the border (I'm sure most people were wondering why the hell I had whales all over our invitation!)

Beautiful sunset... I'm glad you had a good time! Speaking of raccoons, one is included in my blog entry today.

Whales really are worth puking over!

dephal said...

Thanks Kelly!

And how romatic, Knatolee! I was proposed to over the minestrone at an Italian restaurant.