Monday, January 19, 2015

Discovering Our Local Ocean on Board the Sea Life Discovery !

On Top Of and Underwater Viewing !

 Sunday was a real treat for our family !

Did you know that there is a SemiSub in local Orange County ? Yup - and we were lucky enough to be invited on board the Sea Life Discovery for a 1.5 hour tour around SoCal's OC coastline.

The location is so easy to find. Park in the main parking lot of the Fun Zone at Balboa and walk to the Ferris wheel and you run into the ticket booth !

We were greeted by Debbie. She is the co owner, along with her husband Ken, of the Sea Life Discovery. This couple brought the Sea Life Discovery down from Alaska after 12 years and relocated it to sunny SoCal and started running the tours back up again in the summer of 2014. It took them 2 weeks to get the SemiSub down here.

We were so excited to get on board - none of us have ever been on anything like this before.

Boarding time was 9:45am for our 10am departure.
We were ready !

We made our way down the dock and onto the Sea Life Discovery !


Everyone was loving the view . There is outside viewing with a cover and viewing without a cover in open space. We chose to start sitting inside so that we were out of the sun and enjoy some of it later as we cruised the coast line.

The inside of the SemiSub that was covered was super roomy and had a lot of space for passengers to sit comfortably and move about !

We got a cup of water and sat back to enjoy the on top of viewing ! The girls were so excited to see the underwater viewing I was barely able to keep them in a seat ... seriously !

This was out view looking back on to main land dock from the SemiSub. It really is in the heart of the Fun Zone !

Our Guides told us we were ready to depart ! I have got to tell you that Nate and Mike are great. They teamed up to create a very educational and comfortable tour. Nate was our main guide.. he is a driven young guy that has a heap of education and real knowledge behind him about local wildlife and more. He said he was working towards a Masters in Marine Biology... go go go .. that is awesome !

We left the dock and we were off on our sea life adventure. About 12 mins out or so we were told that we were almost to our first viewing area.. oh let me say that again .. UNDERWATER viewing area ! 

 We were told to go ahead and follow Mike down the stairs and into the sub portion of our SemiSub !
What !? I know, Right !!!! The girls were so excited and I was super happy for Mikey since he is a huge huge fan of the Submarines at Disneyland. I knew he would love it !

Once we got down to the lower level were were like kids in a candy store. There really is something just amazing about sealife. The thrill of knowing your swimming with the fishes with out swimming with the fishes is soooo cool ! 

My husband and I were in awe with all of the sealife we were able to "SEA" hehe.. We saw many schools of fish ! 

We were able to catch a small ghost shrimp on our window, who were were told, would be brunch to another sea friend any moment. 

After a few mins we were told that were entered a kelp bed ! So amazing to see on both sides of us !
These giant kelp are about 35' to 40' and can get up to 100' .

Nate told us that in calm waters they can grow up to 2' per day and ideally the temp for the water would be about 50 to 60 deg.

We made it to a few more viewing areas and were also visited by a sea lion. The sea lion was towards the back of the SemiSub bobbing in and out of the bubbles.. The kids got a kick out of that lil guy !

After everyone went up to the upper viewing the girls stayed behind to enjoy the sub alone and really explore one end to the other . They said there is so many windows that they feel like they are swimming under water. 

We ventured back up top to the viewing and really enjoyed just looking at the coast. It really is picturesque ! We are so lucky to live in a place where we can take part in something like this year round !

On our way to Pirate's Cove !

We toured from Balboa Fun Zone, to Newport and around to CDM by way of little CDM . It truly was a relaxing and fun way to spend our morning ! I was sad we were on our way back !!!

On our way back, Nick told us about how much weight it takes to keep an air filled SemiSub down under water !! 
Did you know that the Sea Life Discovery has at least 40K pounds of weight in its seating area that is heavy cement ! WOW ! That's a lot of weight in our seats ! 

As we got closer to where we departed from we passed by a group of sea lions ! So cute !!! I cant even take it. My kids, my husband and myself were all in awe at how the one in the middle was just propped up across by the bell . lol It was the sweetest and funniest thing !

Just a few moments passed and we were greeted with at least 4 different kinds of birds. 
The two that were so fascinating to mu kids...the Western Gulls (cause they take 4 yrs to go from juvenile to adult) and the Brown Pelicans (lol cause they can hold 3 gallons of water and fish in their neck!) 

On our way back in we passed by the warning system for Balboa Peninsula. The things you never knew existed in your local harbor... 

I loved seeing the Irvine house.. you know.. the one right there in the middle that is said to be the color NEWPORT BLUE ! Can't miss it. Well, I would love to visit the indoor underwater pool !!

We cruised at an easy 5mph into the harbor (that's the speed limit) but what I did not realize was that while to me it felt like we were going much faster than that, the resistance from the current was pushing against us at a rate that was slowing us down to 3mph. 

As we docked, Nick pointed out that the current was probably going at a rate of about 1 to 2 feet per hour ! The tide was moving fast !

We couldn't believe that was already an hour and a half ! We all had such a great time and totally wanted more out on the ocean ! We learned a lot in that time too !


HUGE thanks to Ken, Debbie, Mike and Nick for the BEST SemiSub Tour in OC - Our favorite TOUR in SoCal so far! Not only did we enjoy the sights on top of and underneath the waters of our oceans but the kids faces were what put us over the top !

We totally think the crew and owners are awesome and incorporate an educational element. 
They definitely know how to make it enjoyable for everyone of all ages !

To keep the winter in SoCal fun, Debbie has offered a very affordable discount code for WINTER RATES !

You can Get more info on Sea Life Discovery and all their pricing HERE . 
You can also order tickets directly HERE with their online interactive booking . 

When you order you can enter - 12CtheSea 

This is a great way to view and learn about SoCal Marine Life from Newport Bay to Arch Rock. The Kelp forest, birds and fish are just the obvious that you would get to enjoy on this awesome tour !

Just for Reading along and sharing the day with me while I tweeted along, Debbie has said I can give away TWO tickets !!!! Enter Below for a chance to win !!

Thank you to everyone at Sea Life Discovery Tours !
We had the best day out at sea in our local waters !

Hope to come back soon - It was Super SEArific !

#SeaLifeDiscovery #Tours #SemiSub #BoatTours #SeaLifeSoCal #SoCalFun #FamilyFun #UnderwaterViewing #SemiSub #ThingsToDoInOC #LA #OC #SoCal #Newport #FunZone #SoFun #FunForAll #Giveaway

**Thank you Sea Life Discovery for inviting us on the tour and for the promotional items to give away two tickets and the discount code. All opinions are my own.**

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