Monday, December 16, 2013

Monterey Bay Walk

This is the second part of our day 2 Big Sur-Monterey Bay vacation. In the morning, we took a 4-hour whale watching tour with Monterey Bay Whale Watch, and in the afternoon, we took a very relaxing walk at Monterey Bay.
Sea Lions are Probably the Most Visible Wildlife in Monterey Harbor

As soon as our whale watching boat docked at Monterey Bay's Fisherman's Wharf, everyone sprinted away. However, as I got out of the boat, I saw a beautiful jelly fish swaying gracefully under the water. I took some time photographing until I was reminded by someone who was obviously hungry as you could hear from the 5-seconds video below. :) 

Hmmm, sometimes, foods do get in the way when you are having too much fun! :( Hehe. Realizing it was past lunch time (a little bit past 1:00 pm ), I put my camera inside my backpack and we looked for food at the Fisherman's Wharf. We did not really look hard, since Isabellas Italian Seafood and Steak is right next to Monterey Bay Whale Watch harbor. We were seated upstairs which has a beautiful view of the wharf. Even though Isabellas is a sea food and steak Italian restaurant, but thankfully, they have some vegetarian pasta for hubby. Usually, I would have vegetarian dish too, but that time I was tempted to get a shrimp pasta. 
Lunch at Isabellas 

After lunch, we decided to take a walk around the wharf, hoping to find some surf and dive shops where we hope to find a 7 mm flexible wet suit. The two dive shops we went to did not have a lot of wet suits, so we came out from the shops empty handed. After a little bit shopping for warmer wet suits, we took a relaxing walk at the Coast Guard Wharf. I saw some snorkelers and divers taking off from the beach. Seeing them, how I wished we also brought our wet suits and snorkeling gears. I knew however, that our 5 mm wet suit from San Diego won't be enough to warm us up snorkeling in Monterey Bay. Maybe, the most time we could snorkel with a 5 mm wet suit in Monterey Bay is 30 minutes - 1 hour. For me, 1 hour in the water is not always enough. While walking at the wharf, the first one that caught our eye was this strange looking fish hauling out on top of the rock. Hubby and I were debating whether the fish was alive or not. 
Baby Mola Mola ( or sun fish )
I described the mola mola above as a baby, since mola mola is the heaviest known bony fish in the world, with an average weight of 1,000 kg ( or 2,200 lbs ).
My Proof that the mola mola is alive :)

After mola mola, another surprising sight that came our way was a sea otter catching his prized fish. At first, I thought I saw a mola mola swimming away from a sea lion, but when I took a closer look, the small fish caught was not mola mola, maybe it was a small halibut. What I thought to be sea lion was actually a sea otter. Look at how the sea otter hugs the fish, probably saying, "oh, my precious!"
"Oh My Precious"- says the sea otter

It was dark where we spotted the sea otter because the area was under the shade, and the moment came so quick and sudden that I did not have time to change my camera settings. I decided to take a video instead of the very active sea otter trying to really get hold of the fish. The sea otter sure contaminated us with his pure "Oh My Precious" joy! :)
Sea Otter With His Prized Catch
Special Moments for Sea Otter

After a while, the sea otter swam away with the fish. I kept on saying, "ohh, poor fish", and hubby kept on reminding me, " but dear, you pity the fish, but you were like the sea otter too, you EAT FISH!" Hehehe, either someone was trying to make me feel guilty, or was just reminding me of the realities of life. When the sea otter with the fish was nowhere our sight, we continued walking towards the end of the wharf. We saw a pair of sea otters on kelp bed, and again, we were fascinated by all the live shows we were experiencing. So thankful to God for giving such a nature treat!
Shy Sea Otters :)

In the video above, you'd hear hubby saying, "I'll go to the sun", to seek for some warmth. His search for a warmer place brought us to this another amazing sight. Seeing so many jelly fish in the water, I no longer feel bad when hubby had to stop me from photographing one jelly fish I saw before lunch! So, this was hubby's treat to me coz he was the one who found these jelly fish.
Ahhhh, how great is our GOD indeed, leading us in our unplanned walk. HE gave us treats one after another.

