Friday, August 19, 2011
Whale of a time
We have just come back from the most ridiculously good holiday -- 10 days kayaking in the Johnstone Strait and Broughton Archipeligo. I can highly, highly recommend it.
We were sung to sleep one night by humpback whales, foraged a dinner of kelp and fish and sea asparagus, nearly had lunch on an island with a bear on it, nearly camped on an island with a bear on it, paddled past an island with an unseen but very loud cougar on it, frolicked with seals and otters and dolphins and dall's porpoises and minke whales, and saw so many eagles we got bored of pointing them out. We had cloud in the mornings to keep us cool, and sun in the afternoons to dry out our kit. One day of rain to make the rest of it seem that much better. And a frightening, awe-enspiring encounter with killer whales -- twice. I know you're suposed to stay 100 metres away, but there's little you can do when a whale decides to visit you. At 5km/hr I really cannot out-run a whale. At one point a whale swam under the back of our boats, turning sideways to check us out underwater... seriously. Another time a juvenile actually came inside a kelp bed (where it is very, very shallow) to say hello. We are told the first batch at least were resident whales (A4 pod, apparently), and they only eat fish, so that's reassuring.
Random note: the grand old matriarch of the A1 pod, one of the first whales named in the area, was called... Nicola.