Saturday, 22 May 2010

We got the Hump

How awesome was today? 40 tonnes of awesome that’s how much. Waking up this morning excited at the prospect of seeing some of God’s wonderfully wild creatures we skipped breakfast at our “less than wonderful” hotel and made our way directly to Friday Harbor to grab a bite to eat, before quickly heading toward the marina, down the gangway and onto the Western Prince II, preparing for a day on the water we would never forget.

The Western Prince II is a 35ft’ish boat that tours around the San Juan islands carrying like minded people on a water safari in search of Big Game, such as Orcas/Killer Whales (both mammal and fish feeding …bet you didn’t know there was a difference), Grey Whales, Dall’s Porpoise, Harbor Seals, Bald Eagles and even Minke Whales. As the boat manoeuvred gently out of the packed marina and began its navigation around the many islands set like jewels in the Strait of Georgia, we were reminded that we were on the hunt for wild animals and wild animals will generally do their own thing, quite often not showing up on cue. We therefore shouldn’t be disappointed if all we saw was the odd seagull. We’ll they couldn’t have been more wrong!

15 minutes into riding the waves, Captain Pete received a radio transmission from another Captain on the waves, that a rare sighting had been confirmed 6 miles north of our present location. Relaying this message to Nan and Chris (his first and second mates) we, along with the other 24 passengers were informed that Humpback Whales had been spotted ejecting 15ft water fountains from their blowholes. We pounded the waves for a few more minutes and then arrived at the reported place. Engines switched off and with everyone holding their breath …then suddenly “There she blows”, screamed a very excited passenger. With digital cameras pointed in all directions frantically taking panicked shots of anything that moved, we all managed to miss the 30 tonne mammal effortlessly powering its way through the open water. Round 1 to the Whale! Anthony, not used to losing Rounds, composed himself, focused, and got the camera ready for Round 2. We think a picture speaks a thousand words, so no more chitter-chatter from us, just take a look at the photos of whales, eagles, birds and rams.

… we met some great people on the boat and had a wonderful time admiring the beautiful scenery and wildlife. We docked 3½ hours later, and had a quick drink at the bar before returning to the room for some R&R. 9pm! Dinner tonight was a rushed affair, but none the less very pleasant.

Back on the road tomorrow, heading into Canada.

Us x

1 comment:

  1. Hi guys

    Top marks for wildlife photos today, it must have been fantastic seeing the whales, seals, birds, etc. We are just back from Holly's 50th birthday, held down on the Hampshire coast in a place called Tukal. Check it out on Google and Google Earth, it is an amazing house and location. We were checked into a hotel up the road with Simon but nearly wished we had accepted the invitation to camp in the grounds. Love to you both from Holly and Mark, you would have loved to be there. Simon fell asleep on a chair at 22:30 shortly after being told that the taxi would be about 30 mins, his response to which was "I've had an idea, I'll drive us back"....yeah, hello mr police officer (best case), hello mr tree (worst case). Any way the taxi duly arrived and we were all tucked up by midnight so not too much damage done in spite of a relatively early start.

    Blogs sound like you had a good time in Seattle, only a shame about the overpriced hotel, but nothing different here. We paid £14.95 (yes, that's right) for a very mediocre breakfast this morning).

    We'll be watching you as we head towards the end of May bank holiday weekend. Wish you were here to sit on the terrace with us, it as 27 degrees today, 29 forecast for tomorrow (Monday). Don't worry, it will only last until Tuesday and then the great British summer is officially over and we can start looking forward to Christmas.

    Big love & kisses
    T&MG xxx