Friday, September 26, 2008

Whales and Sea Lions Oh My

I had two expectations when planning a trip to Victoria, BC. One – gardens. Two – whales.

Although being late in the year, almost October, the gardens were a feast to the eyes. Even though we had to see them through ‘rain covered’ glasses, it was well worth the wet clothes and chilled bones.

Hubby researched whale site-seeing trips and chose “Prince of Whales”. We checked the internet and the previous day provided lots of activity on the whale front. It seems two pods of transient killer whales had been sighted.

Transient being key, as we discovered the next day, when the biologist said the captain was trying to find a whale sighting. The killer whales had moved on (dang) as that is why they are called transient.
Oh, not like a couple of miles but a few hundred miles.

Not to worry though, a gray whale had been spotted feeding along a huge shelf which I can’t recall the name of. We sped right over and sure enough we had us a whale to see. This particular whale was feeding on the fish along the shelf and was not in the mood to show off. He or she would come up close to the top of the water, blow off some steam, arch his middle out of the water two or three times then head to the bottom again to feed. I know there must have been a head and tail attached but we never saw it.

I took pictures whenever someone yelled “there she blows”. The marine biologist on board explained all there is to know about gray whales. They are fascinating creatures and I can understand why everyone gets so excited about Nessy. In fact this whale looked a bit like the pictures I’ve seen of the infamous Lock-Nest Monster.

After we followed the gray whale up and down the coast line the captain decided we had spent enough time on whales and needed to see some other interesting sea creatures. Half an hour later we were on another coast line near a lighthouse where rock outcroppings were covered in seals and birds.

I know the biologist told us the type of seals – stellar and ? – I do remember the total population was males. They were so handsome I got busy snapping photographs and couldn’t hear anything else. The whale may have been shy but these fellas were regular show offs!

We were able to get fairly close and watch them in action; barking, sleeping, swimming and a general hamming it up for the audience.

The best whale watching happens during the summer months into first part of September. Although we learned that tidbit after we left Victoria harbor, it was still fun to see the gray whale (what I now understand was fortunate indeed) and we got to sit on a comfortable bench out of the rain and visit with people from all around the globe.

On the trip back the sun came out and a beautiful rainbow rose up over Victoria harbor, just icing on the cake to a wonderful day!

1 comment:

Ron S. said...

Wow....this was a 'whale' of a good time!!!