Wednesday, June 17, 2009

in my former life, i must've been a marine biologist

For my birthday party this year, I decided to go with a whale theme. I wish I could've invited you all to come, but whale themed parties are a little more pricey than your average Dora the Explorer ones. I will share with you my pictures though. Mostly because I need a ride to the airport on Friday, and my friend Barbara (who was completely robbed of seeing whales on her anniversary trip to Depoe Bay in October - sadly, not a single one) said she'd only pick me up if she got to see pictures. So, Barbara, this blog is for you.

Here is the birthday girl and her husband of five years + one day as we were waiting to board the boat in Newport. I was already so happy because before we left the condo, we saw a whole bunch of whales right off the rocks in back. Phil had to practically drag me to the car.

And our boat. You can rent this baby out for weddings and funerals. Mostly we stayed on the lower level, but we did venture up into the captain's quarters near the end of the trip. It's all computerized with his big ol' GPS unit and sonar equipment.
Before we left, we had to go inside for a safety chat. One hand on the rail at all times, where the life jackets are, man overboard drills, that sort of thing. Once Athena, our tour guide, got all the important stuff out of the way, she asked "Where are Wendy and Phil?" I immediately gave my husband the "you are so dead, but just you wait, your turn is coming, buster" look. She announced our anniversary - they all clapped and cheered, and then she announced my birthday. They opted not to sing. They all just said happy birthday on the count of three.
On our way to the open ocean - the mighty Pacific (and a whole bunch of whales) lies just beyond those jetties.

First mate Phil enjoying the ride and sporting his new lightweight parka we nabbed from the Columbia Sportswear outlet for $19.99. It was originally priced at 90 bucks! It was wavy, but not as bad as I dreamed it was going to be. A couple times when the boat stopped to wait for whales, it would kind of turn sideways between waves and then you really knew you were in the ocean.

Before we spotted whales, we saw a stinging nettle. From what I saw at the aquarium, they have much longer stingers than your average jellyfish, which really aren't fish because they don't breathe with gills, so therefore, they should just be called jellies. I learned stuff on this tour.

Self-portrait to add to our collection.

And an accidental self-portrait that I like just because we don't know it's being taken. Doesn't it look like I'm so into this whole looking for whales thing?

Brace yourself, Barbara. At approximately two miles off shore, we saw grey whales.

And the blow from grey whales.

Then once we figured out where they were, we got a little closer. First you'd see (and sometimes hear) the blow.
Then you'd see the blow disappearing into the air and a little bit of the whale's back.

Then you'd seea whole lotta' back. Occasionally, a fluke - the tail - would flip up. I didn't have the camera ready to capture one of those though.

It was really, really cool. I was really, really happy. Athena said it was my birthday luck.

On our way back into the bay, we pulled up the two crab pots that we'd dropped off. We were pleasantly surprised to find two crabs and one sea star. Again, they shouldn't be called starfish because they're not fish. This poor peaked looking boy here was sick the whole time, but he did venture up to hold a crab.

I opted just to hold the sea star. They don't pinch.

We toured the bay and saw a bunch of California sea lions hanging out on the rocks.

Next year I want to go with an orca theme. Orcas Island isn't that far away.


Natalie said...


Glad you had a great time. I love you!


Kellie said...

How awesome! What a wonderful birthday/anniversary. :) Love the condo!!!!!!