It started with an early morning email from Penzey’s Spice Company. I was highly motivated to get the poster commemorating the moonwalk and pie. They have a shop in Montgomery Village in Santa Rosa, CA and I have family in Sonoma County to drop a few things off. Then the dogs piled on the bed and I looked at the weather forecast. It was an easy decision to pile into the car with the dogs and head to the coast. I stopped at my cousin Kim’s, then Penzey’s, then headed toward Bodega Bay.
Alfred Hitchcock filmed the classic horror film, The Birds, in Bodega Bay. I found my way to Highway 1 and Bodega Bay via Sebastopol. It was tempting to stop along the way and would have if Gravenstein apples were ripe. (Festival is August 17) By the time I got to the town of Bodega Bay I was feeling peckish and the dogs needed some water.
The Birds Cafe is named for the film and offers great local options–chowder, fish and chips. The staff remarked that I was one of many customers with a Sacramento Republic jersey. People from the Great Valley are looking to escape the heat! I enjoyed my fish and chips and especially the view from the deck. The sky was overcast and that was a plus. In the summertime hot temperatures inland usually sucks the fog over the coast and lowers temps by 20 degrees.
The staff at Birds Cafe gave me a suggestion for a place for the dogs to play in the surf. I was disappointed because there wasn’t much beach for them to run on but the dogs went right in!
We drove on to Petaluma to see more family and for the dogs to romp some more. Again, I wish traffic wasn’t so miserable (coming and going) because it is so enjoyable to visit the coast.
Oh how I wish I could bear being on a boat in the sea! I get seasick even in a kayak on a bay. I really, really want to go whale watching. I am looking into it for my next visit to Monterey Bay.
You can see dolphins and whales year round in Monterey Bay. From April 1 to December 14 you will likely see the most variety of species including humpback and blue whales, maybe even orcas. In the winter you will see grey whales.
TripAdvisor suggests 5 star rated Discovery Whale Watch. They advertise a 3 hour cruise for $42 for an adult and a 4 hour cruise for $48.
My friend Brie went out on the bay with Monterey Bay Whale Watch (with her dog!). She loved it, but her dog did not. Their rates are comparable with other cruises. They also offer 8 hour cruises. Given the likelihood I will get sick, I am looking for the most whales in the shortest time!
Spying on Whales by Nick Pyenson is highly recommended for anyone who loves the ocean or whales. I’ve been reading it while visiting the Monterey Bay Aquarium every day. It explains the surprising evolution of whales and how they may have become gigantic in size.
Of course you cannot visit the aquarium on Cannery Row, or read the last section of Pyenson’s book without wrestling with the impact humankind is having on the ocean and on magnificent creatures like the whales. We have to come to grips with our insatiable consumption of petroleum, and its byproduct plastic, as well as curtail our fishing. Can we do it in time? Will it matter if the earth’s oceans continue to heat up?
I love the ocean and want to be as close as I can be without getting in it. Check out what you can do to love the ocean and reduce plastic pollution.