Friday, October 22, 2021

Our Day Whale Watching

I call this day, "the best science class they'll ever have" because we got to see seals, sea lions, porpoises, and humpback whales! Up close, in their natural habitats. Getting to those perfect moments involved a lot of planning. I spent time researching whale watching tours. I had some trouble finding one that worked for us due to the time of year. Many companies stop tours after the first or second week of September. After a lot of research, I decided on Island Adventures. I can easily say it was the absolute perfect tour for us! The tour was intimate, with only (maybe) 40 people on the tour boat, family run, and the people running the tour were knowledgeable and just as excited as we were to see the wildlife.

The tour took off from Anacortes, WA. Nearly an hour and a half from Seattle (depending on traffic), we had to leave early Sunday morning to make our tour boat. We got there with time to spare and we were able to walk around the marina a bit. The tour, in total, was over 5 hours long. The first two hours were spent traveling to Canadian waters and searching for whales. Much to our disappointment, the pod of orcas went into rough waters, so instead we went in search of humpback whales. After the whales we seemed to see all kinds of wildlife! It was AMAZING and such a cool way to learn for both the minis and adults.

Our first sign of wildlife were bald eagles. It was amazing seeing them fly over the boat. Later in the tour we got close to an island and were able to clearly see a huge eagle nest.

Now for a thousand pictures of humpback whales. I kinda freaked out when we saw the whales. My sister was standing next to me and I kept slapping her arm saying, "do you see this??!!? Do you see the whales!!??!" As if she wasn't watching them too! I have to laugh at how ridiculous I must have sounded.

I think one of the coolest things was going into Canadian waters (where we actually saw the whales). If you zoom in on the picture, you'll see a hazy city in the background. That's Vancouver, BC! We had to be careful not to use our cell phones while on the boat at this time because we were on Canadian cell towers.

The people running the tour boat were incredibly knowledgeable. They went around and spoke with everyone on the boat, answered any questions, and passed around a humpback whale tooth. I would 1,000% book another tour with them in a heartbeat!

We could hear the sea lions barking from the boat! Close by, there was a school of fish and birds feeding on them.

Being on a boat for five hours was exhausting apparently. The minis and I fell asleep on the relaxing ride back to the marina. After the tour, we did a quick tour of Anacortes, picked up dinner at Village Pizza. We ate in the car as we took a scenic drive. Our first choice was going to be to head into North Cascades National Park, but was (still) nearly a two hour drive. Instead, we went to a state park and enjoyed the beautiful views.

Dogs obviously are not allowed on whale watching tours, so Zeus got his very own dog sitter for the day. He had a blast! He got to go to parks, eat, play, and even made a trip to the airport to pick someone up. His day got even better when my cousin gave him a toy!