Sunday, December 2, 2012

minke whale watching

Last year for my birthday, my mom paid for Joel and I to go whale watching for the day -- 6 hours on a boat, 2 hours on Friday harbor, and hopefully, lots of whales.  We got up around 5am and left Olympia, with Port Townsend, WA as our destination.  We made it halfway to Shelton (which is about 30 minutes away), and slowed down -- on the other side of the road, pacing us, was a WOLF!  I've seen so many coyotes in my life, and can say with 100% certainty, it was totally not a coyote.  Way too big, and it just looked different.  We googled wolves in Olympia, and found that there is a pack that is roaming around near where we were, and a few had actually been spotted a few weeks around when we saw it.  SO AWESOME.  I've always wanted to see a wolf in the wild!  

At 8am, we hopped on a boat in Port Townsend, with Friday Harbor on the San Juan Island as our destination.  We were kind of playing it by ear whether or not we would spend more time in a certain place before or after Friday Harbor, based on where other boats in the area had seen (or if they had seen) any whales.  No whale sightings nearby that day, so we went to the island first, with the hopes of seeing whales after lunch.

On Friday Harbor!  This was our boat!

After lunch, we found out that the orcas in the area were in the Vancouver, B.C. area, which was too far for us to actually go, unfortunately.  Luckily, there were a bunch of minke whales in the area.  Before that day, I didn't even realize that minke whales were even in the Pacific Northwest, and even though it was cool to see them (so many of them, even!), it still wasn't the orcas that I wanted to see SO BADLY.  Our captain kept calling them "slinky minkes," since they pop up to breathe, then back down for a few minutes, and show up in a different place each time.  

On our way back to Port Townsend, we took a detour to see a giant eagle's nest (the big bundle above), and lots of sea lions and seals swimming around and sunning themselves on this island.  It's been so long that I can't remember what this island was actually for.  Whoops.

Joel's sleeping!  HA!

We got a tour and history from sea of Fort Worden in PT, and decided to drive along it once we got back onto land.  I've been there a few times since, and it's a beautiful place.

Since we had seen the wolf earlier in the morning, it only felt right to take a picture of this wolf blanket hanging in this house's window.  A perfect end to the day!


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