Back in late September we were gifted a whale watching trip as an anniversary gift from my parents. The day turned out to be an absolutely beautiful, sunny, and fun day - literally filled with whales!
We left Anacortes midday, and proceeded on a roughly 45 minute boat ride north to look for a pod of Orcas that had been seen earlier in the day. We ended up within site of Victoria, BC (hey, we honeymooned there!) and we found the pod. It was amazing to see these beaufitul creatures in the wild... One of our favorite things to do in the evenings is to put on a Blue Planet, Animal Planet, or some other form of educational tv.Ben's favorite to watch has to do with sharks, but we've seen plenty of whales, and while our views from the boat certainly didn't get as dramatic as the footage captured for the documentaries - seeing them live was simply wonderful.
As we pulled up, there was a young one that was playing and jumping all over the place - unfortunately, he (she?) tired out before we were close enough to really appreciate it. But we did spend well over an hour watching them just going about their lives.
On the way back to port we made a large loop, and saw some harbor porpoises, as well as many animals on the islands.
Shortly before we reached port, we decided to drift a bit in an area where a humpback whale had been reported earlier in the day. We drifted for about 10 minutes waiting for to see the humpback, and our captain spotted him a ways away. We followed and watch (and, of course, took photos). We watched what was to be our last view of the whale (we had to get back to port) and watch it dive. Everybody turned away except one woman, who suddently shrieked - I literally spun around while holding the shutter on the camera, and managed to capture a full breach (where the whale completely leaves the water)!
It was absolutely spectacular, and definitely the highlight of our day on the water. Our tour was with Outer Islands Excursions (http://outerislandx.com/), and we would highly recommend them. We sat up top with the captain the entire trip, and learned so much about the whales, as well as the history of the area. What a great gift. Thanks mom and dad!