Top Attractions in San Francisco California
Top Attractions in San Francisco California California is a great state for vacationing because the weather is almost always sunny and beautiful and because it is so popular, there is so many things to...
Not many things can get me out of bed early in the morning and be ready to leave my house by 8:30 am. A whale watching tour is one of those things … but I still had to wait on my husband. Our whale watching tour was sailing out of Ventura harbor across one of the most diverse marine habitats in North America, Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary.
Our host for this adventure was Island Packers in Ventura harbor. Ventura, California is about an hour northwest of Los Angeles on the 101. It is one of those not to miss beach towns that stand beautifully up and down the coast.
Ventura Harbor has some hotels, and great restaurants surrounding it. Island Packers is located right across from the beach at the harbor and has plenty of parking, including EV charging stations. When you arrive they ask you to check in and then tell you to wait till your cruise is called. There are wildlife tours and also shuttles to the different islands of The Channel Islands National Seashore so you need to make sure you do not miss the boat and board the right one.
Once on the boat you have your choice of seating areas which include on top or inside the boat which is good for those who want to stay warm or are more likely to get sea sick. Leaving the harbor can be quite bouncy so if you do have motion sickness you should stay inside till the boat gets further out. Remember you are on an ocean. Personally, I love the waves and even if they are pretty rocky they can put me to sleep.
While heading out towards the Channel Islands we ended up seeing many pods of dolphins that wanted to play with the boat wake. They were so fast it was pretty amazing. Looking out from the boat wake it looked like there were thousands of dolphins swimming in the water. They quickly left us as fast as they came when we got closer to the Islands.
Sightseeing the Channel Islands is quite breathtaking. I definitely need to go back for an island wildlife tour. My husband also loved the whale watching cruise and can't wait to go back again in search of other types of whales.
As our captain was searching for whales, we discovered a raft/herd of sea lions next to us. This is an incredibly unique and amazing thing that I had never observed before. Not only were they all just hanging out together in the middle of the ocean, at one point they got triggered and in the blink of an eye disappeared … then moments later surfaced on the other side of the boat.
I honestly can say I have never seen anything like it! Most of them swam in sync with each other and would disappear under the water for a few seconds then to only reappear still in sync. The sea lions really left me awestruck when once again in the blink of an eye they all disappeared not to reappear lounging on their backs in front of us near the humpback whale we finally found.
Nature is so amazing and the Island Packers staff was very knowledgeable and answered any questions you might have.
One of the really great things about whale watching tours from Ventura is that you can find marine mammals nearly all year round. While there are seasons for blue whales vs California gray whales and humpbacks, pretty many any time of year you are likely to see something.