The Blowhole and Beyond: Whalefest Monterey

Whale-watching trips, tunes, and awareness are on dock.

CETACEAN SPECTACULAR: A whale festival, or any gathering celebrating the denizens of the waters, is a funny thing, in a way. Only in the sense that the stars of the fest, the party's honorees, aren't necessarily privy to the fact that the festival is going down, nor do they always show up. Sometimes, though, but that's half the beauty and experience of searching out whales. But Whalefest Monterey isn't just about being out on the waves, binoculars in hand. It's also about what goes on on the shore, at Fisherman's Wharf, which is full of activities and ocean-minded groups and entertainment choices on both days of the January to-do. That to-do gets swimming on Saturday, Jan. 25 and Sunday, Jan. 26, and given that Monterey is billed as the "Whale-watching capital of the world!," we expect cetacean aficionados to be out in full, blowhole-happy force.

THE WEEKEND... is very much about spotlight "the migration of the gray whales," so look for plenty of gray whale goodness to be out in force at the Wharf. This means a climb-inside-able 60-foot gray whale -- how do we get one of those for our own den? -- lectures from scientists working at marine stations and sanctuaries from hither to there. Documentaries, music, beach clean-up, visiting "sea creatures" -- ohhhh, mysterious -- and other fun and educational goings-on shall be going down on land. And, yep, there will be cruises, too, if all of the on-shore whale talk gets you in the frame of mind to see a fluke rising among the waves.

WANT MORE... whale-oriented good times? Hang tight: Mendocino County's mondo whale event is up in March.

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