It started when I watch Disney's Oceans. I love whales and realized, while watching the movie, that whales were in Vancouver (duh!). I nearly forgot about the move for the duration of my Vancouver trip until I noticed the advertisements in the Skytrain. Whale watching! The advertisements called out to me. On Sunday night, I mapped out the last three days in my head. Wednesday: relax and pack and lunch with Geoff. Tuesday: whale watching! and biking Monday: suspension bridge. Early Monday I did some quick research and found the cheapest tour (which happened to also be the longest and included a full refund if I did not see any whales at all). So that's the one I picked! Called them up and they were available for the tour. They even offered a free pick up. I woke up at 5am to make it out to the pick up spot and they drove us off to the ocean.
Everyone on the tour was a foreigner (and everyone also came in a pair). So I felt wonderfully proud when I was the only person from California. woot. We were off at sea and I climbed up to the top deck. There were whales everywhere! That day three pods of whales swam around, which is known as a "super pod". The whales chased salmon and swam around together. It was really an amazing sight to see! I saw big whales, little whales, man whales, baby whales, and pink whales!
Interesting facts I learned about whales... - When these whales are born, they are pink and black. It's not until they grow up and get blubber do they turn white and black. - There are three types of killer whales. This was the kind that only ate salmon, known as the "Fish Eaters". (Not the ones that eat sea lions) - Whales only sleep about two hours a day. During which they turn off half their brain and swim very slowly. They switch the other half off sometime later. Because the ocean has so many nutrients, the whales are constantly nourished and don't need as much sleep. - Killer whales aren't whales. They're orcas in the same family as dolphins. - The dorsal fin keeps whales from spinning on their sides like a torpedo. Killer whales in captivity don't use their dorsal fin as much as in the wild; it bends in captivity because the muscle doesn't develop - Killer whales are more incredible and cuter in person.
Whale watching is very difficult. From my pictures, you can see how far and close the whales can be. You never know when they'll surface, sometimes you won't see any. On our trip, we were very fortunate. The whales came very close and there were tons to see. If only I had 70-200mm telephoto lens. All I had was my wide angle and my 45mm ts-e lens. And, yes, I saw a newborn (pink!) whale that day; unfortunately there's no picture. (Although this article describes a whale watching similar to my experience)