“There she blows!-there she blows! A hump like a snow-hill! It is Moby Dick!”
In recent years, whale watching has become a must do experience for many people. It's increasing popularity can help support many coastal communities as they transition away from whale hunting to tourism and at the Mighty Fine Company we offer whale watching holidays to some of the best destinations in the world, including the Azores, Canada, Iceland and Norway.
On a recent adventure to Vancouver (Canada), while we didn't see Moby Dick (and we would ever only go to watch him!), we were lucky enough to get some spectacular sightings of some magnificent mammals, off the coast of Victoria, Vancouver Island.
Close enough to witness some of the best wildlife sightings I can remember, our expert guides led us to the straits of San Juan where the whales were! As we travelled cautiously to several different points during our three hour journey, we saw countless seals sunning themselves on some of the smaller islands on our journey to the ocean.
Travelling by catamaran with about 60 other people, the ship contained plenty of comfortable seating areas and served complimentary hot beverages. It also had a tuck shop and a special purpose viewing deck where you could where you could take in the fresh sea air while keeping lookout for the whales!
The more adventurous whale watchers were travelling in smaller groups, closer to the sea, by RIB! But as our guide said, "we had the edge", with sixty pairs of eyes scanning the horizon, we were likely to make first sight! The one thing however that characterised all the boats out on the ocean that day was the respectful way they approached the animals, cutting the engines when we were 100m within away to ensure that they didn't feel threatened.
On this particular trip we were lucky enough to see three humpback whales. Our first encounter was with an adult humpback whale. We saw this animal surface many times as it searched for food and later we also came across this same whale, playing in a bed of kelp.
The next two whales we saw were a hump back mother and her calf. As good as the previous sighting had been, this was the undoubted highlight! The encounter was phenomenal! With the camera's memory card, rapidly running out of space, we were privileged to see cartwheels and tail flicks as we followed these two beautiful creatures.
Returning back to port, with the satisfied air of a achievement and memories to reflect on, there was nothing more to do than plan the next Whale Watching Adventure!