I have lived in Newport Beach since 1989 and read about whale watching, but I had never taken advantage of this opportunity. So it was with a great anticipation that my wife, Karen, and I took to the water for such a trip a few days ago.
To make a long story shorter, there were no whales seen, which was a great disappointment. What we did see was a beautiful view of Newport Harbor, the ferry crossing, some kayakers, fishermen, a Coast Guard helicopter, surfboard paddlers, dolphins, a few sea lions and a great many sea birds.
There were a few dolphins that trailed along the boat. Their heads popping up at random moments made photographing them very difficult. By the time I focused the camera, the only shot I got was of the back half and the tail.
A saving grace for the whale watching company when whales are not seen is the big red buoy on the return trip to the entrance to the Newport Harbor, with its extended family of sea lions.
At first I thought this trip was a great waste of time because we didn’t see any whales. But then I realized that I had gotten some of my best photos ever of gulls, pelicans and egrets. Because the boat is also used as a fishing vessel when it’s not whale-watching season, the birds followed the boat and hovered over the stern making some great photos possible. One egret landed on the railing, hitching a ride.
So, all in all, it was a great day. I thought I was presented with lemons, but lemonade was enjoyed by all.