Saturday, June 28, 2008

Watching the Whales (Canada 5)

Lakes and Lagoons
Butchart Gardens
Elk and Beaver

Finally, what you've all been waiting for - the Big Trip of our visit to Victoria BC. On a cloudy but nice day we set out hoping see, in my and ck's case, our first ever orcas in the wild.

We used a wonderful company called Great Pacific Adventures who run two boats, one rigid raider and one yacht. silentmum and I were wanting to go on the raider, but when we discovered the boats went out at different times, we all elected to go together on the yacht.Waiting with bated breath for the trip - 'it is time yet?' was the constant query of nine year old Boo.Once on the boat, Boo was a natural..........
We stood at the rail and scanned the water for signs of orca life....Oh my god - is that one.....?...we strained our eyes at the little black blob on the blue sea....
Well, it's definitely fin-shaped.....Yay - there's the white dorsal mark! It's a killer whale called Pender, who is a transient who has been visiting the straits for over 40yrs.

The resident orca weren't there, but Pender entertained us for a couple of hours. Orcas do deep dives, which involve a submersion for anything from 10 to 15 minutes and then three or four breaths at the surface to suck oxygen before going into another deep dive. Pender would take his breaths and then deep dive, surfacing about 1/4 mile we never knew where he would come up.

We were watching him sweep the water when we realised that, while we were staring intently at the choppy water, he had found and partaken of a little light luncheon - probably a porpoise. Without a clear view and below water it is called a secret kill.

So, we did see our killer whale and had a wonderful day out on a magical trip. Not only did we see an orca, we also saw harbour seals, stellar seals and Californian sea lions - even a bald eagle nest with a baby eagle peeking out over the edge.

It was a beautiful day out with some of my closest friends, seeing sea animals in their wild environment. A once in a lifetime opportunity.



Last Girl On Earth - Deni Bonet said...

What a great day this must have been. And you got to see nature in action! Hope the rest of your summer is just as wonderful. Michele sent me today, but I probably would have made it over soon by myself!

Anonymous said...

Hello from Michele sent me - Wow that is so cool to see the whale!. How are you enjoying the Mao book? It has been on my wish list. I have read, "Mao a Life" by Philip Short, but thing Jung Chang's would be better.

Anonymous said...

That must have really been something to see. Killer whales are awe-inspiring to me.

Thanks for sharing with us CQ.

Jean-Luc Picard said...

That was a real highlight, with a killer whale making an appearance.

Michele sent me here

R. Sherman said...

I got distracted between Michele's and here. Greetings from her. And great whale pics!


Nikki-ann said...

What a fantastic sight! :) It sounds like a wonderful trip!

Michele sent me today. I hope you've had a good weekend :)

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Oh, How FABULOUS for you and CK and Boo, too! What a fantastic thing to watch this wonder-of-the-world...Doing HIS Thing....! And so Close-Up!