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Princess Monterey Whale Watching Crew

Orcas in Monterey Bay

The Crew

Orcas in Monterey Bay

The Crew

Princess Monterey Whale Watching Crew



Benji Shake grew up on Fisherman’s Wharf and has been in the Sport Fishing and Whale Watching business for over 40 years. He prides himself on providing his customers with great customer service from the moment they purchase their tickets to when the step off the boat at the end of their trip. He offers his customers the largest and finest whale watching vessels in the Monterey fleet for the comfort and safety of those onboard.


GINA Manager/Naturalist

Gina Thomas has a BA degree from Indiana University in Anthropology with a minor in Psychology. Her studies focused on animal behavior. She has worked with Princess Monterey Whale Watching since 2006 and loves being able to call the ocean her “office”. Her favorite experience is watching the excitement of the passengers who are seeing the whales for the first time.

BARBARA Marketing Director

Barbara Thomas, has been working for Princess Monterey Whale Watching for eight years and enjoys the opportunity to build strong business partnerships with area tourism establishments, Chambers of Commerce and the county Convention and Visitors Bureau. Barbara enjoys opportunities where she can promote the uniqueness of what Princess Monterey Whale Watching has to offer not only to residents of the area but most importantly to the many worldwide visitors coming here looking for an adventure that will certainly enhance their time spent in Monterey. Barbara feels that first and foremost, in order to promote anything you must believe and trust in the product or service. Promoting Princess Monterey Whale Watching by giving informational presentations to the above mentioned entities, schools, tours to prospective company representatives during site visits and interacting via e-mail and telephone to individuals and groups takes enthusiasm and excellent communication skills. She has many past personal, educational, volunteer, and job experiences that enabled her to enhance these skills. Barbara earned her Master’s Degree from Indiana University, in Recreation and Parks Administration with an emphasis in Administration and a Bachelor of Science Degree from San Diego State University in Recreation and Parks Administration with an emphasis in Therapeutic Recreation. Barbara has learned that “excellence” means “going the extra mile”, and she strives to live up to this motto when it comes to doing a job you enjoy, and truly believe in.



Brent has a 100 ton license and has been working on the Monterey Bay since he was 12 years old. He got his start working on Sport Fishing Boats and made the move to Princess Monterey Whale Watching in 2010.



I am a Licensed Captain with 41 years experience with a 500 gross Ton Masters, Oceans Endorsement. I have been operating vessels on the Monterey Bay since 1974. I have worked up and down the entire California coast doing boat deliveries from Westport WA to Monterey Ca and from Honolulu HI to Monterey. Monterey is my favorite area and a wonderful place for boating. Monterey Harbor is an open port with no dangerous bar crossings, or exposed jetty accesses making Monterey a very safe harbor to depart from. The abundance of marine mammals and birds would make it next to impossible to pick a favorite, but the Orcas are the most fascinating. Important factor affecting the marine life in Monterey, cold nutrient rich water is all that’s needed to support the different species of marine mammals. Single most He Monterey Bay Submarine Canyon is the TI enjoy working with Princess Monterey Whale Watching because of the inhouse professionalism and I have known the owner my entire adult life. I have noticed that our passengers are pleased with the cleanliness of the boat, and with the boats accommodations afforded to them. In a word, people like our boats.


KAELYN Naturalist

My name is Kaelyn and I am 24 years old. I grew up in southern California about an hour east of Los Angeles. When I was 18 I moved up to Monterey for college. I attended local California State University Monterey Bay from 2012-2018 majoring in Marine Science. During on of those semesters I enrolled in a study abroad program in Queensland Australia. Australia was beautiful, and I was fortunate enough to experience one of the Seven Wonders of the World (the Great Barrier Reef)! Growing up I was always outside adventuring and had a strong interest/appreciation for wildlife. Today you can still find me outside exploring with a camera in hand! One of my favorite pastimes is to shoot wildlife photography. I know from a very young age that I wanted to have a job that allowed me to learn while spread awareness on the importance of protecting ecosystems along with the animals found within them. I first became involved with working on whale watching boats back in 2015 for Princess Monterey Whale Watching and I have loved every moment of it. Come out and see for yourself how amazing the Monterey Bay is. You will learn why this place is known for being the world-famous whale watching heart of California along with why Monterey plays a vital role in the region’s marine health, and biodiversity. I look forward to sharing my love of the Monterey Bay and its inhabitants with you.


ERICA Naturalist

Erica Wolff graduated from the University of Hawai’i at Hilo with a Bachelor of Science in Marine Science and a minor in Chemistry. While there her studies concentrated on sharks and measuring their ageing and growth processes. She is currently working on her masters in Environmental Science and Policy from Johns Hopkins University. Erica has been working for Princess Monterey Whale Watching for two years. One of her favorite parts of the job is getting surprised every day and every trip by the different behaviors that are seen from the whales and dolphins.


KYLEE Naturalist

My name is Kylee, I have a degree in Marine Science from CSU: Monterey Bay. I’m a deckhand and naturalist here at Princess Monterey Whale Watching. I have a deep passion for the ocean and the animals in it and I love when I can share that excitement with other people. The beautiful whales are an added bonus!


KRIS Deckhand

Hi my name is Kris I am originally from Ohio. I have been in a lot of different work atmospheres but I love being out on the water meeting new incredible people from all over the world and getting to share really cook looks at whales and dolphins and other marine life.


MATT C. Deckhand

Matt grew up working on sport fishing and whale watching boats working with his dad during the summers. He loves being on the water and has done a couple of fishing seasons in Alaska.

MICHAEL Deckhand

Hey there, my name is Michael Hang. I’m a newly minted Master of Marine Science, travel adventure photographer, and newbie woodworker. My favorite whales are the oh-so-charismatic humpbacks and the head-banging Risso’s dolphins. When I’m not on the Princess, I also work for NASA Ames Research Center as a Research Scientist. Work hard, play hard.

MATTHEW Deckhand

Matt joins the crew of Princess Monterey after years of working seasonally on whale watching boats as both a guide and photographer in Alaska and Hawaii. In his free time, he enjoys writing, exploring the central coast and socializing with friends. His favorite marine mammal is the sea otter, and he’s excited at the chance to see them every day here in Monterey!


RANDY Photographer

I’ve enjoyed photography for decades. To be able to photograph marine wildlife in Monterey is a real treat.


JAM Staff

Jamal AKA Jam graduated from Northern Arizona University with a Bachelor
of Science in Education. She is a former elementary school teacher where
she enjoyed enlightening and educating children about marine life and
the importance of ocean conservation.


Desiree was born in northern California and moved to Hawaii at very
young age. Where she attended school and learned how scuba dive . she
now lives here in Monterey with her husband , who was born and raised in
Monterey. Together they have a few commercial fishing boats. She has a
love and respect for the ocean.

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