Thursday, May 8, 2014

M #TBT= My #ThrowbackTravels #7: Vancouver killer whales sightseeing in2006!

Free Willy!
Back in 2006, I traveled to Vancouver to experience my first wild killer whales encounter! If you know me, you probably already know that I have a profound love for orcas and most of marine life since watching Free Willy circa 1995. (My nickname Keiko is from the name of the orca that played Willy!). Before visiting Vancouver, the only times I have seen killer whales up close was in teeny tiny fish tanks in Marineland and Sea World (both Orlando and San Diego). My mom brought me to see them every chance we got. Well, now that I'm an adult, I can choose not to visit them in captivity anymore. It is just more glorious to see in them in the wild albeit more difficult to do so. Anyone seen Blackfish?

It was therefore one of my longtime dreams to see them in the wild and it had finally happened in Vancouver. The year I went, the Canadian Fisheries Act had already implemented a new law restricting whale watching boats from getting too close to the whales. We were only allowed to get as close to 100 meters and not allowed to cut their travel path. That was bad news for me- as we only got to see them from afar- but good news for the whales for being less harassed by the dozen of tour boats that follow them daily. It was mixed feelings for me as I wanted to see them up close so badly it hurt but understood the importance of protecting them.We followed one of the whale pods (there are 3 resident pods living near Vancouver) for a couple of hours and I squinted the whole time to see them. I was a bit disappointed by the experience. However, when we took a ferry back to Vancouver from Victoria that evening, a pod of killer whales swam close to the ferry for quite some time; jumping and playing around. It was better than anything we saw during the tour by far! I felt like the luckiest girl to have been able to see them one last time. It completed my experience nicely.

So the picture above is one of the best picture I took that day with my a point-and-shoot camera and it's not much. It is the large dorsal fin of a graceful male orca swimming nearby. I also have a few more pictures of the whales apparently in the state of mating....there was something pink in the photos if you zoom in. I choose to not share those pictures with you. I know, I know..y'all want to see some dirty orca pictures but not here..not at this time!

Thank you for reading!

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