THE OUTSIDE OF A WHALE? Every whale-watching hopeful who heads out on a boat come the Pacific Gray migratory season is scanning the ocean's surface for the merest sighting of a blowhole or back or eye or fluke. You'll never see a whale all at once, but spying a fraction of the beautiful giant's shiny skin or noble face is a thrill of the highest aquatic order. Seeing the inside of a whale, though, is another matter, but it is an important topic taken on each year by Whalefest Monterey. The two-day party, which will splash, submerge, and glug-glug over the final weekend of January 2018, isn't just about the whale-watchery we all love; there's a strong educational aspect to the two-day gathering. Look to Dee, a 43-footer of an inflatable whale that gives visitors to the festival a peek at what the mega mammal's lungs and spleen look like (things you definitely will not see as you admire a whale swimming near a boat).
A SYMPOSIUM... will include a line-up of lectures, too, and there shall be documentaries "...related to ocean and marine life conservation" (swim over to the Wharf Theatre for these fluke-tastic flicks). You could, in fact, build your entire visit to the festival, which is based around Old Fisherman's Wharf, around the educational aspects of whaledom, but keep in mind that stenciling crafts, glass-bottom boat adventures, an appearance by Coastie the Safety Boat, and abalone races will also glug-glug during the Saturday, Jan. 27 and Sunday, Jan. 28 whalethering (which is a gathering focused expressly on whales, of course). It's free to enter, though keep in mind boat trips will have a fee (and noshing around the famous wharf, too). Is blowhole mania your ultimate bliss? Do you want to watch some conservation docs and cheer on an abalone race and walk inside a massive inflatable whale and pose for a pic with someone wearing a critter costume that is oh-so-Monterey?
THE ONCE-A-YEAR WEEKEND... is truly is a mind-stoking mix of gotta-knows and fun-to-haves for those who adore our baleen-boasting pals. Take a deep dive on some whale 411 as 2018 revs up, in The Whale Watching Capital of the World.