Not Whales

This past September, Lindsay and I took a road trip to Victoria and made a stop in Vancouver for a couple days.  We got to stay in her old place with her old roommate Natalie, who was nice enough to take us out on a whale watching tour...  The best part is that the tour was guided by Natalie, who works as a Naturalist for Wild Whales Vancouver.  Whoa!

As we left from Granville Island, we were trying to be optimistic about the day despite the rain.  Just before the group headed out, we had heard that there was a superpod of orcas in the area.  By "superpod" I mean lots and lots of whales, and by "area" I mean the west coast of Canada...  We were in for a 3 hour boat ride which at the moment did not seem like the most fun thing to be doing, but we were promised it woud be worth it.

It turned out to be pretty great, Natalie took some time on the ride out to teach the group a lot about orcas and I like to think I remember a lot of what she said.  Of course I won't repeat much of it here because I'm afraid it might upset her if I got something wrong.  The one fact that I definitely do remember is that orcas are not whales, they are dolphins.  Or porpoises.  Perhaps that is the same thing.  Either way, Killer Whales are not whales.  Fact.

As we got to our destination, the rain stopped, and the sun even came out for awhile.  The captain turned off the engine and we just watched as 70+ orcas took their turn surfacing all around us.  It was spectacular, and even though none came very close to the boat, we were blown away.

Here's one of them in the distance, smiling for the cameras.

San Juan Island - USA (or possibly Canada), 2013

PS: This past Sunday was Natalie's birthday so Happy Birthday Natalie!