Cruising Monterey Bay, Travel Photo Mondays #46

Travel Photo Monday


Cruising Monterey Bay  – Travel Photo Mondays

It’s Monday morning, time to enjoy some gorgeous travel photography and inspiration from around the world. Let’s banish those Monday blues by sharing gorgeous imagery and story telling. You can also check us out on Twitter for Travel Photo Mondays at #tpMondays for more updates and submissions for the day.

Early morning cruise on a speed boat in Monterey

Early morning cruise on a speed boat in Monterey

It’s early morning and I’m on the docks of Monterey Bay on a cold and dreary looking morning.  Unfortunately, I had signed up for the first boat cruise around Monterey with Fast Raft Marine Tours. We are doing an exploration of the area, some whale watching and checking out whatever marine life that will come out to greet us this morning.


Cruising Monterey Bay

Cruising Monterey Bay




The harbor at Monterey Bay

The harbor at Monterey Bay


We meet our captain, a marine biologist named Kate Spencer, who is taking us out on this fast speed boat along with give giving us tidbits of information regarding grey whale migrations, feeding habits of sea otters and quirky characteristics of other marine life.  After a few safety instructions and placing on our life vests, we slowly cruise from the pier and immediately see a whole herd of harbor seals underneath the docks and piers in semi sheltered areas – funny that you sometimes don’t have to go really far to see marine life in Monterey Bay.


Harbor seals find sheltered spots at the habor

Harbor seals find sheltered spots at the habor




Hanging out at Monterey harbor

Hanging out at Monterey harbor


We finally start cruising at a faster pace outside of the harbor area and I start feeling more salt water sprays on my face – refreshing but at the same time I’m covering my camera lens so I don’t have to repeatedly clean the lens which doesn’t really help. The ride is fairly tame overall since I opted more for a slower cruise with others who want to take it easy and enjoy taking photographs of wildlife and the coastline along with hearing some background to the marine life in the bay that we may come across.



Paddling with harbor seals on Monterey Bay

Paddling with harbor seals on Monterey Bay



This is a strange scene above, we pass a lot of seals with their fins and tails up in the air to dry them off, which apparently helps with keeping them warmer and circulation flowing. The area is filled with marine life – otters, seals, a variety of marine birds – but we didn’t seem to come across any of the migrating whales that pass through the area at this time of the year. No worries, the coastline is beautiful and there’s enough wonderful vistas to enjoy on the ride, along with hearing Kate share more interesting facts about Monterey Bay and the active marine life living in the bay.



Hangout spot for the seals

Hangout spot for the seals




Coastal views of Monterey Bay

Coastal views of Monterey Bay



Kate ended up cranking the speed up a few knots and taking some fast spins on the raft, including some rapid turns and a tight 360 degree turn just to spice up the ride and make it a fun experience on the water. And before you know it, it’s already time to head back into port from our short tour and say goodbye to my new travel friends that I have hung out with for the past four days.



Monterey Bay Aquarium from the water

Monterey Bay Aquarium from the water






Arriving back at the harbor with wildlife nearby

Arriving back at the harbor with wildlife nearby


Did you enjoy cruising Monterey Bay for Travel Photo Mondays? Thank you for visiting us today, please do check out these other bloggers below by clicking on their links. Please do share the post if you enjoyed reading it.


Thank you Fast Raft Marine tours for the fun ride and Monterey Convention and Visitor’s Bureau for hosting me for this visit, all opinions and writing are my own and I had a great time.

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42 Responses to Cruising Monterey Bay, Travel Photo Mondays #46

  1. Rajlakshmi June 9, 2014 at 6:40 pm #

    I have never seen seals like that… awesome photos 🙂

  2. Suzanne Fluhr June 7, 2014 at 4:38 pm #

    Fortunately, you get to see plenty of migrating whales in Hawaii, right? My favorite photo here is the one where you caught the bird in landing or taking off mode from the seal covered rock.

  3. Dyanne@TravelnLass June 6, 2014 at 9:22 am #

    Fabulous photography! And most interesting those tails and fins in the air.

  4. Travel Underwriters June 6, 2014 at 8:04 am #

    These are fantastic pictures! Those seals look so lazy and relaxed.

  5. Heather June 5, 2014 at 4:29 am #

    Love those sea lions! A friend of mine got married in Santa Barbara and their wedding reception was held on a boat that cruised along the coast. Lots of sea lions there too. Cruising is such a beautiful way to enjoy California!

  6. Doreen Pendgracs June 4, 2014 at 11:31 am #

    Love the pics of the harbor seals! They sure know how to have a good time. We had fun watching them in San Fran Bay last fall.

  7. santafetraveler June 3, 2014 at 3:08 pm #

    The photos reminded me of a bad lunch with a great view, watching seals and sea lions and boats on Monterrey Bay.

  8. Suzanne Stavert June 3, 2014 at 10:30 am #

    I loved the perspective from the water! I want to do that too! The harbor seals are so funny and lazy. I particularly liked the photo of them flopped on the red buoy with the bell.

  9. Anna | slightly astray June 3, 2014 at 7:40 am #

    I love Monterey! But haven’t had a chance to go out into the ocean on a raft boat tour. I love seeing the seals there… and how awesome is that guy who’s paddleboarding right next to them?!

  10. Julie Conway June 3, 2014 at 4:46 am #

    Monterey is one of my favorite destinations in the US. Love to stay at Monterey Bay Inn in a overfront room where the rooms are directly over the water. Great photos of Monterey Bay!

