June 24, 2009

The Wonder of Whales

How do you measure the quality of a moment? What is it that makes some indelible and others ephemeral? Why aren't all moments created equal?

Today was one of those types of days. It was grey and overcast with a little bit of rain in the air. The water was steely but calm and nature seemed to be holding it's breath. An eagle floated slowly past, harbor porpoises surfaced erratically and the breezes were still. There was a sense of bridled anticipation coming from the guests, the crew and even from the boat itself. Would the whales move out of range? Would we have traveled all those miles simply to see empty ocean? Would our memories be restricted to the wind and the waves?

Alas, no, the other companies had not led us astray. As we cleared Boundary Pass and entered the Strait of Georgia there were the other wildlife watching boats and whale blows and Orca dorsal fins could be seen amongst them. We slowly joined the throng so as not to disturb the magic that the whales cast over everyone and took our place in the moment. It did not take us long to realize that there were family groups spread everywhere and that you had to keep your eyes moving to take it all in. We saw J1 "Ruffles", J28 "Polaris" and J26 "Mike" among others. All of J pod seemed to be there with some extras as well. The animals were excitable and transferred that energy to us through their breaches and spyhops, tail slaps and splashes.

As always our time with the Orcas seemed too short, but soon we had been there nearly an hour and it was time to head back. We slowly departed the dream-like scene just as we had arrived and watched as the whales and their human sentinels faded into the foggy background. Our minds cataloging and storing the precious memories that we had just amassed. So, from all of us at San Juan Safaris to all of you dreamers out there, thank you and we will...

See You In The Islands!
~Tristen, Naturalist

Orca Whales and Wildlife Are Our Only Business. ©