August 16th 2014 – Day 15, whales and drive to San Mateo
After awful night’s sleep: my phone rang twice, it was Santander’s automated fraud dpt. I got a backup credit card from them, but forgot to tell them I was going away. So yesterday I gave it mistakenly at the restaurant and they tried to charge it. Hence the 2 and 3 am calls… Both times took me a long time to get back to sleep. Before that Daniel was wondering around the room until one (while we tried to sleep), snapchatting. He clandestinely installed it on my phone! That’s after he figured out the pattern lock. Unbelievable!
There were sea lions everywhere you looked, starting at the pier. Perched on everything because the water was still very cold. Then we saw random man on surf board, paddling along, without a wet suit. Go figure.
After about 30 minutes we go to the whale area, which was basically where THOUSANDS of birds were feeding. I have never seen so many in my life, it was unbelievable, it was amazing. Then the whales started popping up and down, squirting water and showing their humps (Humpbacks only today, they were 99% guaranteed, the Orca and Blue are rarer).
Then Jeff shouted, I pressed the trigger, but I didn’t see the whale or thought I had gotten a photo of it. Only later I realised I had. It was actually the only photo showing so much of their body, the others were tails and humps… Click on it for full resolution:
There was a lot of shouting from everywhere whenever a whale or more popped up. Sometimes a sea lion would show up and you’d think that was a whale for a brief moment. A couple of whales got close (about 10 meters away).
Photos on Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/plasmatika/sets/72157646826693745/
And yes, it was pretty amazing. We stayed there for about 90 minutes, moving around, following the whales. The marine biologist doing the talking was quite entertaining and full of facts. There were a couple of other boats around.
Taking photos was actually annoying me as I couldn’t see what was happening all around me, so I put the camera down for a while, then towards the end when I had a better idea of their patterns I went all trigger happy again. At one point I positioned myself at the end of the boat with the two photographers with HUGE lenses (about 70cm long) and all you could hear was the firing of the cameras. That was when I got the most tails, and also when the sea was beautiful and blue.
Towards the end the fog cleared and the sea was just beautiful. Dan and I got a little seasick but we sucked on sweets, and also the man on the boat told me to take my coat off, and breathe in the sea air. And that worked.
We got back to land at 11:30 and we had some fish and chips on restaurant on the pier and off we went, up to Ankush and Proma’s flat in San Mateo, 30 minutes drive from San Francisco.
We drove on the coastal road, past Sand City, Santa Cruz and we stopped at Half Moon Bay for coffee and frozen yoghurt, where we switched driving. We found their flat easily, thanks to sat nav, went for a tour around a few blocks and had A HOME COOKED MEAL!!!!!!! Which really was incredible. I wouldn’t go as far as saying that I miss cooking, but, actually, I do.
Things about America that I like number_whatever: Public toilets, everywhere, and mostly clean too. Also we have broken the law twice: J walking and drinking alcohol in public place out of paper bag. I figured that was a lot less conspicuous!!!! No one stopped us, and I only did it first time on Venice beach, second time around I used the bag, because the warning sign about drinking in public we read kinda scared me.