Monterey & Central California October 2009

Hi! for those that knew I was away in California I thought I'd share these images with you taken during my stay. I was residing in Carmel-by-the-Sea which is around 110 miles south of San Francisco.  This is without a doubt a very beautiful quaint town with matching price tags! The weather was great for general site seeing (as the pictures show) but sadly I lost three days of Whale Watching due to sea fog and high winds.  

I must also commend the crews of Sea Wolf II operated by Monterey Bay Whale Watch Centre for their superb friendly service that made every trip a winner (Special thanks to Nancy, Kate, David & Paul).

I will also say that nature is nature, the wild life does not show up to order - there are days when you may not see a single Dolphin or Whale but I must stress that this company gives you a "Rain Check" pass to return another day and they will take you out again free of charge ... (but they do not offer cash refunds).

Anyway, here's my Whale Watching Diary for the stay:

Sunday 25th October No sailings due to Sea Fog. Chilled and enjoyed my birthday !
Monday 26th October Sailed - Over a 1000+ Dolphins but no Whales.
Tuesday 27th October No sailings due to high winds - so went to Big Sur instead.
Wednesday 28th October No sailings, again high winds so went to the Monterey Aquarium
Thursday 29th October Sailed - Lots of Dolphins and 2 Humpback Whales.

Friday 30th October             

Sailed - 4 hours of NOTHING! then 5 Killer Whales, a Blue Shark + Dolphins ... just SUPERB and the water was like a mill pond.

So as you can see, not a bad week in Sunny California ... and anything sad to report ... well yes. I got a Parking Citation from the City of Monterey for US$25.00 ... wait for it ... For being parked the WRONG way around in a Multi-Storey Car Park ... I reversed into the parking bay rather than parking nose in !!! ... and is there a warning about doing this ... well only if you look UP at a painted note on the concrete roof supports above your head ... Grrrrrrrrrrr !!!! ... Be warned !!!

Anyway enough of the waffle ... enjoy the images below

Carmel Bay

Carmel Bay

Little Egret

a Little Egret in Carmel Bay

Golden Retreivers

A pair of young Golden Retrievers at play on Carmel beach

Carmel Bay

Catching the last minutes of the day at Carmel Bay

Cypress Point

Cypress Point on 17 Mile Drive

Black Oyster Catcher

a Black Oyster Catcher off 17 Mile Drive

Plover

a Wilson's Plover off 17 Mile Drive

Little Egret

a Little Egret in a rock pool off 17 Mile Drive

Point Lobos

Point Lobos looking out over Carmel Bay with "white caps" caused by the high winds

Point Lobos

Heavy seas due to high winds around Point Lobos

Cormorant

a Brandt's Cormorant at Point Lobos

Big Sur

Big Sur looking South East from Nepenthe Restaurant

Redwood Trees

Redwood trees in Big Sur

Stag Deer

A young Stag Deer in Big Sur

Deer

A pair of young deer in Big Sur

Reflections

Reflections in Monterey Harbour

Jelly Fish

a Jelly Fish in Monterey Aquarium

Sea Dragon

a Sea Dragon in Monterey Aquarium

Sea Lion

A Californian Sea Lion on the USCG Wharf - Monterey

Californian Seals

A pair of young Sea Lions on the breakwater - Monterey

Sea Otter

A Sea Otter playing in Monterey Harbour

Sea Otter

A mother Sea Otter carrying her young in Monterey Harbour

Sea Wolf II

Monterey Bay Whale Watching's vessel - Sea Wolf II

Northern Right Whale Dolphin

A Northern Right Whale Dolphin diving

Pacific White Sided Dolphin

A Pacific White Sided Dolphin off Monterey Bay

Pacific White Sided Dolphin

a pair of Pacific White Sided Dolphins off Monterey Bay

Pacific White Sided Dolphins

... another pair of Pacific White Sided Dolphins playing off Point Lobos

Risso Dolphins

A pair of Risso Dolphins off Monterey Bay

Risso Dolphin

a rather heavily scarred Risso Dolphin off Monterey Bay

Risso Dolphins

... having fun, another Risso Dolphin off Monterey Bay

Risso Dolphins

... and more Rissos having fun ...

Risso Dolphins

a group of Rissos passing the boat's stern

Humpback Whales

Two Humpback Whales off Point Lobos

Humpback Whales

A Humpback Whale diving ...

Killer Whales

A rare Killer (Orca) Whale off Santa Cruz

Killer Whales

... and a group of 1 male, 2 females and a calf Killer Whales off Santa Cruz

Brown Pelican

a Brown Pelican in Monterey Harbour

Brown Pelican

... and chilling ... another Brown Pelican in Monterey Harbour

Me

... and finally me chilling at the end of a great photographic week !