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“Excellent whale watching company!”

Blue Ocean Whale Watch
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Blue Ocean Whale Watch is owner operated and has the most unique boat on the bay. Our boat, High Spirits, is a 60ft yacht with plenty of space for you inside and out. We have an observation deck up top which provides a 360 degree view of the bay - a perfect vantage point for taking photos. Our tours depart from Moss Landing Harbor, the heart of the Monterey Bay. Moss Landing is the closest port to the beginning of the Monterey Submarine Canyon - a nutrient rich area that attracts a variety of wildlife. Blue Ocean Whale Watch was created in 2011 and is owned and operated by Captain Jim Davis and Captain/Naturalist Kate Cummings. Both Jim and Kate have a deep respect for the ocean and its inhabitants. They also completely love their job which makes a big difference for the customer's experience. We are excellent wildlife spotters, locating anything and everything that might be hanging out in the Monterey Bay that day - from endangered leatherback sea turtles to blue whales. We also guarantee whale sightings; if you don't see a whale, come back for free until you do. Different whales are in the bay year-round, so there is always something amazing to see. We look forward to welcoming you on board!
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Activities for young children, Bathroom facilities, Food available for purchase
Reviewed June 27, 2013

We carefully chose Blue Ocean Whale Watch for our whale watching tour yesterday, after having a torturous experience a week and a half earlier with Randy's from Monterey (summary of our experience with Randy's - bad boat, crew didn't care about passengers, bad weather, no mammals seen even though there had been amazing sightings earlier that day and the previous 2 days).

I would HIGHLY recommend Blue Ocean Whale Watch. They have a guarantee that you can keep going on trips until you see a whale. The top viewing deck is awesome (I only wish more than 9 people could be up there at once, as there was still plenty of room and we felt bad hogging such a great viewing spot!). There is lots of space inside which we realised from our other experience is important, although there wouldn't be enough seats in there in bad weather conditions if everyone wanted to be inside at once.

You are better to leave from Moss Landing – if you're lucky the whales might be just off shore in which case you save 2.5 hours compared to going with Monterey companies. Also these guys do 4 hour trips, and it's good to have that extra hour.

Most importantly, the Blue Ocean crew actually care about their passengers. Kate and Jim were up on the top deck with us most of the time (not separated from the passengers like on Randy's boat), chatting constantly and answering questions. Kate commentated on everything of interest, including birds. They offer herbal remedy to put behind your ears, as well as ginger snacks/drinks to purchase for cheap. They basically do everything they can to help you enjoy the trip!

We were lucky enough to have perfect weather conditions once we got out past a fog bank. Only a teeny bit of swell. We saw 4 species of dolphins on our way out, and two sunfish. Then we chased a blue whale for awhile, but it was diving for 15-20min at a time, and kept popping up far enough away that by the time we got to that spot it had gone under again. So we only got a really quick glipse of it from far away, apart from the water spouts and a good look at it's poo! At that time Kate and Jim spotted humpbacks breaching miles away, and at first I heard them say to each other that they were too far away, but then Jim was enjoying the nice sea conditions so much that he said he would make the most of it and we ended up being out for 5 hours after watching the humpbacks from a distance and seeing one tail flip. Later I heard Jim saying that we went out 19 miles, when they would usually go out 7-10 miles. They really tried to give us a good trip :) Our whale sightings weren't as spectacular as you would hope for, but the dolphins were awesome, and Jim and Kate and the good weather made all the difference to our overall experience .

We paid $29 through travelzoo for our terrible trip with Randy's (lucky we didn't pay full price of $40) with no whale sighting guarantee, but if you go on cheap Tuesday with Blue Ocean it is only $28 including fees, and they have a guarantee! It's a no brainer for us, after seeing the contrast between the two companies – in hindsight we are disappointed that we didn't go with Blue Ocean the first time!

