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Beachcomber
5199 E. Pacific Coast Hwy. #608
Post Office Box 15679
Long Beach California, 90815-0679
Phone: (562) 597-8000
Fax: (562) 597-9410
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Feature Stories

Watch Gray Whales Migrate for Half Price

From Issue: Volume XX - Number 25
12/14/2012


By Kirt Ramirez

The holiday season – when crowds fill the shopping malls, traffic congests the streets and people rush to parties and festive events.

For those needing a break from the hustle and bustle, an option might be to board the “Christopher” for a few hours – where you will be taken out onto the open ocean for a trip of tranquility. Pacific gray whale season has just begun and the majestic creatures are passing by on their way to Mexico from Alaska.

The state-of-the-art boat – designed for whale watching – glides across the cold Pacific and maneuvers in such a way to get the best view of the gentle giants. Guests bundled in scarves and thick coats often spot dolphins, sea lions and harbor seals as well.

On the big sea, some might be inspired to reflect on God and the birth of the Lord and Savior during this time of celebration.
“We wish everybody a Merry Christmas,” said CEO of Harbor Breeze Cruises and Captain Dan Salas.

In a telephone interview about whales last Sunday evening, Salas seemed to be in a giving mood and made an unusual offer for the readers. He said from the moment this article comes out Dec. 14, and until Jan. 1, he will give two tickets for the price of one to all Beachcomber readers.

The only catch however is people must mention this newspaper.
Gray whale watching prices are normally $35 for one adult, $30 for one senior and $25 for children under 12-years of age. But with Salas’ special, it’s now buy one get one free until New Year’s Day. Children under three are free regardless.

“If they want to come down and take a break – bring family, friends – they can see how beautiful Long Beach is from the water. But they have to mention that they read it in the Beachcomber,” Salas said.

Amber Boyle can be reached at (562) 983-6880 for reservations.
Salas, 49, who has been boating since he was 18, grew up in Long Beach and San Pedro. When he was 12 he delivered newspapers and began helping a boater at the San Pedro docks. He went on to become a tug boat captain and then ventured out to start his own company, which was founded in 1990.
Salas bought his first boat in 1994 and gave his first tour shortly thereafter, his website says.

Today he owns several boats and provides different boat services including harbor tours, private parties, corporate events, memorials at sea, weddings, sport fishing to Catalina, among others. But whale watching remains his specialty.

Eight boats total, some are named after his wife and three children. “Gail Force” relates to his wife. “Caroline” is a daughter. “Kristina” is the middle daughter. “Christopher” is the eight-year-old son.

Whale watching tours leave from dock number two – near the Aquarium of the Pacific. Gray whale trips are daily at noon and 3 p.m., seven days a week through mid-May. The website is www.longbeachcruises.com.

“They loved it,” said visitor Jon Celaya of his wife and children, who were here from Utah. “It was nice to be out there on the ocean.”

kirt@longbeachcomber.com