Thursday, July 31, 2014
It's a zoo...
No, not because of all the wildlife.
We had an early charter today. An hour before departure, there were no whale reports; a half hour later, we had a report and it was pretty close.
When I visited with the family who had chartered the boat (nice people, from Russia), the only thing they wanted to see: (of course) Orcas. They were excited to know that the prospects were very good.
On the way to the whales, we stopped to see some seals (still some little pups out there), eagles (juvenile and mature bald eagles), and some Stellar Sea Lions...
The Orcas weren't far away. When we got to them, there were 3 other boats on the scene. Within a couple minutes, it looked like an armada coming at us from the west - it is obvious that there is nothing to see in the Victoria area, it was all those boats coming at us. It seemed like a crazy amount of boats...
That is just a small fraction of all the boats that were there. Even Vessel Assist was out there...
I can't imagine any of the whales needed to be towed. ;-) It was just one of those days that the area was clogged with commercial and private boats - you know this was the only whale game in town. I wasn't able to get any whale photos due to the proximity of all the whale boats. We stayed with the members of K-Pod for almost an hour. I asked the naturalist to see if the people were interested in seeing a Minke whale? The conditions were very pleasant - the reasonably calm water is great for spotting Minkes. The guests were all for seeing this Minke whale we talked about.
Fortunately, the Minke we found was not as shy as most. Certainly, as fast as most, but at least it traveled a fairly straight course. After several good viewings of the Minke, I took us back to the Orcas, who by now had now reversed direction. Over half the boats that were there earlier were gone, so the viewing was WAY more pleasant.
The guests asked the naturalist if we could go see more seals on the way home. Seems that they have fresh water seals where they are from, and they were kinda missing them. No problem, I knew right where to find plenty of seals...
A beautiful day, and a pretty easy trip.
We had fun at the party at the boss's place last night. The food was good, and it was nice to visit with some of the other staff that we don't get to see. He handed out some goodies for returning staff (Joan and I both got personalized hoodies - very nice), then did something I thought was really cool: he had a bunch of prizes to give away; in order to win one, someone had to nominate you and tell why you deserve a special treat. The big container he had was stuffed full of names (you could nominate as many people as you wanted)... the prizes ranged from gift certificates at local restaurants to spa days to massages to a stay at a very nice hotel/spa here on the island. It was fun listening to the reasons people were nominated. Everyone was having fun hearing the comments, so even though all the prizes had been given away, they passed the container around and continued reading the comments. It was a very nice team-building concept.
There was a hay ride after the prize giveaways, but some of us had to work early today. A fun evening.
On edit: I forgot to mention, in the middle of the armada of boats, 3 of the Blue Angels flew over in a tight formation. Why not - everyone else was there! ;-) The Blue Angels are performing in Seattle this weekend - always draws a BIG crowd.