For better or worse, here I am—trapped in paradise. As long as I continue to live in this vital, inimitable spot on the globe,

I will continue to seek out the unique…the delicious…the innovative products, services and traditions of San Luis Obispo County.

Stay posted for a few of my favorite things.

About Me...

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A wanderlust at heart... captivated by the California Central Coast. Join me on my culinary and vino-infused adventures as I explore and discover the regional novelties of San Luis Obispo County that make living here...easy to stay...and hard to leave.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

San Simeon Bay: Baby Humpback Whale

A baby humpback whale makes its debut in San Simeon Bay in July 2015.
The days of mid-1800's whaling are long since over in the town of San SimeonNowadays, whales still migrate along the Central Coast of California but are protected—as well as revered. 

Late last week I heard about a humpback whale and her calf who were spotted feeding in San Simeon Bay. I couldn't resist a trip up San Luis Obispo's northern coast to try and catch a glimpse of these magnificent mammals. 

Last Friday I showed up mid-morning at the William R. Hearst Memorial State Park and headed straight to San Simeon Pier. With my camera readied and my expectations high, I arrived to find a small crowd of onlookers peering out to the east side of the pier. Amidst the breaking fog and the local bird life, the juvenile humpback whale weaved its way in and out of kelp beds. 

Left in the safe enclave of the bay while its mother went out to sea, the young humpback followed schools of anchovy, and over the next several hours (I stayed until my camera battery went kaput) the 15 - 20 foot barnacled beauty circled around both sides of the pier, providing us human bystanders with the thrill of a lifetime. While standing on the pier, people came and went throughout the day, and I listened to languages spoken by visitors from all over the world. Every time we caught a glimpse of the whale reemerging, or bursting up out of the cool, clear water in a head lunge—the universal excitement and pure joy felt by everyone was unmistakable.

A day I'm sure none of us will ever forget, and a whale of a time. 



Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Morro Bay: A Local Gadabout's Getaway

Morro Bay Harbor
Prior to my permanent move to San Luis Obispo County over a decade ago, I visited this coastal wonderland on many occasions. Although I no longer fit the bill of a tourist, I still consider myself a local sightseer. 

I work hard in order to live in here, and play hard by exploring SLO County's idyllic terrain. During my weekend outings I thrive discovering the Central Coast's regional avant-garde. 

But during summertime's high tourist season I often avoid certain venues, thinking to myself, "That's for the tourists." Until recently. 

Over the last few weeks, while roaming about the seaside community of Morro Bay, I abandoned my self-limiting beliefs long enough to realize: maybe the out-of-towners know something I don't. 

What did I find by following the crowd? A long line worth the wait and a fresh view of Morro Bay's harbor. 

If you fancy fish and chips, line up with the scores of tourists at Giovanni's Fish Market & Galley. Located on the heavily visited Embarcadero, this waterfront market sells fresh seafood, while its adjoining outdoor restaurant serves up maritime specialties like deep fried halibut and calamari, barbecued oysters, clam chowder, burgers and seafood sandwiches. Adults can bevy up with beer, wine and select mixed drinks; kids can keep happy with fish on a stick and fried oreos. 

I decided to wait in Giovanni's never-ending line to see what all the hype was about. While standing there for almost an hour, I stared out at the harbor—with glassy views of blue waters and the behemoth Morro Rock—listening intently to the the out-of-town couple in front of me. I learned they visit this fishmonger's establishment whenever visiting Morro Bay, and based on the number of people lined up before and after me, I got the impression many other visitors do the same. 

When I finally sat down with my order of fish and chips ($10.99), I squeezed a little fresh lemon over the top and eagerly dipped Givoanni's popular finger food into their tangy tartar sauce. My verdict? Hot and crispy. Fried to perfection. Well worth the wait.   

Lost Isle Adventure Tours

Once you've eaten the local sea life, explore the water. Believe it or not, Morro Bay has a Tiki boat—and you can hop aboard daily during the summer. With a dock located on the Embarcadero, Lost Isle Adventure Tours departs hourly, offering guests a 60-minute plen-air cruise around the harbor. 

Once aboard the Tiki boat, Lost Isle sells adult beverages (and hot chocolate for the kids), provides blankets in case guests catch a chill, and the captain jovially educates about local surroundings and wildlife. 

For my ten-dollar ticket, I thought the boat ride was a steal. We zipped around Morro Bay Harbor with other seafarers, watched sea otters float peacefully, listened to seals bark, and stopped off for brief exploration on the sand spit with a behind-the-scenes view of Morro Rock. 

If you decide to get lost on a tour, bring cash for the mixed drinks and a big smile for the boat ride. 
Explore your own surroundings like a gadabout!

Click here for more info:

Lost Isle Adventure Tours

Giovanni's Fish Market & Galley


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