June 21, 2017

Voyage for the Humpback Whales

[6/20/17 ~ Sea Lion 1:30 Departure]

Yesterday was a record-breaking day for me aboard the M/V Sea Lion. I've been pretty far north before, close enough to see the skyscrapers of greater Vancouver, but yesterday I was lucky enough to go even further north into the Strait of Georgia. Lead by a report of two familiar humpback whales in the Strait of Georgia, and no whales closer by, Captain Gabe took us full speed up to the water northeast of Galiano Island. 

Thankfully, the day was just about as gorgeous as they get. The sun was gleaming off of the turquoise water, our boat surrounded by glass-calm seas and cedar-crested islands. We scooted into the Canadian Gulf Islands, winding our way through narrow passageways bordered by cliffsides, evergreens, and rustic manors. The winds were warm and gentle, awarding passengers with a rare almost-t-shirt-weather day despite the chilly water temperatures and the speed of the boat. When we finally cut through Active Pass and stuck our nose out into the Strait of Georgia, we were exstatic to see two huge blows off in the distance - humpback whales!

When we arrived, we were greeted by astounding looks of these two school-bus-sized animals as they surfaced just a mere 100 yards from our boat. Their breaths shot into the air with a powerful sigh, reaching heights of about 20 feet off the surface of the water. As this pair slowly meandered even further north, we observed syncronized breaths and graceful fluke-out dives, followed by relatively short down-times. What a blessing after that long voyage north!

After one final, beautiful dive, we turned our boat around and started our journey back to Friday Harbor. Along the way we glimpsed seals, porpoises, and more than a few bald eagles soaring overhead. The scenery was breathtaking and the rest of the day stretched in front of us as we pulled into the dock for the afternoon. You couldn't have asked for better conditions for an adventure!