Every morning I come in to work, nervous about what the day may hold, but also excited about the prospect of seeing whales. There is a lot of pressure on us as naturalists, captains, and crew to find the whales and keep the passengers happy, which is why we get so very excited when we hear two sweet words…South side!
Gotta love it when the whales are close and we get to spend time with multiple groups. I do love a good drive up north every now and then, but sometimes it is just awesome when the whales are nearby and there is less traveling and more watching.
The whales were milling between False Bay and South Beach. Boats were spread out across the channel in every direction and we assumed the whales would be too. We saw a massive dorsal surface inshore of us, followed by a couple of mid size and then baby K! He was active. Super active. Rolling, tail slapping, porpoising high out of the water. The rest of the whales seemed to be indulging him and there were bouts of activity here and there between the little guy and the others. I couldn’t take my eyes off them. It was the most active I have seen the whales in a week or two. There were 5 or so whales in the little group. The best part was that they just milled; spinning, rolling, spy-hopping, and pec-slapping. We sat and watched and barely had to move. I love whale watching with the engines off.
We forget sometimes what a privilege it is to see these amazing animals interacting with each other in their own habitat. We forget that we are the guests when we are out there on the water. The urge to yell ‘jump’ or think they are showing off for us is hard to resist. Sometimes it takes an encounter like this to remind us that we are lucky just to see them at all.
Laura, Naturalist, San Juan Safaris