We arose not so early on our last day in San Diego and I stole a few minutes online while Deb and Laurie still slept. Alas, the laptop’s battery became too discharged and it was time to give up on that. Returning to the room, I discovered everyone was almost ready for breakfast. After a hearty meal at the Waffle Spot, it was off to Mission Bay Park and a very long line of cars trying to enter. When we reached the booth, we discovered it was two or three lines coming from different directions.
Our first adventure was a ride up the Skytower, which is a rotating elevator car which rises 265 feet. I got several photos from it. Sorry about the occasional light bulb in the middle of a photo.
On the left is a shot of the Shamu stadium complex. Shows are in the amphitheater at the back. The “green rooms” for the stars are this side of the huge fake fluke. At the lower left is the restaurant arena, where one can dine with a whale show. We declined that notion.
But we did choose to start our day by taking in the Shamu show, which is entitled Believe.
A sharp eye might have noticed some of the orcas warming up, so to speak, in the opening shot above the fold. You can see them better in the shot below on the right. On the left is the “Dining with Shamu” venue.
The route we took to the amphitheater passed through a covered hallway to the left of the backstage area, which is visible in the opening photo above the fold. I couldn’t resist getting some shots there.
At the time, I remember asking if that was the whale’s laptop at the back, though I was certain in my mind that it was actually a scale for weighing these delightful large animals.
Getting shots during the show was harder than I thought it would be, since I had no idea where the whales would surface and my lens had a slow shutter speed, so I have quite a few photos of nothing but splash. But I managed to guess right a few times. I think the pics speak for themselves.
At the end of the show, one of the orcas reminds everyone that they are indeed former land animals by coming out of the water and allowing a small child to touch it.
There is a Shamu cam for people who need one more way to waste time during the day.
The orcas are the largest species of oceanic dolphin. For anyone shocked that they are dolphins and not whales, you can belay that: all oceanic dolphins are classified as whales. If you have been following along, you remember that whales are even-toed ungulates, members of the order Cetartiodactyla.
Orcas are considered conservation dependent. While they are not endangered overall, some local populations are in danger of collapsing due to water and air pollution, elimination of their food supply, whaling and conflicts with non-whaling fishing vessels. Orcas are pack hunters who prey on whales and sea lions, among other marine mammals.