Blue Whales can reach eighty feet in length. First we hear the slate blue whale’s bellows-like blows. The dramatic plumes of white water last for about three seconds, as the graceful back that goes on forever slowly reveals itself. When the whale has had enough air, it dives into the water to feed on krill, lifting its twenty-foot wide fluke out of the water completely.
Once the whale enters the water, it could resurface in any direction. The boat bobs around and the crowd waits expectantly. Each time the whale resurfaces the person who spots it yells out in joy and points so everyone else can spot it quickly.
Whales have an otherworldly quality that leaves me shaken. Their massive ancient presence reminds me how little I will ever understand the world that I live in. I was raised on the Monterey Bay, yet I could not grasp the majesty of these animals until I witnessed them with my own eyes.
I went out on Sanctuary Cruises' boat out of Moss Landing on a recent Saturday. We saw a Blue Whale, three Humpback Whales, Albatross, an Elephant Seal, jellyfish, and Sea Otters. Our naturalist Dorris's contagious excitement and knowledge of the Monterey Bay and its inhabitants made the trip a joy.