Orca!

Trip Start Mar 19, 2008
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Trip End Aug 16, 2008


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Flag of Canada  , British Columbia,
Sunday, May 18, 2008

It's been a fantastically hot and sunny weekend - perfect for a day long whale watching trip with SWAP! Our coach picked us up early saturday morning from outside Canada Place, where there was a massive cruise ship in port (see photo), if you look closely you might see some people playing basketball on the top deck! It didn't take long for us to arrive at Steveston marina, located on the Fraser River south of the city. Our covered zodiac departed at 11am, heading south along the Strait of Georgia, between the Gulf Islands/Vancouver Island and the San Juan Islands. All of these Islands create a natural harbour so the water was so incredibly still, it looked more like a lake than the ocean! On our way we could see Mt. Baker (an extinct volcano) in Washington State USA.

Our boat was pretty fast, so within about 2hrs we arrived at our destination between the islands where the killer whales/orca are known to hang out.  These magnificant animals weren't difficult to spot with their tall, black distinctive dorsal fins. We first saw the pod (whale family group) investigating a couple of kayakers close to the coast, but it didn't take long before they came out towards us. They were much easier to photograph than the shy grey whales off Tofino. Ruffles, the 30ft long male of the group even put on a little show for us just as we were due to leave and did a flip over onto his back!

Seeing killer whales in their natural habitat was one of my many reasons for coming to Canada, so I'm really happy I got the opportunty to go on the whale watch! We arrived back in Downton Vancover after a VERY hot bus journey about 6pm and finished the day with a nice cold beer and some food from the Chinese Street market in Chinatown. All in all a very productive day :o) !!
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