San Diego whale watch

We leave the harbour and pass the pelicans, egrets, cormorants and gulls that sit around competing for attention with the sea lions; these bask and pose in the water and on the buoys.

We run up the channel to meet the swell of the ocean that tosses the boat; a pod of kayakers works hard to paddle back to the shore.

The boat ride to the continental shelf is largely uneventful, except for the increasing numbers of people that succumb to seasickness, gathering at the back of the boat and the welcoming plastic-lined bins that serve as a depository. The staff move with practiced ease to proffer bags, mop and spray.

Then a large pod of dolphins brightens the mood; some ride the bow and others leap and tail smack the sea.

The birds are here at the drop-off too. The largest flocks are shearwaters, I think black-vented and some pink-footed. A single brown booby passes the bow and pairs of pelicans cruise by.

There are no whales, although the knowledgeable commentator on the boat tells us that dolphins are whales so we sort of do what we came for; whatever, the ride under a clean blue sky with a fresh breeze across a deep, rolling sea is exhilarating.

Published by Steve Parr

Professional ecologist and amateur photographer. Love to travel and explore.

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