CALIFORNIA: Wildlife of the Central Coast

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PHOTOGRAPHY

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SCHEDULED TOURS

2022 :: October 12 - October 16
2023 :: May 11 - May 15

TRIP LEADERS

TOUR COST

From: $5,400 (See details)
Cost is per person, double occupancy from San Jose, California (SJC)

GROUP SIZE

3 Participants

AVAILABILITY

2022: 3 spaces available

PRIVATE TOUR OPTION

This tour is available as a private trip for any size group. The tour cost will vary with the number of people and any custom requests.

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Highlights of CALIFORNIA: Wildlife of the Central Coast

  • Hands-on photo instruction for wildlife and landscape photography with Tamron Ambassador, Alyce Bender
  • Explore the rugged and wildlife filled central coast of California
  • Learn more about the ecology of the slough and get close-up images of southern sea otters, seals, and birdlife while on a private photography eco-cruise.
  • This is a new workshop being offered as a part of our Wildside Limited Series which are limited to three (3) participants and one photography workshop instructor.

Description of CALIFORNIA: Wildlife of the Central Coast

Monterey, California, is a cute seaside town located about an hour and a half south of San Francisco. Surrounded by world class golf courses and made famous by John Steinbeck’s writing, this once industrial sardine packing town, now hosts a bustling abundance of marine life due to concentrated conservation efforts. Often moody, the rugged coastline is chock full of stunning seascapes with plenty of locations to capture that California sunset.

During this photo adventure, mornings will start on one of several beaches, getting sandy, and photographing the multitude of shorebirds that utilize this area of the Pacific Flyway. This photo adventure is timed with the seasonal migrations of over 20,000 birds that use this area for stopover feeding and resting during their journey. Potential species include the endangered western snowy plover, killdeer, sanderlings, marbled godwits, long-billed curlews, black-bellied plovers, black oystercatchers, brown pelicans, willets, Brandt’s and double crested cormorants, various gulls and tern species too.

On one of the days, we will take a cruise looking for whales, dolphins, common murres, and other marine life at sea. We will have about three to four hours out on the Bay. Most days the stars of the cruise are the humpbacks that are here year-round. Behaviors we hope to see include lunge feeding, breaching, tail or chin slaps.
Afternoons will be geared towards sea otters, seals, and sea lions. As a group we will discuss what we want to focus on as sunset arrives, wildlife or landscapes, and we will end the day once the light has gone.

During down time between wildlife action and locations, we will discuss topics such as wildlife and seascape shooting techniques, post processing, and any other similar topics you might have questions about.

Length of Tour

5-days/4-nights

Brief Itinerary

Day 1 – Oct 13th Arrive in San Jose, CA and drive to Monterey

Day 2-4 – October 14th-16th Explore the Californian coast around Monterey Bay for a wide variety of shore, sea, and wading birds, marine mammals, and coastal landscapes. 

Day 5 – Oct 17th Return home from San Jose, CA

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 – Oct 13th Arrive in San Jose, CA and drive to Monterey

We will meet in San Jose with pick up from the airport before making the drive down to Monterey, CA. There we will have a meet and greet dinner where we will discuss what to expect, photography strategies, logistics, and coastal photography protocol and ethical wildlife photography practices. 

Day 2-4 – October 14th-16th Explore the Californian coast around Monterey Bay for a wide variety of shore, sea, and wading birds, marine mammals, and coastal landscapes. 

During this photo adventure, mornings will start on one of several beaches, getting sandy, and photographing the multitude of shorebirds that utilize this area of the Pacific Flyway. This photo adventure is timed with the seasonal migrations of over 20,000 birds that use this area for stopover feeding and resting during their journey. Potential species include the endangered western snowy plover, killdeer, sanderlings, marbled godwits, long-billed curlews, black-bellied plovers, black oystercatchers, brown pelicans, willets, Brandt’s and double crested cormorants, various gulls and tern species too. 

On one of the days, we will take a cruise looking for whales, dolphins, common murres, and other marine life at sea. We will have about three to four hours out on the Bay. Most days the stars of the cruise are the humpbacks that are here year-round. Behaviors we hope to see include lunge feeding, breaching, tail or chin slaps.

Afternoons will be geared towards sea otters, seals, and sea lions. One of the afternoons we will take a chartered pontoon into the estuaries for an even closer look at the marine life and birds that call this area home.

As a group we will discuss what we want to focus on as sunset arrives, wildlife or landscapes, and we will end the day once the light has gone.

During down time between wildlife action and locations, we will discuss topics such as wildlife and seascape shooting techniques, post processing, and any other similar topics you might have questions about.

