Last week, I was so fortunate to be in the midst of a super pod of common dolphins! I am not sure of their number but suffice it to say, the numerous dozens, if not hundreds of dolphins, were feeding near our boat for a couple of hours while we were out whale watching between Santa Barbara, California and the Channel Islands. The dolphins were just one type of sea creature we got to see while on what had to be the most exciting whale watching trip we have ever taken! And we’ve probably taken somewhere between 10-15 boat trips over the last two decades designated as whale watching excursions. We also saw humpback and minke whales (http://acsonline.org/fact-sheets/minke-whale/), as well as sea lions, those dolphins, and a slew of birds. It was truly a great trip!
Since I’m ecstatic about being a former seasickness sufferer, every trip I get to take which doesn’t include being seasick while leaning on or hanging over a table in the boat’s cabin is a great joy! This trip was the fourth boat trip in the last two years on which I haven’t gotten sick per usual, and the first trip I actually walked outside on the moving boat to take photographs and to observe because the ocean itself was so calm! It is a welcome change to what had sadly become my status quo for years prior. I missed seeing three different types of whales on a boat trip out of Anchorage, Alaska about ten years ago. Everyone on that boat was over the moon having seen so much sea life and then also life on land from the boat. In addition to the orcas, the gray whales and the beluga whales we saw that day, we were also afforded sightings of black bears, brown bears, moose, elk, sea lions, and oodles of birds of prey from our boat! Even having to lean over the table inside the boat as I did, I would have proclaimed it a fabulous trip for those who got to actually see and enjoy the abundant sea and land life! But the trip last week out of Santa Barbara proved to me that I could not only enjoy boat trips sans seasickness, I could also revel in such great sightings of abundant sea life! I’ve now become one of the eager whale watchers and participants in the experience!
There is a mystery to the ocean, it holds amazing riches in the form of the living creatures dwelling under the waves besides the obvious beauty held in its power, majesty, and expanse. But it is not always so easy to find those creatures or to see them in their natural habitats there under those waves! Fortunately, we’ve managed to have some truly incredible sea life viewing days on our recent boat trips. It’s been a great way to gradually overcome my residual dread of being on the boats too. After all, if I’m going to be okay and not endure any seasickness as a result, then I can focus on enjoying my trip and viewing those amazing, mysterious creatures which dwell in the ocean! Seeing the super pod of dolphins around our boat for hours the other day was incredible! Even if we hadn’t seen the two species of whales, that experience would have been enough for me. I’ve learned to be so appreciative of just enjoying the boat trips now that anything I get to experience while on those boat trips is icing on the cake! And I’m looking forward to more!