Hundreds of people took advantage of a break in the weather recently for a celebration of all things nautical at the 13th annual Monterey Whalefest.
Visitors to the two-day festival that took place March 18-19 at Fisherman’s Wharf were greeted by mostly sunny skies and, of course, whale-walking and whale-watching.
Whalefest Monterey had something for nearly everyone, including an abalone race, jazz and “orca-stra” music and a symposium with world-renowned marine experts.
For those not familiar with abalone — except perhaps as a main course — they are, in essence, marine snails. This makes the prospect of an abalone race a seeming oxymoron, but visitors enjoyed the event nonetheless.
Other attractions included “Dee,” a 43-foot inflatable humpback whale, courtesy of the Save the Whales organization, through which visitors could walk and see some of the marine mammal’s internal organs.
“The rain held off,” said Wendy Brickman, president of the Fisherman’s Wharf Association, one of the event’s main sponsors. “It was gorgeous out Saturday.”
A brief rain Sunday morning ended before the event got underway. The symposium was held at an indoor venue made available by the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Subjects included timely topics like whale conservation and climate change in national marine sanctuaries.