September 13th, 2011
Something unexpected and amazing happened to me last night. Out of the blue, I realized that I was sitting in a zodiac with four other people, under the full moon, as Orcas breached and played in every direction. "Seriously??" I asked myself. "How did this happen?" A valid question. Let me explain.
Around 2 PM, I got a call yesterday from my man Tom Mitchell over at BC Whale Tours, inviting me out on Captain Harold's new zodiac. The original purpose of the trip was to snap a few shots of the boat with passengers on board. Harold had a friend stationed at Clover Point with an SLR and a telephoto lense, and we obliged in throwing our hands in the air a la Spash Mountain or Kanye West concert (two places you're supposed to throw your hands in the air).
Once the photo shoot was done, we had flexibility. Harold, always a trooper out on the water, decided our best option was to head over to San Juan island to see if we could spot any Orcas before we lost all light. We cruised with the sunset at our backs, letting 350 horses (thanks Yamaha) blast us through swell, chop, and massive wakes from tankers. Upon arrival, the full moon decided to show up, and so did the Orcas. What do resident Orcas do? Reside. And there they were, residing, playing, breaching, feeding. They were doing it all. We sat in silence (aside from the odd expletive shouted in excitement when a whale breached) as these majestic animals surfaced all over the place.
I've honestly never experienced anything like it. The highlight of the night hands down was cruising slowly as Orcas surfaced in the reflection of the moon on the water. It was enough to make you stop and think long and hard about, well, life. It felt great.
I want to extend a big thank you to Captain Harold and Tom Mitchell of BC Whale Tours for providing this experience. I'd recommend anyone and everyone go out for a cruise with BC Whale Tours: I have yet to meet a man more energetic, inspiring, and passionate about whales as Harold.
Get out there on the water ASAP, and as always....