Up, ready and packed early to head down to Monterrey Bay for our whale watching tour. We saw (and heard) harbour seals and sealions in the bay before we’d even gotten on the boat. They were a right noisy lot! As we headed out to sea we saw lots more sealions on some Free Willy style rock dam, and even further out we saw some more who even treated us to some jumping displays! Not long into the ride we came across a large group of Risso’s dolphins. I’ve turned into a bit of a spoilt brat really – dolphins just aren’t quite as exciting anymore! It was freezing out on the morning sea, even though we’d layered up in preparation. Plus the mood was dampened by a couple sat near us, who were throwing up over the rail. Eek!
But it was still all worth it because man, did it then get good! We were directed towards a group of at least five hundred sealions (the guy in charge decided afterwards that it was actually likely closer to a thousand!) It was a totally surreal sight but it was all for a good reason – they feed where the whales feed. Sure enough, we ended up in a position where there were humpback whales feeding and blowing water in every direction you looked. We saw the backs, lots of tails and even a few of the heads!
Real lump-in-the-throat moment!
It was truly incredible to watch, and to top it off the water being sprayed from their blowholes created rainbows in the air! It was the single most beautiful, spectacular sight I’ve ever seen. The whales we saw were apparently between fifteen and eighteen metres, wow! Then a while after we came across a smaller group of five (the first group we saw being a number of thirty) much, much closer to the boat. It really was the icing on the cake. Third time lucky!
We had a very quick (and stingy, I might add) lunch at another Chipotle and then hit the road. Drive was about two and a half hours with traffic. Cue more That Anime Show. Was particularly amused when Tatum shared his theory and method inspiration on Kyouya having unrequited love for Tamaki. Too funny! Felt ridiculously tired during the drive though and heavily regretted leaving my Red Bull in the boot, so I made sure I caught up once we got to our hotel in San Fran. We went to a place called Perry’s for tea and I did my new trick of having soup and potato skins. The tomato bisque was gorgeous, but the potato skins were just too much food, Gaston. Then spent the remainder of the night drinking and watching Big Bang Theory.
Woke up fairly early to pack and try and miss the traffic on the way to Newport Beach. Skyped Mom first, since we had some credit card faff. We were a little early down to the dock, so we had an ice cream break first before getting on the boat. We spotted a sealion in the dock itself and then a bunch more out sunbathing on a buoy. Too cute! After the sealions we soon found a minke whale, which are apparently quite rare to get a good look at. They’re the smallest local whale, growing up to twenty-five feet. Wait, small? Yeah right. We saw a huge group of dolphins too, even more than on our last trip! Sadly no more whales though, other than the initial ‘baby’ one. Wouldn’t really recommend this trip to people.
Fighting to get the best sun! Some of them don’t look too happy about it…
We grabbed a quick lunch after the trip, before getting back out on the road, as we still had another hour before we got to our hotel. Our front desk guy Michael was lovely and funny and was talking to us about Friends as he booked us in for one of the Movie Star Homes and Warner Bros. Studios tours. He also suggested we stage a ruse against people and pretend that one of us is psychic. Now I wonder why I loved that idea? Also we can see the Hollywood sign from our room. Oh yeah.
Had quite a long get ready, shower and Skype Dad before we headed out to Seaworld around midday. The first show we saw was one new to us, called Pets Ahoy. It included a variety of trained dogs, cats, ducks, rats, birds and even pigs. It was so adorable! We went for some lunch afterwards and then hit Shamu’s One Ocean show. We saw it last year but it was lovely again and we still both dug the soundtrack. We checked out the dolphin cove too and the ray and shark aquariums. Our next show was Azul, which was very similar to a dolphin show we saw last year, except this one had belugas as well! Never seen them up close before!
We grabbed some ice cream and made sure we caught the Clyde and Seymour show, since we’d missed out on it last year and couldn’t remember much from the time in 2000. Glad we did because it was hilarious! It started off with Bottoms the ‘butt-ler’, who was ace. The show itself then lasted a good while and starred two sealions and a trained otter (one of the trainers was totally cute too). We had some funny camp guys sat in front of us as well, who were playing with a bubble gun. They were probably in their thirties. I just love America over and over again.
We had a lot of time before our next Shamu show and I was dying to try out Prey. It was new and popular, so we had to queue for quite a while and listen to the drama of some teenybopper nause behind us. But when we finally got into the ‘experience’ it was epic! You basically walk through a smoky wood and creepy redneck-type huts and trailers, whilst scare models jump out at you (no idea what the real term is for them but hey, that’s what I use in my story and I like it). Kel must have had some kind of beacon saying that she hated horror stuff, because all of them bypassed me and went straight for her. None of it scared me in the slightest, but I still loved it. I was literally laughing the whole time round. I couldn’t get enough! It was the same story when we were then walking around the Scare Zone a little later – Kel kept screaming and I couldn’t stop laughing.
Finally we had Shamu’s Rockin’ Creep Show. Another orca show, following more of a horror theme. Beforehand they publicly acknowledged the military men in the audience, as Seaworld always do (and apparently San Antonio is a military city too, which explained all the uniforms we’d seen around today and yesterday). They recognised a particular colonel as well as his family, who were actually there at the time. So they then showed him walking in and seeing them for the first time since getting back from duty, right there and then on the big screen. God, it was emotional. Kel had a good blart and even I filled up.
It was a great day and to totally top it off we found Sahara on TV when we got back. The exact film I’ve been dying to watch again since we first flew out and highly regretted not putting on my iPod in preparation. Thank you, Mr. Giordino, that is me most definitely settled for the night!