Friday, April 28, 2017

Watching Whales with Harbor Breeze Cruises.

I understand the love of the ocean.  I can honestly say that it has never really called to me until now.  I guess it took spending a lot of time near it to understand its magic.  The crash of the waves plays a peaceful melody and just looking at it makes us feel very small in a very big world.  We had the awesome opportunity to go on a three hour cruise and it changed my view of the world.  

We jumped on to a Harbor Breeze Cruise after a fun filled morning at the Aquarium of the Pacific.   The Aquarium of the Pacific, located right off the path of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, is a perfect way to spend the day alone but when we added the whale watching cruise it was perfect.  The cruise team was informative and excited to be there.  

We pulled away right by the Queen Mary as we started our adventure.  As we left the safety of the harbor the waves picked up a little bit.  I was a bit nervous about getting motion sick but the captain of the boat was already thinking through this and they know which direction to go to keep our nausea down.  Its like they have done it a time or two.  Right away we started to see things.  We passed big oil taker boats and rigs that seemed so small on the big Pacific Ocean.  After what seemed like a few minutes we were already surrounded by playful dolphins.  One of the coolest things about this tour was that we had an employee of the aquarium with us the whole time. 

Our first group of dolphins we saw were the Pacific White Sided Dolphins.  These beautiful creatures were jumping along side and jumping with our boat as we traveled on.  It was almost like they were playing with us.  These dolphins like to live in groups so we were able to see a bunch of them.  These dolphins also have a shorter nose than what we think about when we think about dolphins. We saw a few hundred common dolphins as well.  They were just as playful as the White Sided dolphins.  We also saw sea lions that were happy to wave to us as we went by.  There were a lot of birds there to pick at the schools of fish we could see just under the surface of the water.  

As we were nearing the end of our tour we joked with an employee that it was time to break out the animatronic whales so that we could see some in action.  He laughed with us and we talked about how often he gets to see them.  All of a sudden the employees got in a rush telling us all to sit down in our seats.  The ride was about to get bumpy.  The boats are all in contact with each other.  When a different cruise tour found whales they called out and let our boat know.  Our captain took us for a speed boat ride to get us to these whales before they went under.  They did not disappoint us.  They put that boat in full throttle and we skimmed the top of the ocean skipping along like a rock.  This was up there in excitement like a thrilling roller coaster. They pulled up to show us two Grey Whales splashing away.  These things made the boat seem small.  The Pacific Grey Whale can reach a length of 49 feet.  These whales are baleen whales which means that they scoop up sediment from the floor of the ocean and spitting it back out through a baleen.  A baleen looks like a bunch of hairs on a toothbrush.  Through them the whales push out the water and the animals such as krill are left behind to eat.  They tend to push the water out on the same side each time and it wears down.  We can look at older whales and tell which side of the baleen is used just like we tend to be right or left handed.  I hope I explained that right because I am trying to regurgitate what the aquarium employee told us.  I found it so interesting.  

After taking this tour I am more than excited to take another.  Every day and every season will bring new things to see. The fun part of this is that you can get discounts to the tour by getting them through the Aquarium of the Pacific or even occasionally on Groupon.

There is no way to fully explain how great this tour is.  I think you would love to see this as well.  What would your dream tour be?

Happy travels.

❤ Misty

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