Natural Sciences Guild Day Trip | Whale Watching on Monterey Bay
What is your favorite whale? Join the Natural Sciences Guild for a boat tour of Monterey Bay, and the chance to spot a variety of whales and dolphins. While there are never any guarantees, in July 2013, visitors saw Humpback, Blue, Killer, and Minke whales, as well as dolphins (Risso's and Pacific White-sided), porpoises (Dall's and Harbor), Jumping Sea Lions, and Mola Mola. During the summer, northwest winds push the surface water of Monterey Bay offshore, replacing it with cold water from greater depths. This is called upwelling and the waters brought to the surface are rich in nutrients, fueling the growth of plankton—the basis for the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary's rich marine food chain. Overall 27 species can be seen in the sanctuary. Whales, dolphins, and seabirds congregate to feed on an abundance of krill, fish, and squid supported by these intense plankton blooms. These extremely rich waters are centered along the submarine canyons that come close to shore—the perfect place for whales and dolphins to feed.
We have chartered the Sanctuary, the only sustainable charter boat on the Monterey Bay—with plenty of amenities, including a comfortable cabin, upholstered seating and outside seating, a modest snack bar, and bathroom—to get us up close and personal with the abundant marine life off the coast of Moss Landing. We will scour the Bay and skies for 4-5 hours, returning to shore for a late lunch before returning to Oakland.
The trip will depart from OMCA in the morning for a comfortable bus ride to Moss Landing where we will board the boat and head out for a day of adventure. Snacks will be available on the bus ride down and back, as well as on board. Passengers are welcome to pack snacks and bring them on board. The water on Monterey Bay, especially in the morning, is usually relatively calm, but seasickness remedies are available, from ginger snaps to aromatic oils to electronic motion sickness relief bands available for a small fee. The cruise is non-smoking. Please dress in layers and remember sun screen, binoculars, and cameras.
Cost is $155 per person.
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For more information about OMCA Guilds, including how to join and a list of upcoming trips, visit museumca.org/travel-guilds