Whale Watching in Vancouver

This past weekend was a long weekend here in Canada and it was the most exciting time I've had in Vancouver so far. A friend who I met during my undergrad at the University of Guelph was in the city. She had been travelling around small towns on Vancouver Island to set up research stations, and was excited to have Saturday off in downtown Vancouver. While here, she wanted to do something touristy that Vancouver was renown for, so we ended up going whale watching.

We took the tour with Wild Whales, and their boat took us from Granville Island in Vancouver into the Georgia Straight. The tour lasted 6 and a half hours, and we covered a large distance. We spent a lot of time in the Straight of Georgia, and went down along some of the smaller islands of Vancouver Island. We even at some point crossed Boundary Pass into America and were technically in Washington. However, it was worth all the travelling, since we saw several porpoises, seals, sea lions, and a magnificent humpback whale.

These are stellar sea lions, and they were making such loud barking noises when we arrived. Definitely the noise neighbors on this rock, but they paid us absolutely no mind. 

Further down on the rock were much quieter harbour seals. These guys were adorable, and look at how well they blend in with their surroundings!

There were also several bald eagles that could be seen while our boat was near the small islands. These iconic birds are apparently doing very well out here in British Columbia. I've seen them every time I've been on a boat to or from Vancouver Island.

Another species of sea lion: the California sea lion. They probably would have been as loud as the stellar sea lions, except most of them were napping on the warm rocks. 

We then headed back into the open water after the captain got news that a very friendly humpback whale was rubbing up against another whale watching boat. We weren't disappointed when we got there. They identified the whale as a young humpback named Windy, who had a reputation for being very curious with boats and people. 

The humpback whale was really breathtaking to see and it got surprisingly close to our boat when the captain turned off the engine.

After about 30-40 minutes of observing the humpback, it clearly became time for the whale to take a nap. As we were preparing to leave back for Vancouver, the whale rolled its whole body over while floating along the surface of the water. It was such a beautiful and large animal, and I'm glad my friend decided to ask me along for this adventure. 

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