For those who don’t want to wait patiently for the action to come to them, catch a ride aboard a whale-watching expedition out of Pillar Point Harbor in Half Moon Bay. What’s so special about Pillar Point? It’s the launch pad for a winter giants twofer: whales and waves. Six to 8 miles off its shore is the Whale Highway, a prime route for the Grays. Sightings are not guaranteed—they peak between now and April—but if it’s rush hour, the payoff is great. The bonus feature of the charter trips is the chance to get up close to the world famous Mavericks surf break. Tour boats typically cruise by the break when it’s active on non-competition days (on competition day, the price of a seat on these tours skyrockets). Brace yourself—if you think Gray Whales are large, wait till you see these waves.
TIP: Pick up the freshest and tastiest Dungeness crab from one of the many fishermen at Pillar Point Harbor. Prices run about $6 per pound. Take your fresh crab to the nearby Princeton Seafood Company (next to the Harbormaster) where they will cook, clean and put your crab on ice for $2 each.
The Oceanic Society’s Half Moon Bay Whale Watching Trip happens every Saturday and Sunday through the season. The cost is $45 per adult and $40 per kid (reservations: 415-474-3385.) A naturalist is on board to point out the wildlife and answer questions.