    • Julie Conway June 3, 2014 at 4:48 am #

      *oceanfront (not overfront) Haven’t had all my coffee yet.

  11. Michele Peterson June 3, 2014 at 3:58 am #

    Those seals look chubby enough to be warm in what seems to be chilly waters! Monterey Bay looks beautiful and your photos really do it justice!

  12. Michele Peterson June 3, 2014 at 3:57 am #

    Those seals look chubby enough to be warm in what looks like chilly water. Monterey Bay looks gorgeous – your photos really do it justice!

  13. Amy @ Ms. Toody Goo Shoes June 3, 2014 at 1:44 am #

    Spectacular photos! I went to Monterrey many years ago when I was really young with a really bad camera ;). Time to go back I think! I especially love you last photo!

  14. Corinne June 2, 2014 at 6:21 pm #

    Noel, You’re awesome. Thanks for linking up to Weekend Travel Inspiration as well.

  15. Neva @ Retire for the Fun of it June 2, 2014 at 3:29 pm #

    We’ve visited the Aquarium numerous times, but I don’t remember the Octopus on the roof. Has that always been there? Love your colors even though it was a gloomy day, the photos are striking.

    • Noel June 2, 2014 at 4:00 pm #

      The Octopus is an inflatable for their new exhibit called Tentacles which is all about Cephalopods in Monterey Bay

  16. Hitch-Hikers Handbook June 2, 2014 at 10:03 am #

    The seals look sooo cute!!!!

  17. anna parker June 2, 2014 at 9:39 am #

    Love the photos of the seals and birds – was it just luck to have a marine biologist give you the tour as that definitely sounds like the best way to spot the wildlife as well as the land-based features, but do it at a speed that won’t disturb the sea life too?

    • Noel June 2, 2014 at 10:22 am #

      the captain was also the Marine Biologist Anna, pretty amazing person to do both at the same time.

  18. Katherine Belarmino June 2, 2014 at 7:30 am #

    We just recently rode in a rigid inflatable in Catalina, and it was a lot of fun! I love how fast those things can go in the water.

  19. the cape on the corner June 2, 2014 at 3:57 am #

    oh my gosh, paddling with all those seals would just be way to tempting to me! although i’m sure you’re not actually supposed to engage with them.

  20. travelnwrite June 2, 2014 at 3:05 am #

    Oh you’ve captured the morning so well. I can almost smell that air and hear the sounds. It looks a lot like a morning in Seattle on the waterfront.

  21. budget jan June 2, 2014 at 2:33 am #

    What a lovely collection of photos. The seal are fantastic subjects. The red beacon is a great backdrop for them. The bird mid-flight is a beauty and the expressions on the boat passengers superb. 🙂

  22. Anita @ No Particular Place To Go June 2, 2014 at 2:03 am #

    Your last photo, “Arriving back at the harbor …” with the pelican landing among the seals is fabulous! The perfect ending to what sounded like an interesting and lovely day.

  23. Catherine June 2, 2014 at 12:49 am #

    The chocolate/golden brown seals blend it wonderfully with the natural landscape… they really are adorable creatures. Thank you for taking us on your Monterey cruise today… love all your photos of the Bay 🙂

  24. Corinne June 2, 2014 at 12:31 am #

    I love a boat ride and photographing wildlife! Unfortunate that it was such a gray day, but boy did that red pop!

  25. Marysia June 1, 2014 at 11:21 pm #

    Great place Monterey! Loved it there!

  26. Patti June 1, 2014 at 8:00 pm #

    Monterey Bay and Carmel are such beautiful places, with such diversity, even though you don’t realize it at first siting. There is so much history in the area as well. As I mentioned before we lived in northern CA for 30+ years and I always enjoy your photos as they bring back memories for me.

  27. jesh StG June 1, 2014 at 5:15 pm #

    The pics of the seals take my heart. Lucky you to be able to catch them this close! Love the atmosphere of a harbor:)

  28. Marilyn Armstrong June 1, 2014 at 4:17 pm #

    I’d like to hang out with the seals too 🙂 GREAT pictures of one of my favorite places.

  29. Life Images by Jill June 1, 2014 at 2:45 pm #

    looks like a good trip – but you can keep the fast speed boat.
    Happy travels.

  30. Marisol@TravelingSolemates June 1, 2014 at 12:49 pm #

    Hi Noel,
    Yes, I did enjoy the virtual cruise of Monterey Bay. For a dreary morning, you images came out really lovely. I adore your shots of the seal, especially the one of them snuggling together.; it brought a big smile. I also found the one with the tails and fins up. I didn’t know that they do that. I didn’t realize that Monterey had that rich marine life.

  31. Nancie Lee June 1, 2014 at 12:12 pm #

    I love boat tours. It looks like a fun. Sad you didn’t see any whales. Your photos of the seals are wonderful! I love their rich color coats. Hope I can do that trip one day! Thanks for sharing!

  32. Dennis Kopp June 1, 2014 at 11:23 am #

    It seems like you still had a good time on the speed boat Noel, despite the early morning start. From your photos I love especially the last one. Not only is the landscape quite serene, but the way the seals are watching the pelican land, looks simply amazing… 🙂

  33. Debbie at Travel with intent June 1, 2014 at 10:44 am #

    Fun post. I decided to stick with the boating theme in my No Big Ships contribution, from Venice.

  34. Briona June 1, 2014 at 8:38 am #

    Oh wow, beautiful photos! I love the ones with the seals, in particular the hangout spots. 🙂


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