Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Monterey Bay

August 13, 2016

Things are looking up.  It's August.  Autumn is just around the corner.  With that comes birds and the rut and colder, more interesting weather.  The summer doldrums are almost over.

Pelagic Red Crab -- Monterey, CA
Pelagic Red Crab
My son and I went on a whale watching tour on Saturday.  He'd never been out on the open ocean.  This was my third excursion.  My first time was salmon fishing with my grandfather and brother out of Newport, OR.  It was a disaster.  My brother and I both got sick.  We weren't all that into fishing, anyway.  I'm sure we were a big disappointment to my grandfather, and it's something I regret to this day.  I'm still not into fishing, but today I love being out on a boat in the ocean.  I've taken been on two whale watching cruises in the last year, both times the tours were almost cancelled because of rough waters.  I wish I could share this with him.  I'm not sure Grandpa would see the point of looking at animals in the ocean he couldn't catch and eat, but I suspect on some level we'd be able to connect.

Common Murre -- Monterey, CA
Before getting to the boat, we spotted a lot of little red crabs swimming and resting under water on the rocks that line the harbor.  I had never seen these before.  We couldn't figure out if they were crabs or prawns or something else altogether.  I looked them up when I got home.  They are called pelagic red crab, but they're actually related to lobsters.  They're not usually found in Monterey because the water is normally too cold.  They're considered a sign of El Niño.

Humpback Whale -- Monterey Bay, CA
Humpback Whale -- Monterey Bay, CA
Humpback Whale
Those are my two favorite whale photos from Saturday.  That's the same whale, the shots were taken a few seconds apart.  I was zoomed in too close on that first one but I like the look of it.  That second one is easily the best whale photo I've ever taken.  The whale raise his/her tail very high and then went straight down with the tail actually falling over backwards in the descent as see in this little picture to the right.

Humpback Whale -- Monterey Bay, CA
Humpback Whale -- Monterey Bay, CA
We had a number of good looks at whales on Saturday.  I didn't get any shots of the first few, I was frankly caught gawking.  These pictures don't convey the majesty these animals hold in their natural settings.  Get out there and see them for yourself

Monterey Bay, CA
 I'll be honest, my twenty-five year old son enjoyed the whales, but it was the sea lions he liked the best.  Millenials.

Pacific Grove, CA
Monterey, CA
Monterey, CA
Monterey, CA
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