For my birthday, my mom got tickets for Freddy, Nathan, and I to go Whale Watching! None of us had ever been, so it was an exciting day for us! (I wanted to include this first picture to show what Nathan was wearing, since you can't really tell in any of the other pictures.) (The shirt's got the "whale" part down, and Nathan's taking care of the "watching" part.) :)
Here we are at the port in Dana Point, waiting to board the boat.
(Nathan was busy looking at the water, probably wondering when we were going to go swimming.) This was once we were on the boat and waiting to leave the dock. We were watching a sea lion in the water and some (really dumb) guy that was trying to swim up to it. As we were leaving, we saw the US Coast Guard stop him (and tell him what a really dumb idea it was to swim up to a wild sea lion, I'm sure.)
And off we went! Full speed ahead! They had only seen one blue whale earlier in the day, but it was just passing through. Most other groups had only seen dolphins, but each trip is different, they ensured us. (I was really hoping that we would see EIGHT KILLER WHALES, like the people that went on June 1st got to see.)
It was really, really windy once we were out on the water, so I went and sat down on the benches with Freddy and Nathan. It was still really sunny too, since the sun was starting to set and I, of course, forgot my sunglasses in the car. :/ But I did have my hat! After a little while of driving? sailing? (whatever you do in a boat), we found a pod of common dolphin that were feeding in the area. Fun! They're called common dolphin because they can be found all over the world and are not just native to our area. There were a LOT of dolphins! And! The captain of the boat said that for every one dolphin we see on the surface, there are SEVEN more down below that we're not seeing. Wow! He was saying that we were probably among about 400-500 dolphins. Amaaaazing.
Now, it was really, really hard to get pictures of them, because they're fast suckers and my camera is a slow sucker. But these are the best ones we got--My very favorite part was seeing the mommies swimming with their little babies. It was SO adorable! Female dolphins gestate for 12 months and then give birth to about a 30 lb baby. Then the baby drinks the mom's milk--about 45% fat, for 12 months. Females are pregnant every other year---so it's pregnant for 12 months, nursing for 12 months, pregnant for 12, etc. :/ Fuuun. But do you see the little baby in this picture? So cute!! As the boat moves, it creates waves and the dolphins like to swim up and surf on the waves, just like a surfer would. So, the dolphins actually come up to the boat to play with it! As a dolphin swims near a boat, the dolphin actually knows the speed, direction, velocity, etc. of the boat so it's literally impossible to hit them.Nathan fell asleep with the boat rocking so rhythmically, and Freddy felt sick with the boat rocking so rhythmically. :/ Right before getting on the boat, he scarfed down his dinner in the parking lot. Bad idea. He never actually threw up, but felt pretty queasy at times.On the way back we saw a couple sea lions sitting on a buoy in the harbor. They usually have like 15-20 piled up on that little buoy, but they're night feeders so most were likely down under water eating dinner. The captain told us all about them, but my favorite fact was that sea lions don't know how to swim when they're born! They have to be taught in the shallow water before going into the deeper waters. Interesting!
We had such a fun and exciting trip! Thanks, Mom, for such a memorable activity as a family!