A couple weeks ago my wife and I joined the Oceanic Society on an excursion to the Farallon Islands, a National Wildlife Refuge that sits 27 miles off the California Coast. On clear days we can see the islands from our apartment, rising up like jagged teeth on the horizon. There’s generally a lot to see en route and on the islands, but in the spring and early summer, a giant upwelling of nutrients from the continental shelf attracts a wide range of sea life.
Our wildlife sightings included at least a dozen humpback whales, porpoises, jellyfish, a giant ocean sunfish, black-footed albatross, a puffin, seals, and more. Thankfully the ocean was calm, which made it easier to spot wildlife and reduced our chance of seasickness. I managed to snap some photos bobbing up and down on the boat, and a video of two humpbacks surfacing.