Tuesday, August 13, 2013

EXHIBITION--Inside Passage part 10

We thought the best was behind us as we settled in for the long crossing of the Strait of Georgia.  The soothing waltz of the engine had some of us snoozing and I was making my way through a book when Captain Jeffrey called out, “Whales!”
We grabbed cameras and scrambled up on deck.

A big orca rolled by so close we could see the saddle of gray on his back.  These relatives of the dolphin can get to be twenty to thirty feet long.  This was only one of a group, called a pod, which was surfacing from the waves near our boat.

We caught a glimpse of a small fin near one of the larger whales and guessed it was a youngster with its mom.

We continued to watch and, sure enough, there he was, swimming in the protective custody of his babysitters.

The orcas seemed to be pretty relaxed about our company.  As our cameras clicked away one of the big guys, weighing several tons, leaped out of the water…

…and came splashing down with a force we could almost feel.

Not to be outdone, another breached nearby, only he raised the bar by coming down on his back.

He landed with a flap and we could see the white underside of his tail.

The huge predators played in the water nearby for several minutes while we gawked and grinned in amazement.

These small whales have 40 to 50 four-inch teeth and have been known to grab seals off the beach or an ice flow.  We were awed and a bit spooked to see them so up close and personal.

Then, with a wave of a tail, they disappeared from view.
The David B continued on her journey.


Val said...

I caught a glimpse of fin and immediately thought, "SHARK!" In my defense, I AM landlocked, and last week WAS Shark Week.

Pearl said...

I'm with Val. :-)

Also: Whales always look, to me, like they're made of rubber.


joeh said...

I was 7 the only time I saw Orcas. My brothers called Killer Whales and convinced me they attacked boats and ate all the passengers. We were in a 40 foot boat and it scared the bejesus out of me, so I never really enjoyed watching them!

Joanne Noragon said...

Beautiful animals. They do not belong at Sea World.

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful finish to your trip.

TALON said...

What an amazing, amazing journey, Leenie. Thank you for sharing such wonderful moments.

RURAL said...

Oh my gosh, you saw whales...sigh.

I think only a few times in my life have I ever caught a glimpse of them on the ferry...but not like this.


fishducky said...

When they were growing up, I used to take my kids & my nieces & nephews whale watching every year. They--& I--LOVED it!!

fishducky said...

PS to Pearl: The skin of whales & dolphins feels like a wetsuit!!

Carla said...

You lucky dog! I went on a whale watching trip off Orcas Island. We saw both of the resident pods, but I never got a decent picture. The captain finally told me to put down my camera because I was missing it all. I had my eye in the viewfinder instead of just enjoying the whales.

Sarah said...

Amazing! I would love to see that!

Sarah said...

Though obviously your photos are the next best thing!