A Whale of a Time

"Didn't See THAT Comin' "

When opportunity knocks, it's good to take the chance and open the door. Or email, as the case may be. While planning my recent trip to Vancouver Island to visit my sister in Sooke, an email from a photographer friend popped into my inbox. Within two minutes of reading it, I checked the dates we were planning to go, and they lined up perfectly to fit in a whale-watching tour with 5 other photographers, including my friend who organized the trip. And I have to say, it was FABULOUS!! Even with the smoke from the fires burning in the US that made it's way to the BC west coast, it was a remarkable day to be out on the waters of the Discovery Islands, off Campbell River.

In the 5 hour trip, I managed to get 700 shots, mostly of humpbacks, and a few fine art images for my online gallery. After culling them down to 200 I was able to pick my very favourite ones and offer them for sale in my Wildlife gallery on my website.

The smoke from the Washington, Oregon and California fires had filtered up to the BC coast and further a couple days before I arrived in Campbell River. I hoped the trip wouldn't be cancelled because of it being so smoky on the water. Luckily, there was no problem and the water remained very calm throughout the day.

A few minutes on the water and we were seeing two humpbacks swimming in front of the Cape Mudge Lighthouse. They were so close to shore! And a cormorant was curious about us and swam under and around our boat so I had to capture him as well. But the fin slaps that came next were the start of the action we enjoyed all day long. A momma and calf were frolicking ahead of us. One photographer even saw two humpbacks breach at the same time, so we were off in that direction next.

And...we got mugged! Yes, this humpback swam under our boat and we didn't even feel it move! After it passed, our captain asked if that got our hearts racing, and honestly, I was feeling so calm and happy to have been that close to a whale. I can't really describe the feeling other than we were blessed and in awe of this magnificent creature.

There will be more images to come so stay tuned!

Until next time,