Archive for October, 2008

On Tuesday September 22nd I was thrilled to board the Naiad for a whale watching trip.  Some years the b&b is so busy I don’t get a chance to go out with the Mackays so I was absolutely determined to go before the season ended. I joined b&b guests Steve & Gill from the UK and Ria & Rob from the Netherlands. Also on board were visitors from Ottawa, Michigan, Germany and another local like me from Sointula.

We made a few stops along the way to pick up more guests.  The first stop was Alder Bay Resort to pick up a fellow wearing shorts (yikes – it made me cold just looking at him) and next Hidden Cove Resort shown here.  Years ago before we knew we’d be living on the North Island my Mom asked me to organize a whale watching trip for the 4 of us.  We stayed here at Hidden Cove Resort and one night as we sat on the deck watching a cruise ship go by we couldn’t believe people were lucky enough to live in such a beautiful place.  And here we are…

We didn’t have to travel far to see whales.  The A-30’s were near Critical Point and entertained us for a few hours with their spyhopping, tail  & flipper slapping.  They were fishing & playing which was great for the guests who had never seen orcas before.  No peaceful synchronized rest mode for this feisty pod.    I can’t even imagine how many thousands of pictures were taken on all the digital cameras onboard.

I didn’t take that many because I didn’t want to spend all my time with my eye to the viewfinder hoping for the perfect shot.  Instead I scurried from one side of the boat to the other so I wouldn’t miss anything.  It was pretty chilly out there and the weather started to get rough so we left the orcas for a bit to find a calm harbour to eat lunch.   Amazingly enough when we came back out into the strait the whales were still there.  Finally they headed east and Captain Bill turned west so we could look for humpbacks and start to make our way home.

It always seems to unfold like a well rehearsed performance.  Cue the orcas, cue the humpbacks.  There they were 4 humpbacks who were determined we would all get a close-up view. 

They’re not as pretty as orcas but so incredible and so huge !!  Not an easy life traveling the ocean…see all the nicks and scrapes and imagine the tiny organisms hanging on for a free ride.  I’ve seen a humpback breach and it’s hard to imagine how a creature so huge can throw itself completely out of the water.  The humpbacks didn’t stay around very long and we were off to the next part of our magical mystery tour. 



Exit humpbacks…cue the sea lions.  I’ve never seen so many sea lions at one time.  They were fighting, sleeping, resting and making sooooo much noise.  And when we suddenly moved downwind we found out sea lions are incredibly smelly.  Think rotten fish and multiply that by about 100.  This isn’t the best picture I took of the stinkers but I like it because it shows so many of them at once.  They weren’t bothered by us at all but carried on with their arguments and afternoon naps. 


Huge thanks to the Mackay family for allowing me to tag along on one of the best shows on earth.  It was great to catch up with first mate Nicole.  She’s been friends with our daughter since they were in grade 5.  Nicole and I are both huge fans of tuna with extra mayo.  Really it’s more a case of would you like some tuna with your mayo.  So I was happy to bring along sandwiches and cookies to share.  Hey it was cold out there — we needed the extra calories 🙂 I’m a happy girl.  I’ve had my whale fix now.

Blessings from the beach…


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