...and dolphins. There were dolphins too. Actually, there were a lot more dolphins than there were whales. It should really be called dolphin spotting, but I guess whale watching sounds better).
Some classes at Biola have the coolest homework assignments. One of which is my Natural History of Marine Mammals class, and I got the opportunity to go whale watching. Newport Beach is just a 30-40 minute drive from Biola (depending on traffic, of course), and it's one of the most popular places to go whale watching in sunny Southern California. I went last weekend with my boyfriend and those two hours were filled with excitement and wonder. I was able to catch some of the excitement on my Instagram story and I saved it for your enjoyment. Disclaimer: this video does not do the experience justice, but it gives you a pretty good idea of what the trip was like!
To quickly explain my boyfriend's mild disdain in this video, he has a fear of whales eating people. But like the great boyfriend he is, he agreed to go whale watching with me and actually enjoyed it. He still fears getting eaten by a whale, but I think seeing all of the dolphins and keeping a VERY safe distance from the whales helped him have fun.
Anyway, to recap the whale watching experience: we saw a few sea lions just hanging out close to shore, hundreds of common dolphins feeding on squid and swimming by our boat to say hi, and three grey whales that were migrating north. The dolphins were easily my favorite part of the trip because there were A LOT of them, and I was able to get a good look at them in their natural habitat. The dolphins were so friendly with the whale watchers and sometimes they would even race our boat. I couldn't get enough of them.
It was such an amazing experience to see these creatures firsthand. I've seen a lot of pictures of them and it was almost shocking to me that their world is not too far from mine. I think so many times we're so caught up in our own world that we forget that God has created a world much bigger than our own. There are countless animals in the depths of the ocean that God created. This also applies beyond Earth and into space; the stars and galaxies are more of God's creation. There are still so many things in the universe that are unknown to us, humans, but to God, they are His great creations. How AWESOME is that?
If you ever get the chance to see any animals in their God-intended habitat, I would highly recommend it (given that it is safe to do so –– don't go whale watching on a life raft or find a crocodile because you just so happen to be in the area). If you have any questions or comments, please don't hesitate to reach out! I'd love to talk to you!