Whale Watching = Happily Ever After? It Did For This Couple

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Beatrice and Michael met on a whale-watching tour in San Francisco (Photo: Beatrice Meadows)

Who: Beatrice Meadows and Michael Penn Sr.

Where we met: Sausalito, Calif.

When: April 25, 2005

Status: Living together

(As told by Beatrice)

I lived in Atlanta, and I went to San Francisco to visit a friend for my birthday. He wanted to do something special for my big day, so he suggested that we go whale watching. Of course I said, “Yes!” And we boarded the whale-watching boat from Sausalito, Calif., on the most beautiful day.

On the boat, I met Michael, a nice, handsome gentleman who lived in San Francisco. I told him that I was from Atlanta, and he shared that he had visited there a lot over the course of eight years, when both of his sons attended Morehouse College. His wife of 36 years had passed away a year prior, so he was on the whale-watching boat as a bonding trip with his sons. The day was sunny, and the ocean was calm as we journeyed to Farallon Islands in San Francisco. Eventually, the boat stopped where we could look for whales. We saw five gray whales that day! The whales were beautiful, but Michael also caught my attention. Hearing him talk about his travels to the captain of the boat and seeing the big smile on his face definitely had me intrigued. I found him interesting, and we talked a bit on the boat but did not pursue anything further. When the tour was over, he wished me a safe journey back home, and we parted ways.

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After meeting, Beatrice moved to San Francisco to be closer to Michael. (Photo: Beatrice Meadows)

The next day, my friend took me to Sonoma County’s wine country for some wine tasting. I started thinking about Michael and wished I had given him my contact information.

After returning home, I found myself still thinking about Michael. I called the whale-watching tour company and asked the receptionist named Christie to take my phone number and email and give them to Michael. I knew she would have his info, as he had to provide it to book the tour. She agreed to do it, and a few days later, Michael called! We had a very nice conversation, and he admitted that he was interested in me but did not know my situation since I was on the boat with a male friend. He also said he thought I was adventurous!

After a few conversations, he invited me to a fraternity meeting in Houston, and I said, “Yes!” And then he asked if he could come visit me and take me shopping. Of course, I said, “Yes.”

Michael came to Atlanta, and I picked him up at the airport. A part of me was worried that I wouldn’t remember what he looked like, but as soon as I saw him, I totally remembered.

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The next day, we went shopping for dressy and evening clothes for the activities in Houston. There was a high tea on the agenda, so we also went shopping for a hat and gloves. It was a nice visit, and I started to realize how much I liked him. He was charming, and I loved the way he treated me.


Beatrice and Michael love to go on cruises together. (Photo: Beatrice Meadows)

We had a really great and memorable time in Houston. After we returned to our homes, we talked nonstop. We had so much fun on the first trip that we decided to go on a cruise to Hawaii. We met in Honolulu and sailed the islands for seven days. This is when we both realized that we had something special. We talked about being together, however, he did not want to leave San Francisco. I had been in Atlanta my entire life, so I thought that it was time for a little change. Without hesitation, I decided to find a new job and move to San Francisco.

I moved to San Francisco on Oct. 20, 2006! And we’ve been extremely happy together ever since. Both of us went on that first boat nearly 10 years ago just to see whales; we surely never thought that we would find love. Since then, we’ve been on eight cruises together, and I am thankful that I have found a partner who I can share adventures with.

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