A little over a month ago I was presented with the opportunity to go on a complimentary whale watching excursion with Stubbs Island Whale Watching that operates out of Telegraph Cove and you can bet your bottom I was jumping for joy. Well the day finally arrived and on Sunday I made the trek north along with my dad :)
We arrived an hour before our departure time of 1pm which gave us plenty of time to enjoy lunch at the Killer Whale Cafe which is located at the end of the boardwalk and overlooking the marina.
The food was amazing! With a hot plate of halibut and chips and great coffee we were set :)
Check out the boarding pass they give you. Great way to conserve on wasted paper to! The laminated card is about the size of your drivers license and has all of the specs on the boat they use for the tour. When you go to get on you hand it to the captain and everyone shares where they are from. It's a great way to find out where everyone is visiting from :)
There were tons of harbour seals sunning themselves on the rocks. Some of them had pups with them as well which was fun to see the babies :)
Not to far out of Telegraph Cove we got to see a Minke Whale. They are the 2nd smallest baleen cetacean in the world, extremely fast and make long irregular dives so it was hard to keep track of him.
Above you can see what the Minke Whale would look like if we'd had a chance to see more of him out of the water, but we got to smell his horrible bad breath!! Nicknamed Stinky Minke, this one definitely lived up to his name and fouled the air around us *grin*.
I took this photo after we left Telegraph Cove and headed towards Blackfish Sound. It is absolutely gorgeous through the Plumper Islands!! I get to see some of it from time to time when I go on Dh's tugboat or little excursions like this whale watching trip but I could be here every day!
On one of the rocky beaches some of the onlookers observed this great and well fed Black Bear. Just look at the size of his legs! The captain of the boat took us in closer and cut the engines so that we could drift quietly nearby and watch.
We get to see lots of black bears in our backyard at home all year long, but what was so interesting about this particular bear was the way it was rolling over huge bolders to get at the crabs and little fish left behind after the tide had gone out. You can see, he climbed right over top of it and then rolled it backwards! It was treating itself to a little seafood buffet :)
Nest we came upon a group of 4 Killer Whales heading towards the Robson Bight Ecological Reserve. They were identified as being part of the A Pod and it was so cute to see because there was a mother and her calf in the group!
Again when we had caught up to them while keeping a safe distance from them, the captain cut the engines to the boat so that we could drift silently and revel in their magnificent beauty. We also got to listen to them talking with the use of a hydrophone which is an underwater microphone.
As a child we used to go fishing in a little 12 foot aluminum boat out of Kelsey Bay and we were always guaranteed to come across the orcas. I remember being terrified and thrilled at the same time as they would swim close to our boat so it was fantastic to be so close to them again :)
The calf was quite rambunctious and did quite a bit of playing around with its mother :) After we watched them for while we turned around and started heading back again.
This is one of the Orca Lab volunteer run research stations located on Cracroft Point where the Johnstone Strait and Blackney Passage merge. Orca Lab was founded by Dr. Paul Spong in 1970 and they monitor the killer whale (orca) movements and habits by microphone and visuals.
It was absolutely gorgeous when the sun came out. At this point the blue sky was reflecting on the ocean surface turning it a beautiful blue :) I'm pretty sure when I took this photo we were in Blackfish Sound looking towards Blackney Passage.
Just as we were heading back to Telegraph Cove we spotted a Humpback whale over by Malcolm Island!!! Amazing giant creatures. It moved so slowly as it humped up and down through the water. We watched it for a bit and then it seemed to disapear. A couple of minutes later though we heard a loud whoosh of air and a spray of misted water blowing out of the ocean surface as it started to surface again :)
As we followed along behind the Humpback Whale we were really hoping that it would raise its tail out of the water as they have massive tails! It never did but when I returned home and looked at my photos I realized that I had caught a photo of its blowhole. Look at it, isn't it amazing?!
Did you know that these behemoths can take in 20,000 litres of water into their mouths at one time when they are feeding? So cool!
More great scenery!
There were tons of Bald Eagles all over to, so of course I had to snap some photos of them to *grin*.
Four hours later we were heading back to the Telegraph Cove marina. Our whale watching excursion was ending and it had been so much fun :) What a fantastic afternoon!! If you ever get a chance to visit Telegraph Cove I highly recommend taking a trip whale watching with Stubbs. It's something you definitely won't forget :)
Me, well I'm trying to talk hubby into buying a great little house I saw for sale out in Blackfish Sound. I would definitely pick up and move there if I had the chance!