One of the things that everyone seems to want to do at some point in their life is to witness majestic whales in the wild. Well, that’s what my husband and I wanted to do one beautiful, sunny, winter day in San Francisco.
We excitedly signed up for the next tour, which happened to be early the next morning, but we didn’t mind. We ended up waking up around 6:00AM so we could put on layers of warm clothes and get to Pier 59 by 7 so we could set off by 8. It was a bit chilly and we were a little sleepy but we were just so happy and excited. We even bought a half dozen of Krispy Kreme for the five hour journey.
Since we got there so promptly, we even had time to head to one of the docking areas to see the loud, wild, California Sea Lions.
They were so cute and loud and like a bunch of playful dogs! But hey, you see all of those think dark clouds behind me? Yeah, we thought it was just because of how early it was in the morning. We were wrong.
Also, shoutout to those bags under my eyes because they’re definitely Louis Vuitton. Ayeeeeee.
Anyways, so we finally got with our group and found out that the lead biologist going on the trip with us was extremely friendly and charismatic and loved to talk about everything marine/wildlife related which is EXACTLY my kind of person.
So we set off heading underneath the Golden Gate Bridge, seeing a dolphin in the distance (too far to get a clear shot), but we did see some pelicans and other birds before we decided to stay inside the boat for awhile.
If you don’t know, this ominous place is called Alcatraz and is an old prison that you can go and tour! We unfortunately didn’t get a chance to do so but I’ve heard it’s pretty interesting.
As you can tell by the gloomy coloring of all of these pictures, the weather was not nearly ideal for the whale watching excursion. Also, these were the last nice photos I was able to capture before retreating into the boat for the next 4.5 long and awful hours.
Firstly, the boat was small. Not everyone could fit comfortably seated at once inside. Secondly, there were 10ft swells behind the boat that kept washing onto the deck and soaking your feet and ankles. Thirdly… 80% of the people on board, unfortunately including my husband, realized on this trip that they get seasick.
So for the remainder of the trip, I spent time chewing on ginger sweets to keep my stomach settled (just in case) and sipping water, and going out into the cold and wet to hug/check on Joey to see how he was doing. The poor guy ate 3 donuts before we had taken off and was not enjoying himself. He made light of it though, joking with a father and son duo who were also getting sick off of the back of the boat.
Oh, and the worst part of all? After going through all of those unpleasant events, we didn’t even see any whales. And there were no refunds. The company said that if we came back with our registration info (names + date we went) we can go again anytime for life until we see whales. Unfortunately though, I think the trip may have ruined any future possibility of us going again.
Moral of the story? Don’t schedule a whale watching tour on a whim. Don’t go whale watching during a winter storm in the Pacific. Don’t eat a bunch of donuts before whale watching. Check the forecast before going whale watching.
I hope that some of you have/ will have a better whale watching experience than we did!