Our time at the coast was coming to an end. This was always the melancholy part of the trip; the last day. We had so much fun celebrating my youngest daughter's birthday playing in the sand, eating fish 'n chips, and watching the sun set turn the ocean waters pink. Today turned out blustery, and white caps filled the bay making the water look like a churning cauldron.
We drove out to the large rock where we always spent the last two hours of our weekend jaunt to Morro Bay. Seagulls filled the sky with their squawking squabbles over the savory scraps left behind by visitors. We watched surfers make their way out over rolling waves waiting for the perfect ride.
"Let's go over to the bay side of the rock," said Ron. "You guys up for that?"
"Sure!" exclaimed Kendall. "That's sounds just fine."
Ron pulled out and started around the rock. I had my eyes fixed on the water in the bay when something grey flashed by. My heart leapt into my chest. "What was that?" I exclaimed. "Did you guys see that?"
"No, what did you see?" asked Ron.
"I don't know! I think it was a dolphin!" I said.
"A dolphin? Where?" yelped Annalise from the back seat.
"I don't see anything," exclaimed Kendall.
"I don't know for sure, but something big just came up right out there!" I pointed to the area where I had seen the flash of grey.
"It was probably one of the otters that camp out over here," said Ron.
"There's no way it was an otter. It was way too big!" I said.
Suddenly there it came again and a spray of water shot up into the air. "Ohhh! I think it's a whale!" I gasped.
"I wanna see! I wanna see!" yelped Kendall.
"Where Mommy? Where?" asked Annalise. Our excitement was electric as we jumped out of the van and stood along the water's edge scanning for any sign of life.
Whoosh! The sound caught our attention. Our eyes riveted to the water spouting into the air. Then the large grey whale surfaced. "Ohhh!" we exclaimed.
"Look! Look! Do you see it? It's a whale! It's a whale!" I shouted.
"Ohhh!" Annalise shouted. "I see it! I see it! Look!"
"Wow!" said Kendall as the whale rolled forward giving us a view of its long, grey, back. We waited for its tale to emerge, but it never did.
"Wow! That's really something." said Ron. "In all the years I've been coming here, that's a first!"
We stood in awe, watching the water to see if we could catch another glimpse of this awesome creature. We heard it before we saw it. Whoosh! Water spewed into the air forming a large rushing spout, and that long, grey, back slowly rolled forward again.
"There it is again! Look!" shouted Annalise pointing at the water.
"Ohhh! Wow!" we exclaimed. We stood there for over an hour earnestly watching the bay for the next glimpse of the whale. It was surreal and each time it surfaced, we squealed with excitement.
As the wind picked up and a chill filled the air, Kendall snuggled up close to me. "Well, did you enjoy your birthday trip to the beach, Sissy?" I asked.
"Yes! I most certainly did!" she exclaimed.
"It was pretty cool seeing that whale," said Ron.
"Yeah," I said. "God sent you a birthday present Kendall."
"Well, that's a pretty great birthday present!" she said.
We stood for a few minutes more, not wanting to say goodbye to the beautiful coast, but eventually we climbed back into the van. As we drove away, we all craned our necks to the water along the rock, hoping to catch one last glimpse of the whale. "God," I breathed a silent prayer. "Thank you for your awesome creation and for blessing my daughter on her birthday."
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