"COOL Hah?" - says hubby :)

It was way to cool watching them. The joy in seeing them made us giddy like a child, filled with joy and awe.
The jelly fish were like coming from another planet who had a taste of water that sent them dancing. :) We actually spent a long time enjoying the sights of jelly fish.We used to see them before only in aquariums, but this time, we were seeing them right there at the wharf, so it felt really special. After a while, we decided to walk back to our car so we could drive to the tidepooling area. Before leaving the wharf, I took a picture and video of mola mola.
Mola Mola With Jelly Fish

Mola mola at Monterey Bay
Hubby and I at Monterey Bay

Since we spent so much time in the Coast Guard Wharf watching ocean wildlife, we were not able to reach the tidepool area early enough. I was not sorry though for spending so much time at the wharf since I know I could always go tidepooling in San Diego. So, instead of tidepooling, I just spent some time taking pictures of the bay at low light.
The Tidepool Area at Dusk

We definitely had an awe-inspiring 2nd day nature exploring with the whales, sea lions, mola mola, jelly fish and more at Monterey Bay. My heart was so filled with joy, singing again, "to the the sea..." Yes, I love the sea, so much....and the mountains....that's why Big Sur is so special for me, since the mountains are kissed by the sea. 
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  1. It would be such a thrill to see all of these you've shown through your photos. With so much beauty, there is indeed a God.

  2. it was such a great experience and memorable as well, i hope i can be there one day too :)

  3. It's relaxing indeed to even just look at these creatures. very nice scene and even nicer doing it with your hubby.

  4. amazing sea lions! i guess it feels so good seeing them right before your eyes in their own habitat and not just in a zoo somewhere.

  5. great photos Sis. Yes! lucky you to see a mola-mola or is it the giant one. BTW, can you share some input on how to recognize a sea lion from a zeal.

  6. love, love, love all the videos, photos and stories, Beth! glad the mola mola was alive. and oh my precious! poor fish got caught, hehehe. and oh, i would be giddy as a kid too with all those jellyfish sightings!

  7. The feeling must be wonderful when you see all those different creatures on its surviving and relaxing ways. Your photos and videos indeed make me feel i'm just right there next with you guys, its nice to see the wonderful things you see moving too. oh let's not forget about the scrumptious foods from Isabella

  8. That must have been a thrilling experience! It's good that you and your husband both like nature trips. I haven't done something like this just yet on any of our trips.

    Those jelly fish are beautiful! Simply God's work of art!

  9. Nice job, Betchai! I thought I was on a National Geographic Website when I see these photographs and see all the videos!

  10. The calmness of the see gives me a peace of mind, a complete relaxation. The food and the critters gives me the satisfaction of traveling virtually with you!

  11. I do believe you should make a picture book of your adventures, all copyrights! You have wonderful snaps sis and the adventures and experiences you have had with nature is simply breath-taking! I would love to see all those things that you have seen so maybe next time we are in California, we'll have to book somewhere near Monterey Bay.

  12. I totally love the tidepool area shot at dusk! So bluetiful and the jellyfishes look oh so magical! Take me with you to a Monterey Bay walk one sweet day please :)

  13. How awesome it is watching those jellyfish right just above the waters?

    And, also, i agree with sis Ria, you should do have a photo book. You know something that we can read even without turning on the pc. it'll surely be a treasure.

  14. I agree with what Ate Ria said, Ate Betchai.. I'm a fan of your snapshots! They are flawless! ♥

    by the way, Baby Mola Mola is so cute! ♥

  15. the stingray is very colorful and it is tempting to touch however it is very dangerous.

  16. I love the sea! Color blue. Just like the sky. And the creatures beneath? Breath-taking! ^_^

  17. It is so awesome that you get to see all those fish and seals so up close. I've been to Monterey Bay a few times, and never been that close to a seal.

  18. Wow! That is a lot of nice pictures. I love viewing the video of the jellyfish.

  19. So close to the fruits of the sea! I miss this experience! I hope to one day swim with them again... *sigh* hopefully...