I love boat rides. It’s not something I do very often, but something about the ocean air and just getting off the main land for a short time is a good feeling. So on the last day of Spring Break this year, my sons and I went and crashed at my brother in law’s house in Laguna Beach for the night and the next morning heading 20 minutes north to take advantage of a Groupon for Davey’s Locker Whale Watching and Dolphin Tour. I’ve never taken one of these tours, mostly because no one wanted to go with me on a 3 hour boat ride and not see anything. But I had a good feeling about this trip. We took the coast route to Balboa Island and then took the Auto Ferry across to the Newport Landing and Balboa Fun Zone. The kids loved it. We had over an hour to hang out until our noon boat tour so we walked to the Balboa Pier and hung out on the beach for a bit and then walked to the end of the pier and there was a couple gray whales going by in the distance and a small pod of dolphins. How cool was that! (We were informed of the type of whale when we got our our boat since that captain was one of the boats that were out there viewing them). This was encouraging but I told the boys that there is a chance that this might be the best week. We made our way back to the Fun Zone for some lunch and a little arcade action and then got in line to board our boat.
Our boat had an upper deck with a cover so we headed up there for the “3-hour tour”. We didn’t get stranded on Gilligan’s Island, but we ended up in the middle of a SUPER POD of 1000s of dolphins in every direction!!! This was amazing to see. They were surfing our wake and would swim right along our boat. We enjoyed this entertainment for about and hour and then the captain thought we should start heading back and maybe find a whale. It was the end of of migrating season being that it was April but he had high hopes after seeing the gray whales this morning. About 15 minutes later, the announcement was made that we were in luck. An adolescent humpback whale was in the area and we were going to hopefully get a glimpse of it. Sure enough there it came to the surface, spouting his water in the air. The whale hung out with the boats for quite a while. Although he didn’t breech or show us his tale, we did see his back and experience the breathtakingly horrible “whale breath” that resulted after his water spouts. Wow…could’ve done without that smell for a lifetime. LOL. The boat ride was really a great adventure for the boys as we saw what we were hoping for along with a rare siting of a Harbor Seal and her pup along the jetty and plenty of sea lions hanging out. The crew was great and adventure was even better! He said that due to the high levels of krill in the water this year, they are expecting a exciting return of the whales as they return South this summer, so we might go again. Keeping an eye out for the Groupon of course. 😉