Last week I had the opportunity to go on a whale watching tour with the rest of my fellow musicians here at the summer music academy. $84 for a ticket, but still, by the end of the day it was well worth it. Definitely a memory that I will never forget 🙂
We started off by getting on the boat at the Santa Barbara Sea Landing site. It was a pretty large boat, but then again we were going out for about one hour into the open waters of the Pacific Ocean. And it was a pretty windy day today, which meant huge waves. We had a lot of fun whooping and cheering as the boat soared over the waters, landing with a large smack on the surface…until most of us got seasick that is.
We were greeted with a bunch of enthusiastic dolphins first. There were probably 30 or 40 of these bottle-nosed cuties, swimming next to our boat, jumping up and out of the water, turning tricks for us. They were probably as interested and curious about us as we were about them, as I imagine giant white metallic vessels aren’t the norm for their ecosystem, haha. They were so cute, though once the whales started showing up, we sort of forgot about them…
And that was our first whale sighting. A humpback whale, that swam RIGHT next to our boat! You can see the white bit is his dorsal fin, and the lumpy bit is his head. I knew they were big, but I never realized how BIG they really were. Oh my goodness. And they were so close too! I could have jumped off the boat and landed right on top of them. That’s how close they were.
Here’s another picture of another humpback, to show just how close they were to us. Unbelievable! They were so friendly too. It made me sad to know that there were so few of them left in the waters, thanks to pollution and collision accidents with larger boats. But our tour guide told us that the Santa Barbara legislation were in the act of passing several new laws that would help preserve these beauties for the next generation and so on.
We did see a lot of other humpback whales as well as two blue whales, which was apparently a rare sighting. Hurrah! Definitely a successful whale watching trip 🙂