Determination and grit are key factors for Captain Stagnaro’s trips.
While the crowds clog the boats heading out of Monterey’s wharf, here’s a local secret: you get less cluttered access to the same sea life from Santa Cruz.
Captain Stagnaro and his tribe of marine biology-loving staff do all but pinky swear that you’ll spots whales. Often they’ll toss in dolphins and otters, sea lions and seals, and even, if you come in spring, orcas and great white sharks.
But whales are the draw. Year round these megaliths populate Monterey Bay. This outfit knows how to get you up close with humpbacks, greys, and even the occasional blue as they migrate through these waters.
The road is not easy. Pop that Dramamine. Stock up on the ginger ale. Wear your winter coasts. Hold on to your hats. You’ll motor an hour to Monterey’s canyon for your search.
Some days (though rarely) no whales appear. But other days more exciting shows than the Super Bowl. Dozens of whales diving deep, breaching, eating, slapping the sea. There’s nothing more magnificent than looking a whale eye to eye.
Trips last up the 4 hours, and include lunch and drinks. Mornings trips are best.