A Day at Sea with the Dolphins and the Whales

a day at sea

JD didn’t get to go on the whale tour with us because you have to be at least 5 to do that, but he sure enjoyed his salad and bread at Abalonetti Restaurant on Fisherman’s Wharf in Monterey.

We’re having Field Trip Week at Pacific Christian School. See, Alan is out on Fall break, so the timing is perfect for maximum family fun.

First, let me tell you about Abalonetti! This place has an exciting local’s menu, food that every single one of my children like (as in yes, they have pizza), and delicious sea food.

I’m the kind of person that picks a favorite restaurant and then stops going to all other places. I have now picked my place. Every time I get to eat out in Monterey, this is where I will be.

But you didn’t come here to read about where to find the best calamari, so let me show you what else we’ve found.

a day at sea

ginormous sea lions napping on the wharf

We had the sweetest family evening. After eating at Abalonetti, we walked around the wharf gawking at seals and sea lions. John David was so delighted with it all, I didn’t think we’d get him home without a struggle. However, we managed to just stand around and soak it in long enough to satisfy even J.D.

A Day at Sea


It is a pet peeve of mine for people to call seals “sea lions,” and vice versa, so let’s review:

The plain brown ones with long flippers and ear flaps are sea lions.

The multi-colored (mostly gray) ones with short flippers and no ear flaps are harbor seals.

Now that we have that settled, I have so much more to show you!

a day at sea

soaking in the atmosphere

a day at sea

Seal buddies

JD was so cute about it. One seal popped up, and he pointed and said, “Mama”, then he pointed at the next one and said, “Daddy”, and then the next one, “Baby.”



Now onto our day at sea! This was a different day, and we left the two small boys with Nonna.


a day at sea

humpback whale tail

Monterey Bay is eaten up with humpback whales right now. I’ve never seen so many in one place. Everywhere we would turn around, we’d seen another couple of whales either nearby or in the distance. We probably saw 20 different humpbacks.


We all thoroughly enjoyed it.

We boarded in Monterey, but then we had to ride the boat 45 minutes (ish) to the water off Moss Landing, where all the whales are.

a day at sea

Just glorious, rippling water


This was the highlight of my day.

There was a mega-pod of long-beaked common dolphins out in force, and watching them made my day. I have never seen so many dolphins at one time, literally over 100.

 A Day at Sea

Long Beaked Common Dolphins


a day at sea

It seemed like all of the whales that we saw were in groups of 2 or 3.

a day at sea

This photo does no justice to the enormous size of this whale. In person, it was five times the size it appears in this photo.

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Good-bye dear Pacific!! In the spring, Daniel will turn five, and we will be back out there for another ride.



by Daniel