We want your whale watching trip on Monterey Bay to be the most enjoyable experience possible! Monterey, California has a Mediterranean climate with dry warm summers and mild winters. However, it can still get quite cold on the water as the temperature over the water is 10-30 degrees lower, and the chill is magnified by wind and damp sea spray.
Here are some whale watching tips to make the most of your trip:
The Best Place to See the Whales
The great thing about our vessels is that every seat in the house has a great view of the water, but we also offer the option of upper deck verses lower deck seating. Things to consider:
- Upper Deck allows you to see further out and may have better visibility (great for photographers) while the lower deck is closer to the whales, especially if the whales are curious and decide to “mug” (visit) our boat.
- Lower Deck near the middle of the boat is better for people who may be prone to sea sickness.
- Mother Nature and whales are somewhat unpredictable. They can show up on either side of the boat and even swim around it. Our vessels have a 360 degree walk around deck but can also be seen from inside the temperature controlled cabin through large windows…meaning every seat on the boat is a winner!
Clothing & Protection
Rule #1 in any season – layer!
- Dress in layers and err on the side of being too warm instead of being too cold. Think hooded sweatshirts, windbreaker, long pants, wide brimmed hat/winter hat, and even gloves.
- Closed toe, flat soled shoes.
- Sunglasses: Polarized lenses are best since they help with sun glare and allow you to see creatures more easily below the surface of the water.
- Sun block & Chapstick
Things you may want to bring on your trip.
- Camera: Empty & extra memory cards, and batteries. Keep in mind that the average point-and-shoot camera might not deliver the speed and magnification needed to get the best pictures. If you have a 35mm camera, a 200-300mm lens provides the most zoom and stability for whale watching.
- Binoculars: Whales are usually close enough and it may be challenging to use binoculars on moving boat. Also, they have a narrow range and you may miss out on some spectacular whale behavior such as breaching. Binoculars are best used if you want to view the coast line, birds or sea otters.
If you think you may be prone to sea sickness or are a first time whale watcher, you may want to consider motion sickness medications.
- Over the counter medications or prescription through your Doctor. Make sure to take 1 hour prior to boarding. If taken when you start feeling queasy, it is already too late.
- Eat a good breakfast, bland (no fried of fatty foods), with some carbohydrates. All these suggestions reduce stomach acid build up and can prevent sea sickness.
- Drink water and stay hydrated. Ginger ale is also a safe bet.
- Nibble on saltine crackers or ginger candies.
- Avoid alcohol the night or morning before heading out. Even if you don’t normally get seasick, alcohol may bring it on.
- Stay on the outside, lower deck facing forward. Fresh air can help a lot and the lower deck has less movement than up top.
- Try not to go into the bathroom or anywhere you can’t see the horizon.
If you have any questions before your trip, feel free to email or call us!