04 Apr
Location
Home
Days adrift.  Click here to see our best and worst experiences so far.
3540
Number of flights.  Click here to go to the itinerary page.
35
Bus, train and taxi rides.  Click here to see all posts relating to transport. (56 posts)
185
Miles walked.  Click here to see all posts relating to walking and trekking. (43 posts)
581
Countries visited.  Click here to see what we think of them. (14 posts)
15
Number of species spotted.  Click here to go to our wildlife page.
1157
Photos taken.  Click here to go to the photo gallery. (94 posts)
13288
Rainy days.  Click here to find posts relating to the weather. (50 posts)
63
Number of times scammed.  Click here to read all about it!  (2 posts)
1
Otters spotted.  Click here to go to our website about otters: amblonyx.com
45
 
...two travellers in search of the world's wildlife

4 June 2016

Grey whale mayday

Foggy on the Big Sur

Foggy on the Big Sur

3 May 2016

Today was one of those low-key days, not particularly planned out and only really salvaged by a wonderful sighting of grey whales. Actually it’s worth noting that the weather had also turned; grey clouds from horizon to horizon, descending to fog in places along the coast. So not the most perfect conditions for driving along the iconic Big Sur coastal highway.

It’s also a road for travelling along, one way. There aren’t many actual distractions, there’s some beautiful scenery (but: see weather report above) and a handful of places to stop for a walk, and a very scant handful of (overpriced) places to stop for a drink or bite to eat. So driving part-way down it, and then turning around to come back, makes for a slightly unsatisfying experience when even the weather isn’t with you.

Grey whale mum and calf

Grey whale mum and calf

However, on the way back we stopped at a layby where the cliffs were particularly high, and where our whale-watching guide from yesterday had said was a good place to spot for grey whales. We’d already tried it on the way out and seen nothing. Didn’t see anything at first, until I spotted a whale… on a woman’s sweatshirt above the words “whale watching”. On a hunch I asked if she was looking for whales, and yeah, she was. She actually runs one of the whale-watching trips from Monterey but on her days off she… does more whale-watching. Nice to have a job you love. Plus, her partner was here tracking California condors (also sometimes seen on these cliffs).

It turned out that a half-dozen grey whales had already come by today, and another mother-and-calf pair were on their way along the coast. We’d actually been searching far too far from shore – the whales almost seemed to be at the foot of the cliffs, even swimming right through the kelp forest. It wasn’t one pair but two, both mothers escorting their calves on the annual grey whale migration north. And just as we were leaving, I spotted a condor.

Big Sur, when the fog cleared

Big Sur, when the fog cleared

Tags:

Leave a Reply