San Diego Whale Watching: December 19, 2018
We have now seen whales two days in a row! Yesterday, we saw two humpback whales and today, we saw two gray whales. Sailing aboard Yacht America is the best whale watching in San Diego, especially in the winter. Is it snowing where you live? Come on down and enjoy some fabulous sailing in gorgeous sunny 68-degree weather. Yes, we might be wearing warm jackets, but Jack Frost is not lurking about.
Something was lurking in the water however. Was it a shark?
No! It turned out to be a friendly Mola mola, also known as an ocean sunfish. A Mola mola is the heaviest known bony fish in the world, weighing up to 2,200 lbs. As you can see in the photos, this fish has a flat body. Why was this fish so close to the surface? Mola mola like to sunbathe, just like any other San Diegan! These fish can spend up to half the day basking in the sun near the surface, warming their bodies after deep ocean dives. The water is so clear and vibrant, just like yesterday. Check out the cool shots of the Mola mola just under the surface.
After watching the Mola mola, we heard on the radio that our aircraft carrier, the USS Theodore Roosevelt, was leaving town. As one guest said, “It’s not the gray whale we are looking for, but it is big and gray!” We just had to get a closer look. This aircraft carrier has been in San Diego all summer, so we were very excited to finally watch her glide on the open ocean. We waved the sailors goodbye and good luck as she crossed our bow at a quick 17.6 kts. Captain Troy said that when you are walking on the deck of an aircraft carrier, you might feel winds as strong as 60 MPH!
Both the Mola mola and USS Roosevelt were fun to see, but we were determined to see whales. Through some great teamwork, we spotted two gray whales off Point Loma. These two were headed south, moving at a comfortable speed of 3 knots. Both whales showed us their tales as they took a dive for a few minutes and came back up. We watched in awe as these whales gracefully swam through the water. Gray whales have one of the longest mammal migrations, swimming 55 days straight from Alaska down to Mexico. These gray whales are the first of many to make the migration.
We waved goodbye as we headed back to our home port at the San Diego Maritime Museum.