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Monday, February 22, 2016

Whale Watching Off Channel Islands Harbor


Yesterday Shay and I did something incredible, we went whale watching. Last weekend when we went to find our Valentines Day spot, Shay and I passed the Channel Islands Harbor where a huge sign advertising whale watching was hung. This year I wanted to be more adventurous and allow myself to experience things outside of my element so I made my mind up and we decided to book a trip for the following weekend. 

I have to tell you all, it's amazing. There's something incredibly surreal about being so irrelevant and tiny in comparison to the big vast ocean, it's life-changing. I'd been on a boat once before but simply as a form of transportation from one place to another; this trip however, was dedicated to getting lost at sea and finding sights that not many are lucky enough to see. At the beginning of our trip we were joined by hundreds of dolphins, they jumped for us and traveled with the boat. They followed us happily and let us enjoy their Sunday swims, it was joyful and freeing and lovely to see. After about an hour of travel we stopped the boat and waited. January through March are the peak months of the Gray Whale Migration and many had been sighted these past few weeks. Shay and I were a bit worried going into the trip as the sightings for our particular boat were slim the days before. We waited about twenty minutes and didn't see a thing. It's insane searching the waters for these animals; the calm and quiet definitely had me anxious. 

We decided to try another spot before heading back as our three hour trip was drawing to a close when suddenly, we found them. At first we just trailed one big beautiful whale that had us waiting minutes before she'd show her majestic spout again and then as we went further we were joined by a pack of two more. These animals are enormous; they're huge and beautiful and massive and surreal. We were able to ogle and smile and share in their route and it was a gift for us to see.

When the guard decided we had to absolutely head back due to time running short, we found a pack of five swimming our way and stopped for just a second. I had just run to the restroom and when I'd returned I looked towards Shay and saw a huge whale flop out of the water about three or four miles off our course. The guard hadn't even caught it and Shay quickly turned back to make sure I'd seen it too. We watched them travel and play and it was insane. Our last little turn came across a large light mass swimming in the sea. Tons of the other travelers were guessing it was a great white shark which might have given me a minor stroke. The guard knew we had to stop and figure out what this animal could be. When we managed to get close enough we found it was a baby humpback whale, a sight not even our travel guard had seen before. She was beautiful and big but small compared to her fellow friends. She traveled alone and let us watch her play and it was enlightening. The entire trip was beautiful, the sun was out and the skies were clear. We ended up seeing around twelve different whales and sea lions, dolphins and birds. The adventure was insane and it's a sight I'll always cherish being able to see. If any of you ever get the opportunity, please for me, travel outside your comfort zone and go on one of these whale watching trips; the things you'll see will leave you speechless and it'll give you an entirely new grasp on living in this big big world. 

February 21st, 2016 I was gifted the reality that I'm a small person in a great big world. 



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