From the day after Christmas through the end of March gray whales can be seen on their migration along Southern California's coast. Saturday John and I went on a whale watch excursion boat. We were out at sea for about three hours and spotted only one mother-calf pair. At times the calf could be seen riding on her back. He was just a bit too young to be swimming continuously on his own. We did see a lot of dolphins swimming around the boat. It was quite a sight to see them flying up out of the water and diving back down. They seemed to do it so gracefully and with little effort. There were a lot of commorants out on the water. We learned from the guides on the boat that as the day wears on those birds will sink deeper into the water, which is why they retire to the shore and stand with their wing spread out. We also saw sea lions sunning themselves on a buoy.
After our tour out on the sea we headed to the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium for a guided tide pool walk. We saw a lot of the California sea hare, noted for its two big ears sticking up( actually for this critter it is their nose).
We were informed by the staff that trash thrown out on the streets of the city gets washed down through the storm drains into the ocean and can then be seen out on the beach during low tide. That was a sobering thought for us during our tidepool walk. We certainly saw a fair amount of styrofoam, rusty cans and glass bottles out on the beach!