She's on a Boat Day 7

Weeks before Candice waited patiently in a flight cabin for the Earth to spin beneath her, she decided that we would go whale watching during her visit. I liked the idea, too, having never been on a boat in the Pacific ocean and aside from the rubber toys in my tub, never saw one in whale. The service affiliated with the local aquarium had good luck in the last week touring multiple whales on each voyage. We drove downtown. We waited in line. We walked the boardwalk but within an hour we had more in common with this gentleman than on land: we were on a boat.

These are navy sausages. They float in the bay and act as appetizers to stave Godzilla's hunger from ever actually devouring the city. He can spitfire them until they plump and eat until his delight.

Proportionally, whale watching is a bit of a misnomer. It should be called whale-less ocean watching. Most of the time was spent gazing out into the water looking for spouts to target a whale. Radar usually was able to pick up a large mass under the chop but rarely was able to get a reliable fix on the whale and its direction. Instead we watched this.

The gray whales are allegedly very predictable. After the initial spout, they remain close to the surface for two more spouts before diving deep for several minutes thereafter. The spouts themselves don't reveal much, but the whale watching at this point migrates to whale tail watching. The whales lift their tails before diving deep. This is why we paid money.

A research boat was also eager to spy on our whale. Today, the crew felt generous and shared our commercial whale find with science.

The gray whales migrate from the Arctic north where they come to mate, breed, or watch perversely with a dirty radar gaze other whales mating in the clear. It is very much an adult activity. All whales have a whale conscious that tells them to migrate and they obey the whale voices in their whale heads. But while the adults migrate with purpose, the adolescent whales are also convicted to make the journey but without any of the real reward. In fact, you can imagine how awkward the whole scenario unfolds when junior finds mommy whale in a compromising position. Or finds daddy whale tied up with candle wax on his torso. Thus it's a good thing the youngsters take their time and play more often than travel with rigor. We apparently found one of the latecomers to the migration scene which was probably an adolescent that would soon turn around and follow the school back north.

Whale watch 2010.

We followed the whale for a few dives before it was clearly not enticed by our boat, the research boat, and a larger ocean excursion boat tracking behind for a glimpse of some tail. The captain took us north to find some more whales to ogle, but there weren't any more.

Even with the motion sickness drugs, Candice and I were still a bit green on the open waters. Sitting was not a good thing. Standing helped. Although hungry, it was a little too early to cave into the floating deliciousness that navy sausages teased.

The navy employs both sea lions and dolphins to scout the bay for intruders. This guy is the 007 of the litter: a top-secret spy with a reputation for the ladies and martinis. This was moments after his rendezvous with Octopussy.

These docks used to be where whales were gutted and processed. Now it's more of a bait shop and sea lion hangout.

I'm on a boat! I'm on a boat! Everybody look at me!

By this time Candice had seen enough to be Californian. She had the glasses and the jacket. Now she just needed a coastline to ignore.

Candice in "Action Hero Star 30,000: Poses for Explosions in Oceans". It's a movie.

Look! I found her! Everybody she's a celebrity! Quick! Take her picture! Ask for her autograph! Go!

Oh no. She sees me! Don't hurt me!

We pretty much felt like these sea lions after hours on the high seas with no food and no want of food. I think the captain felt bad that we only had a few sights of a fleeing whale that he tried to get everyone excited about seeing sea lions perched on objects. They were fine, but he was really pushing the sell -- particularly when we weren't cleared to dock and had to poke around the bay for a little while longer to troll for more mammals.

These small fishing boats help to promote competition and innovation. Speaking of competition and innovation, Candice and I went to Claim Jumper for dinner where we lost the "can you eat a single portion of food" competition, followed by "can you eat a single slice of ridiculously tall cake" competition. We may have lost the battle, but we weren't fighting, either. Today was another victory.