When I was a kid, my parents re-decorated our bathroom.
On the wall they hung a photo.
It was a photo of a grey sea, with a whale’s tail lifting out of the water.
Underneath, it said:
“He roams the sea in freedom, with no enemy – save man.”
It touched my heart every time I looked at it.
And I thought: “One day I will see that for myself.”
Over the years I’ve thought about it from time to time.
One day I will see whales in the wild.
Whenever the bucket-list question comes up –
Whale-watching is on mine.
When we’ve been planning holidays before, it seemed out of reach.
Either a long way to go to focus on something that might not happen.
Or that the weather would be cold, and as a Brit I chase the sun whenever I can.
This summer we had another bucket-list holiday planned.
The whole family.
Highway 1, up the coast, San Diego to San Francisco.
As it came nearer it seemed too good to be true.
I was almost afraid to think about it in case I jinxed it and made it not happen.
We started planning what we’d do.
As I looked at the places along the route, I found Monterey.
Home of an amazing Aquarium.
But also, home of whale-watching expeditions.
I did some research.
I wanted a wild experience, not a Sea-Life-esque one.
Two years a