One weekend while I was in California last month, my parents, myself, and my future sister-in-law hopped in the car and headed up to Monterey to visit my brother at his University. The timing couldn't have worked out more perfectly since I was already planning on heading up North for a blate with miss Hayley and to help send Mckenzie off to the Peace Corps.
We arrived in Monterey late Friday afternoon to the most beautiful sunny weather! My mom and I enjoyed a nice jog along the ocean that evening and then the five of us headed out for a delicious dinner at Montrio Bistro. The following morning we were up early and ready to take advantage of another gorgeous day and after enjoying a huge breakfast at First Awakenings we hopped on over to the beach to rent kayaks.
My parents and I jumped into a three-seater kayak and my brother and Robyn chose a two-seater. We paddled our way out past the harbor and into a little bay filled with a kelp forest. On the way we passed a ton of sea lions with many of them swimming right next to the kayaks in order to scope out all of the action. Super cute, but also super smelly, ha!
Once we had navigated our way into the bay itself we were excited to see a few otters floating on their backs in the kelp beds. At one point we even spotted a little baby otter swimming after its mother, although I wasn't quick enough to snap a photo of it! After about an hour of drifting around the bay, we decided to slowly make our way back to the beach and call it a day.
Overall the experience was a ton of fun and something I would recommend to anyone visiting the Monterey Bay area. Although this wasn't my first time ocean kayaking, it was my first time kayaking in Monterey and definitely ranks as my best kayak experience yet. Being able to get so close to otters in their natural habitat was really neat and definitely one of the highlights of the trip.
The only thing that was a little bit scary for me at first was the fact that there were a ton of jellyfish everywhere. I happen to be absolutely terrified of jellyfish, so knowing that they were just a "tip" away took some getting used to! For the first 15 or 20 minutes I just kept repeating "This is really fun, but it's also really terrifying!" After awhile I forgot about them though, and just started to enjoy all of the other wildlife and scenery ;)
If you're a beginner or are hesitant about getting out on the water on your own, Monterey Bay Kayaks also offers group tours led by a guide which looked like a lot of fun!