(Our boat. LOVE that it was from Gloucester -- pronounced Glau-staah)
What made it just amazing was that the water that day was literally as smooth as glass. I've never seen the ocean look so calm and smooth. The photos don't even do it justice. It was just an amazing sight to see. Perfect reflection of the sky above and not a single ripple except for the boat. Truly breathtaking!
Those whales gave us quite a show! We saw at least 8-10 gray whales, white tail flukes and surfacing all over the place. We even saw one breach 3 times!! Breaching is when they come straight up out of the water and land with a giant splash. We happened to come up on a group of 3 whales toward the end of tour and were fairly close to them (closer than I think we were even allowed to be by law, not on purpose though). And sure, I've seen the Shamu show at Sea World at least a dozen times now. Yeah, Shamu is a big impressive fish. But wow! To see these gigantic whales in their natural habitat right off the side of our boat was just an awesome experience. (These photos are not zoomed in, FYI).
The other super cool thing we saw, that would have made the experience totally worth it even if we didn't see the whales, was floating right through the middle of a dolphin superpod! Seriously, we were surrounded by at least 1000 dolphins all jumping inches from the boat. They were SO quick in and out of the water that it was hard to get pictures of them. You could see them right down in the water because it was so clear and smooth. It was just dolphins as far as you could see all around us. (These were common dolphins, not bottlenose).
All in all it was a great date!! Thanks to Groupon for their super deal, or I'm guessing we would have never done this. I would totally recommend it! SD Whale Watching and crew were fabulous. You might not get as good a show as we got (the whale breaching was spectacular; the crew were totally jazzed about it, too, and said they rarely get to see it, let alone 3 times in a row) but it's totally worth it! Even for a look at San Diego from out at in the ocean was cool. We had a great time just the two of us! It was just so so cool. Seriously.