2  Thank Abbie M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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367 - 371 of 391 reviews

Reviewed June 11, 2013

My husband & I were celebrating our 7th Anniversary and wanted to go whale watching. It was an anniversay we will never forget. We were so glad we chose to go with Blue Ocean.
Captin Jim & Kate KNOW THEIR STUFF and they were very professional.
I had never been on the ocean & was nervous...I took all the helpful hints to avoid motion sickness that the Blue Ocean website suggested and I was fine, plus I stood on the top deck.
We saw 2 Blue Whales & a group of 3 Humpbacks. What beautiful and graceful animals. We also saw a 4 day old sea loin pup with it's mom & dad on a near by dock and in the marina there were a lot of other sea lions. Wish we would have seen more whales and some dolphins but that gives us a reason to go back again.
We are planning another whale watching tour in September.
Thank you Blue Ocean Whale Watching for the experience and the memories.
The Brooks

1  Thank Kim B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 7, 2013

We had a wonderful day whale watching with Blue Ocean Whale Watch. Our trip had been cancelled twice due to high winds and unsafe seas and our trip was well worth the wait. Captain Jim and Kate were great and knowledgeable hosts. Their boat "High Spirits" has a great top deck for added visibility and a snackbar and bathroom. We saw blue whales, Killer whales, sea otters and sea lions. There are different whale sightings every day so who knows what you will see but the pod of 5 Killer whales was magnificent. We watched them for quite a while from a good distance and they even swam up to and under the boat one time. Seeing the immense blue whales in person was beyond description. I highly recommend This professional and friendly tour company.

1  Thank Rob J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 22, 2013

My wife and I took a trip to the Monterey Bay area last weekend. I found a Travel Zoo deal for the Blue Ocean Whale Watch in Moss Landing. I corresponded with the company via email, and they were prompt and informative in their replies. We scheduled our trip, which included a 4-hour whale watching tour on the Monterey Bay.

We arrived approximately 30 minutes early. You have to pay to park at the marina ($6.24) for more than 4-hours. There is a self service kiosk that you get an envelop, drop your money into, and place the receipt on your dashboard. Pretty basic and easy.

Once they backed the boat up to the dock, we were checked in pretty quickly. The weather was warm and calm in the harbor. The crew consisted of the boat's captain, the naturalist, and two volunteers. The staff was all very informative and friendly from the start. They explained that the trip would be pretty rough, as there were significant winds out on the Bay. They offered to provide some white flower oil to rub behind your ears for anybody who was concerned about getting sea sick. Most people took them up on it. Additionally, they advised us that they had an honor system snack bar on board, with chips, sodas, crackers, ginger candies (to calm your stomach), and warm beverages. They also have a small bathroom on board.

Soon we were off. The naturalist did an excellent job of narrating over the intercom system, about the different sea life we could expect to see out there. She identified and explained about the different creatures we saw. After about an hour of some pretty rough waves, we started to see 5 killer whales all together (a mother and her offspring, and two others). They would come up for air and then start hunting for food. We followed them around for quite some time, watching them swim around, hunt, and play. The naturalist knew alot about the 5 killer whales, and were excited as they only see them approximately 2x per month. We followed the whales nearly all of the way back to Moss Landing. We got close enough to take some decent pictures of the magnificent creatures, but kept an appropriate distance so as not to disturb them.

The only bad thing about the trip, was that a number of guests got sick from the rough waves. We were fortunate enough to have escaped it, but at least 6-8 others were not so lucky. That being said, the trip was a great experience and worth the 4-hours we spent on the Monterey Bay.

1  Thank Jim G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 31, 2013

We took a trip with Blue Ocean Whale Watch and it was excellent. We've seen whales (even one jumping, or, as the professionals say, breaching), we've seen dolphins playing around, and we've had a lot of fun. The crew did everything possible to allow us the best viewing opportunities and seeing all that those amazing sea creatures can offer. The dolphins come very close to the boat, since they are very playful, and are a lot of fun to watch. There are literally a hundred of them or more, and they do all kinds of synchronized jumping, showing off, riding the waves, etc. For the whales, we kept a bit more distance, but we could still see them very well and people that are into photography took some great shots. Some example ones are available on their site, I can confirm - I have seen all these and more with my own eyes.

The tour is conducted by the guide (very nice and knowledgeable), one volunteer (also very nice) and of course the boat captain (very nice gentleman too). The boat is pretty roomy - I was doubting a bit if it would be ok because there's a lot of people showed up - but it turned out good, there was a place to stand outside, to sit or to be inside if you feel cold or tired. The boat has three levels and big enclosed cabin, so not much problem with space there. Do bring warm clothes - if it gets windy, it becomes chilly, so you'd need something that you'd be comfortable outside in healthy wind. If you come prepared, you'd be fine.

In summary, very nice trip, highly recommended.

Thank Baggins42
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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