... and I've been on ~5 cruises! But they have been amazing cruises!
In the 8 years that I have been a volunteer naturalist, January 5, 2013 was by far the B E S T whale sighting for me!
We were blessed with a Gray whale breach close to the boat that I saw from the very moment the whale left the water (normally I see part of it- as it's crashing back INTO the water)! It was like it happened in slow motion. Truly amazing - it gave me goosebumps!
And then to top it off, we were with a Mother and calf for quite some time. A group of dolphins showed up and then the calf did a FULL SPYHOP! Again- I was looking in the right spot at the right time to get the full show! That sight placed a tear in my eye. Perhaps the calf was curious about these small "creatures" (dolphins) swimming all around him/her and decided to take a closer look? If only the whales could communicate with us!
The season in general has been one for the books- gray whale sightings on most of the cruises. Risso's out in full force and even more sightings of Pacific White-sided dolphins.