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07 August 2006 @ 04:05 pm
Monterey Whale Watching  
I would never miss an opportunity to see wildlife, especially the kind which require you to go out to sea. The last time I was in this side of the planet, I made a mistake and thankfully I got a chance to redeem myself this time around. So, off I went to Monterey, hoping to catch a glimpse of the gentle giants of our oceans. Before that, however, one of my friends told me that all the whales had gone off to Alaska and it's not a good time to go. That, of course, was partially correct except that not all of them were too keen on traveling. So, did I manage to see any today? (Answer is behind the cut)

California Sea Otter having breakfast. "Why go whale watching when you can see me gulping clam?" he seemed to say...

The dominant male California Sea Lion with young (male) pups and Brandt's Cormorants. And the sea lion seems to be saying "They're going whale watching... Hahahahahaha" ... the pups and the cormorants seem to agree with the master of the shore.

California Sea Gull. He too seems a little skeptical of us finding whales...

Few miles from the shore and we spot a pod of Risso's dolphins. This one is a large male. Still no whales, though. Darn.

An hour after sailing, it seems like we were in for some luck. A couple of Hump-backed whales in the distance! Yay!

They don't seem to like us and they dive...

Another boat spots them, but just look at the relative size.

Ok. They're back and time to show off...

Yes, they know how to put on a show. Weighing 45 tons and about 40 feet long she jumps (breaches) right out of water with amazing ease...

... and that results in a mighty big splash - of course.

Now, that was fun. Whales and dolphins are unbelievably gentle and playful. I'd love to swim with them some day, but for now I'm really really happy that I got to see them. Wonderful creatures they are.

Premnath Kudvapremkudva on August 7th, 2006 11:46 pm (UTC)
I thought I saw this post yesterday too?
Yathinyathin on August 8th, 2006 12:10 am (UTC)
Had to take that post off-line because my website was down and no one could see the images...
(Deleted comment)
Yathinyathin on August 8th, 2006 11:03 am (UTC)
nice one... :))
Arunbirdonthewire on August 8th, 2006 12:08 am (UTC)
Wow, that is awesome. Nat Geo live. :)
Yathinyathin on August 8th, 2006 02:03 am (UTC)
I'm just a little jealous that the NatGeo guys get to do this all day and everyday and even get paid to do it... :D
~time~fiery_fiona on August 8th, 2006 12:17 am (UTC)
a small request
..can you capture a seagull flying, with the same color intensity as your other pictures have??

I love the whale diving pic!!
Yathinyathin on August 8th, 2006 12:51 am (UTC)
Re: a small request
Don't think I'll have time to go out, but here's one (bad/chopped) shot that I was able to take a few days ago...

California Gull

~time~fiery_fiona on August 8th, 2006 01:48 am (UTC)
Re: a small request
aah..thats as good but was thinking of taking one with sea as the backdrop!:)


umang jaipuria: Seaumang on August 8th, 2006 12:33 am (UTC)
Lucky bum! When I was there they said whale watching season would start in October or thereabouts.
Yathinyathin on August 8th, 2006 12:41 am (UTC)
They are right. These are just resident whales which hang around all year. In october, there are the gray whales and sometimes even the blue whale and the Orcas.
maxaudmaxaud on August 8th, 2006 12:39 am (UTC)
that was beautiful. my day is made. thanks.
kejnkejn on August 8th, 2006 01:33 am (UTC)
you definitely had more luck with the humpbacks than i had when i went to northern norway some years ago. the whale spotting company there has a "whale guarantee" but the weather was so bad that day - rainy, cold and and near gale-force winds - that they almost canceled the trip. i did get to see and capture the tail of one whale, but that was about it. i enjoyed the bumpy ride up at the stern of the old whaling ship though. i was the only one who stayed out there for almost the whole trip. :-)
Yathinyathin on August 8th, 2006 01:59 am (UTC)
I've heard that Norway is apparently another awesome place to watch whales especially in the scenic fjords if you can spot them. I was hoping to catch those cute monsters (orcas) and blue whales as well, but I've come away happy with what I got...
Suraj Kumarsunson on August 8th, 2006 01:42 am (UTC)
Otters are clever! Nice pics, thanks!
depontideponti on August 8th, 2006 01:48 am (UTC)
beautiful. especially "the whale's tail" one...

that does it, I am now SURE that all the wildlife keeps lurking (on any continent), away from our sight, until they are sure that you or Kalyan are there and then they come out and do all these displays. On our Monterey Bay trip, we saw a couple of whales VERY far away and not clear at all..we had to be content with the two dolphins we saw, again through rain...we couldn't even take pictures.

Oh, well, at least we could share YOUR moments!

I am counting on a trip with K to BRT at the end of the month when his new lennnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnns (that's how long it will be, I think!) arrives...
IdahoSwedeidahoswede on August 8th, 2006 04:22 am (UTC)
Beautiful, as always. When I lived in Hawaii (on the island of Maui), if I went out swimming in the winter months and everything was right, I could actually hear the whale song if my head was under water. When I win that huge lottery money, I'm going to buy you tickets to Hawaii and Alaska and Seattle and the redwoods and the Grand Canyon and Norway and .......
Yathinyathin on August 8th, 2006 11:35 am (UTC)
A couple of them came very close to the boat and sang while they dived and that was so fantastic to listen to. Also, the loud noise they make while breathing is so similar to the noise the elephants make, except that the whale noises are much louder.

Wow, you seemed to have lived in a lot of wonderful places on earth. :)

(Deleted comment)
Yathinyathin on August 8th, 2006 11:40 am (UTC)
> when was the last time you applied for a job at NatGeo...

Can never think of doing that while I work for the coolest company on the internet... :)
suhassuhas on September 27th, 2007 03:05 pm (UTC)
Well, your senior just took up a job with NatGeo isn't it. Its your turn now ;)
ajat: Fey ...ajat on August 8th, 2006 08:43 am (UTC)
Beautiful. Beautiful. Sublime. They're all so lovely. I once saw 3 dolphins jump around here in the river when I was in a launch crossing from the west bank to the east ... they come in with the tide and go out with it ...

teemus on August 8th, 2006 03:21 pm (UTC)
ZuZusuzan_s on August 8th, 2006 08:50 pm (UTC)
I'm SOOOOO JEALOUS!!! I've paid good money TWICE to see whales and haven't......YET! Congratulations! The pictures are incredible...you lucky thang you!
Yathinyathin on August 8th, 2006 09:12 pm (UTC)
Twice in Monterey? I've heard that they get to see whales at least 95% of the times they go.

The bay is very rich in natural food for the whales and hence they hang around there. Also, I think that trying the luck in the mornings is a better idea since whales are mammals after all and love to catch the sun for some time... :)
ZuZusuzan_s on August 9th, 2006 08:38 am (UTC)
Once in Seattle Washington....went up and around the islands between Canada and the U.S. Once off the coast of California, (just south of LA but I can't remember where we were)....that time the people coming off the boat were so excited THEY got to see the whales but when the boat went back, with my son and I on board, to the exact same spot, the whales were gone. The captain went up and down and out trying to find them....no luck.