May 7, 2012

Going the Extra Mile.....or 30!

point roberts

point roberts

Today we definitely went the extra mile. Out of the harbor we were immediately faced with a tough decision… head south to a confirmed Humpback Whale sighting that we could easily reach, or take the chance of catching up with some Orcas that were spotted in Canada and heading north.

Captain Mike went with his gut and we headed north. We made our way through the San Juan Channel and Presidents Channel seeing several Harbor Porpoises, Harbor Seals, and even a few Steller Sea Lions in the open water, but we remained on the hunt. We continued north past East point and through the Strait of Georgia. Passengers were growing weary as we made our way deeper into Canada, but the crew knew what was coming and couldn’t be more anxious. As we reached Vancouver the boats began to emerge on the sea’s horizon and we knew we were getting close. Binoculars were out and glued to everyone’s eyes and we spotted the first dorsal fin at Robert’s Bank, immediately followed by another. Turns out the Resident Orcas heard how determined we were to see them and decided to turn around and come say hi - at least that is my take on it.

 

We followed the first two whales for about 15 minutes and had to start heading back, but just as the boat gained speed we spotted another two. Then we started seeing several more orcas, both off in the distance, and as close as 200 yards away. The passengers and crew grew very excited and it seemed as though the Residents fed off our excitement. A young calf started Breaching, followed by an older member of the pod Lobtailing, and another Spy Hopping. It was an amazing site to see! We then continued to travel with the Residents for a significant amount of time as we made our way back home. The passengers were very tired from the excitement, but were livened up once again when we got a second look at East Point. The small rock was covered with Steller’s, Harbor seals, and even a couple of Bald Eagles separating the two. This trip couldn’t have gotten any better! Looking forward to the next day on the water!

 

 

Naturalist, Tara