Montana De Oro
Went for a drive out to Montana De Oro State Park, just south of Los Osos, California and found a couple of beautiful scenes that I thought that I would share.
Whale Watching in Morro Bay, Ca
We spent the afternoon Sunday on a small little boat, Sub Sea Tours Dos Osos, out on the ocean whale watching. Now by small I mean much smaller than you would expect someone to be on the ocean on, by know means an unsafe craft, I would expect the preferred method for sea going would be something about the size of the Titanic. I have never really liked the ocean and it’s size and the size of the creatures that could come and take a bite out of you and would much prefer the size and relative safety of a ship compared to the pontoon boat that we were on.
The outing started with a quick tour of the harbor, looking at the harbor seals and some of the local boats and local folks who live on the harbor.
We exited the bay on almost no waves, it was a strange feeling to have relatively nothing holding us into the bay, the seas wet much more calm than they had been before. The last time that we were out trying to see whales the ocean awl so most hostile, especially to the very same boat that we were on this time compared to the last.
Just out of the harbor we took off almost straight west looking for whale flukes, spouts of water pushed up by the whales when they surface to breath before taking another dive into the depths of the ocean, and again into the food that sustained them. During this time of the year it is the Humpback Whales that are viewable most of the year when taking a whale watching tour out of Morro Bay, California. Below you can see a photo of the fluke that we were looking for, though this one is towards Morro Rock instead of the view that we had looking for the whales.
Not long after finding a couple of whales and working our way behind them we were treated to a breaching whale, the only of the day and all I could do was watch as it landed into the water, such a powerful animal, almost hard to believe that an animal that big could come out of the water at all. The rest of the afternoon we were treated to whales almost lazily swimming through the water, they would surface and get a couple of breaths before diving down again. It’s easy to know when a dive is started, the whale tail usually comes out of the water as they angle their body’s down into the water, getting ready for the powerful strokes that takes to dive to the depths.
At times throughout the afternoon we were treated to whales nearly circling the boat, the closest instance startled us all as the whale surfaced just off the side of the boat in a direction that none of us were looking at the time. The photo below, though not a very good photo is an example of how close the whale actually was when we turned around to see it continuing on. To finish out the day we were able to see one last whale going down for a dive with Morro Rock in the background, absolutely beautiful.
J & A Kane Wedding
Justin and Anita were married in Pismo Beach, California, as close to the Pacific Ocean as you can possibly get without being in the sand with a wedding dress. In fact we did take them down to the beach to get some photographs of the both of them. Walking down the long staircase at the Sea Crest Ocean Front Hotel to the beach below can be quite a task for anyone especially anyone in a wedding gown however Anita was very willing to take on the task for the images that would be captured after the decent to the sandy beach below.
The reception for Justin and Anita was held at Steamers of Pismo Beach just down the street from Sea Creast in their banquet room, wonderful food and atmosphere both.
Their exit was no less spectacular than their wedding location with sparklers ablaze the bride and groom left the reception to start their lives together.
If a bride and groom elect to see each other before their wedding it really can make the day much more relaxing for everyone, including the guests who look forward to the grand entrance of the couple to the reception.
MCC at FPU
Things may never be as we remember them being, but we can always celebrate the consistency of the things that we have taken part in. Every year for as long as I can remember and as long as my wife’s parents can remember, Fresno Pacific University has been host to the MCC sale. The MCC sale is put on to help the Mennonite Central Committee in their efforts to see Christs’ work throughout the world.
Though a reasonable day trip away from Visalia as a child I remember visiting the MCC sale, helping with the booth that Neighborhood Mennonite Brethren Church would sponsor wrapping burgers. Things were very different then, much more busy and many more crafts as I can remember. One thing strange for me to think of now is the fact that my wife was also in attendance of this event and it is possible that I met her long before I started dating her.
There are things for all ages, Face Panting and an area for children to play, food from many cultures and the big event being an auction. The auction is primarily of quilted items, once an attraction for all now seems relegated to the few that can appreciate the work that goes into the quilts.
Monterey Bay (Aquarium) Day 2
Though a little too busy for me, the second day at the Monterey bay aquarium was quite an experience, instead of worrying about getting around to all o the different exhibits and learning about some of the ocean life there, I was able to again visit the locations that I wanted to see again and watch other people as they interacted with that exhibit for the first time, or children getting excited about something they were able to once again see.
With a change in the weather today the tanks that received their light from the sun were much better lite allowing many to better see the color of the fish, and more activity from the fish responding to the increased levels of light. The balconies across the sea side of the aquarium were also much more heavily frequented today by everyone, glad to have a place somewhat sheltered from the wind to look across the sun filled bay with birds and a couple of boats to attract interest.
The Big Aquarium at Monterey offers the ability to see some of the ocean life that is in the open water, and how they interact with the other fish belonging to that location. Rays, Sharks, Ocean Sun Fish, barracudas, and different kinds of tuna, all were found in this tank, all taking different positions in the tank, with a school of mackerel amongst them all. The most exciting fish in the exhibit for the youngsters in the room was the Hammerhead Shark, who’s trips across the aquarium glass was infrequent but brought from the young boy shouts of awe.
Near the big tank was the Jelly Fish exhibit, though this exhibit doesn’t change much on a day to day basis, it was nice to have the correct photo equipment to photograph these creatures. Featured with a blue back ground and a pale pink light the jelly fish stood out wonderfully for photographs. The jelly fish’s smooth movement very calming and almost hypnotic to watch I found myself taking many pictures, and just standing and watching until I had completely lost track of time.
Today, at least initially, the Sea Otters were much more relaxed at the top of the tank, sleeping and preening themselves, though this wasn’t as exciting for the youngsters looking for something fast moving or dangerous to look at, it was exciting for me. I have many times photographed wild Otter with their pup’s in the Morro Bay and found it exciting to see the Otter doing what I have often seen.
Opening on April 9th 2009 the Monterey Bay Aquarium will be host to a Sea Horse exhibit. Providing yet another small attraction for tourists and youngsters alike, another learning opportunity for everyone.
Monterey Bay (Aquarium) Day 1
Monterey Bay Aquarium was our destination today as we traveled to Cannery Row. Though not my first time to the Steinbeck romanticized area it was my first time to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. The wet afternoon had chased away many of the people that would otherwise have been at the aquarium allowing an almost unobstructed view of nearly every exhibit.
Knowing that we were somewhat short on time I found myself almost hurriedly going from exhibit to exhibit trying to take in as much of the sights as possible before it was time to leave, forgetting the fact that we had two days to take in the sights and information presented at the aquarium.
It what felt like a single breath and a single thought I went from exhibit to exhibit until I had nearly seen them all. Worn out by the effort put forth to see everything at the Aquarium so quickly, I took a short retreat to the rain soaked balcony along the ocean front side of the aquarium, a breath of fresh air and an opportunity to relax. With thirty minutes left to look through the aquarium we found ourselves looking through exhibits detailing the life of jelly fish. On the way out of the aquarium stopping to get a couple additional photographs of the jelly fish.
We then went to dinner at a restaurant which serves perhaps the best clam chowder I have ever had. The Fish Hopper in monterey offer a large selection of other fine foods but I have yet to try any of those, the taste of the clam chowder haven’t let me move on.