One of my mom’s Bucket List items for decades has been a trip to see Orca whales. When a number of things fell through for Christmas gifts…..we figured out a way to get them on a boat during their most recent trip here. Andrew and I were pretty nervous for a long time – it didn’t sound like we were going to find any – but our awesome luck with visitors in town held up. Whew.
When we did spot some orcas off Patos Island, one of the San Juan Islands, it turned out that they weren’t in any of the resident pods. Go figure. The transient orcas are lovely animals, too, but not usually as playful – more about the business of hunting, eating, and getting on with it all. These transients, however, were in a fantastic mood.
You know you’re watching something special when the captain asks for a show of hands for people interested in staying longer than expected and won’t actually stop taking photographs long enough to count hands. It was amazing.
Evelyn was particularly thrilled as the naturalist on board made mention of her absolute favorite sentence, “There appears to be a baby with the group.” She just about lost her S&*T on the boat, she was so excited. The orcas were active enough that even Claire took note – she was laughing and pointing with the rest of us. Her favorite part of the trip, however, was hanging her head out one of the little lookout windows and getting the wind in her hair.
We packed a picnic and stopped for dinner in Deception Pass State Park. It’s one of our favorites – though, to be fair, we have a LOT of favorites. I think Andrew is still annoyed that I wasn’t game for kite flying at 9pm that night…but it was a pretty full day!
Enjoy the photographs. I don’t expect we’ll be doing any more of these trips in the near future – the odds of catching action like this are slim – after 4 trips out with 3 different companies, I think we’ve peaked. BUT – I’ll add the photos at the end – we do have a chronology of our family growth on orca watching trips : 2007 (just Andrew & I), 2012 (with Evelyn) and now 2014 (with Claire). Fun when things like that work out.