A yacht that goes by the name of First Star that was voted one of the favorites of Cruising World magazine. A captain who goes by the name of Matthew Mancini, who loves introducing people to sailing. An array of islands that go by the names of Catalina, Santa Barbara, Anacapa, and San Miguel. Put all of these elements together and you have Old Plank Sailing Adventures. Old Plank Sailing Adventures' Captain Matthew Mancini corrals visitors aboard a luxury yacht and then whisks them on various adventures throughout the sparkling waters.
The sailor keeps guests closer to home on jaunts around Marina del Rey's picturesque harbor or leads them on multiday adventures to nearby islands. He also captains dinner cruises, whale watching expeditions, and moonlight sails in Santa Monica Bay, where all the fish are named Monica.
The staff members at Another Side Of Los Angeles Tours take an unconventional approach to sightseeing. The goal is to fashion an experience that is as much about the sights as it is about the tour itself. Sightseers glide along the surface of the sea during kayaking tours that can convert to snorkeling expeditions, hike through LA’s mountains, or steal behind-the-scenes glimpses at Warner Brothers Studios. The company’s segway tours wheel customers through downtown Los Angeles, down Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, and along the scenic shores of Santa Monica and Venice Beach like a king crab that discovered a more efficient way to move. In addition to information and adventure, the company frequently gives tour takers round-trip transportation, waives entrance fees, and serves bites to eat.
Every day, millions of tons of snowmelt from high up in the Sierras rushes hundreds of miles downstream and pours into the San Francisco Bay. There, it slams into a surge of seawater to form an ecosystem at once constant and constantly changing. It?s there that the photographers and naturalists of SF Bay Whale Watching set out to observe and capture stunning images on daily adventures.
Onboard the stalwart Kitty Kat, captain Joe Nazar skippers wildlife-seeking tours that might spy migrating whales, local sea lions, or killer whales. The spacious deck and large-windowed cabin make beautiful views bountiful. While a naturalist lectures, the ship sails past such landmarks as the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz Island.
First String Sportfishing sails the open seas off of Southern California, taking passengers on both fishing voyages and educational marine tours. Its largest boat, First String, can hold up to 149 people for its whale-watching tours. On board the 93-foot boat, you’ll find two 9-ton fish holds, two radars, a large-screen television, and a dolphin-to-English dictionary. First String Sportfishing’s other boats depart for both Californian and Mexican waters on fishing excursions. These trips typically yield shallow-water rockfish such as Sculpin and Whitefish and larger varieties including yellowtail and barracuda.
Ordinarily it's bad news if your plane is in the water, but not so at San Diego Seaplanes, where the flying machines are made for aquatic takeoffs and landings. On any given day, the small planes whisk passengers in a romantic journey from the water's surface up into the air above San Diego, where they can survey the skyline, see California grey whales below, swoop over Coronado Island, and take in the San Diego Zoo and SeaWorld.
Despite its name, San Diego Seaplanes doesn't only serve America's Finest City. The pilots also transport passengers around the Hawaiian Islands, Baja California, and areas of the Caribbean known for their dolphins that race the planes.
Though she's only a few decades old, the Privateer has already retired to a warmer climate. In May 2011—after 28 years of ferrying passengers around on whale-watching trips in brisk Massachusetts waters—she made her way down the Atlantic, through the Panama Canal, and to the warm San Diego coast. She hasn't stopped working, however. The Privateer still carries up to 149 passengers across ocean waves during sunset cruises. With her roomy outdoor decks, she makes it easy for people to have unobstructed views of the pink-and-gold horizon kissing the Pacific's azure waters.