Day 5 – Oct 17th Return home from San Jose, CA

We will pack out early, catch one last sunrise before heading back to the airport for early afternoon flights home.

Cost

Cost is $5,400 per person, based upon double occupancy, from San Jose, California (Airport code SJC.
This trip ends in same as arrival city (Airport code ).

Cost Includes

Cost includes airport transfers, all ground transportation, accommodations, meals, entrance fees and services of your professional leader(s).

Cost does not Include

Flights to/from destination city, trip insurance, gratuities for boat captains, or anything that is not specifically mentioned in the itinerary.

Minimum Number

If fewer than the minimum number of participants registered the trip can still run with a small-group supplement fee per person determined by the number of participants.

 

Single Supplement

If a single hotel room is preferred, or we are unable to find a suitable roommate for you, a single supplement fee of $450 will be assessed.

NOTE: For boat-based tours, see pricing options for single cabins. Single cabin cost includes the single hotel cost above.

 

Minimum Number

If fewer than the minimum number of required participants are registered, we may still be able to run the trip by adding a small-group supplement fee, per person, determined by the number of participants registered.

 

Deposit Requirements

A $750 deposit per person is required to hold each space on this tour. Deposit may be made online by clicking the "Book Your Trip Now" button and using any credit card. If you prefer, you may call us at 888-875-9453 to pay by phone. You may also mail us a check, however, remember that all space is held on a first come-first served basis as deposits are received.

How to Book

In order to hold your space, click the "Book Your Trip Now" button above and complete the deposit process, including payment of the deposit through our Paypal portal using ANY CREDIT CARD. Upon completion of deposit, please visit our secure, online CLIENT INFORMATION FORM to complete your registration.

Final Payment

For all land-based tours: full payment by check is due 120 days prior to the departure date.

For all boat-based adventure cruises of 7-days or longer: full payment by check is required 180 days prior to departure.

NOTE: If you prefer to use credit card for final payment, a 3% fee may be added to cover the credit card merchant fees we incur.

This trip includes standard hotels.

Activity Level Rating: (Note: 1 is easy and 5 is difficult)

Intermediate – one day at sea on a whale watching cruise with the possibility for seasickness for those so affected.

You want to have a good selection of lenses with you on this trip; obviously telephoto for wildlife and then wide to ultra-wide for landscape. Here are my suggestions:

  • A lighter weight telephoto 300-600mm for the whale watching – I typically carry the Tamron 18-400mm or Tamron 100-400mm for this as tripods and mono-pods are not allowed on-board.
  • Your longest telephoto for wildlife and wading birds on land – I use the Tamron 150-600mm G2 here.
  • A wide or ultra-wide and mid-range lens for environmental and landscape images.
  • Filters – a polarizer can help cut glare on marine wildlife as well as on rocks or waves in landscapes. Neutral density filters will help create long exposures for smoother waterscapes.
  • Tripod for landscapes or for on-land wildlife watching.
  • Microfiber towels/lens cloths for cleaning lenses – we are shooting in a salt air environment so keeping your glass clean will be very important throughout the day.
  • Rain cover – very important if we end up getting any rain and can help keep ocean spray off your camera when we are at sea.
  • Camera strap – the last thing we want is to have your camera accidentally drop overboard so having a sturdy wrist or neck strap is important for the boat portion of this Photo Adventure.
  • Gear and trip insurance – because you never know what might happen. Working around this much water, I always highly suggest having gear insurance as, should the worst come to pass, you want to know that at least you can replace what is damaged.

Purchasing Flights

Do not purchase your flights until the trip has been confirmed to go.

Detailed Trip Information

Upon notification that final payment is due (120 days prior to departure for land based tours / 180 days for boat based tours), you will receive a trip package of detailed information for your tour.

Any additional information about the trip, including lodgings, contacts, participants, meeting locations, etc., will sent about 2 weeks prior to the trip departure, or after final payment is received for late registrants.

Travel Insurance

As with all tours, we highly recommend purchasing Travel Insurance to cover your investment. Please see our section on Travel Insurance.

Passport & Visa

US Citizens may require a visa to enter certain foreign countries. See above for any required visa information.

Participants arriving to the USA from a foreign country may need to get a travel visa to enter the United States. Be sure to check the requirements for your country of origin.

Itinerary Changes

The trip itinerary is developed many months ahead of time. Occasionally, despite our best planning, changes may occur during the trip, or we may be forced to alter our plans. Changes may occur because of weather, road conditions, safety concerns or other circumstances. In these situations, it is the leader(s) responsibility to carefully consider and implement appropriate alternatives. Any additional costs incurred because of changes will be the responsibility of each individual participant. Refunds will not be issued as a result of itinerary changes.

Location Map