Today started with a blissful relaxed lie in, and rapidly gathered pace when we decided at 8.30 to join a whale watching trip at 9. We leapt from bed, drank some tea, quickly packed our bags and dashed to the end if the boardwalk to join the Stubbs Island Whale Watching trip! One of our more impromptu decisions - and what a great one!
Despite the pouring rain the views from the boat were superb! Choppy grey seas, steep forested slopes, snow capped peaks, wild skies with racing clouds, rocky islands - and marine mammals!
On board the boat, the captain kept up an informative commentary and the indomitable Alison kept us all enthralled as she explained about the wildlife habitat, clambered about the boat spotting whales and sea lions and even identifying some individuals by name by photographing and comparing their marking to her charts. We first saw a large male Orca killer whale, and watched it being mobbed by a school of Pacific white sided Dolphins. Then we saw harbour desks and a large group of Steller Sea Lions.
Then in the distance we saw the characteristic 'blow' of spray above a humpback whale! We drive closer and were able to watch two different humpbacks surface and dive, displaying their tail flukes. Spectacular stuff!!! Meanwhile, the rain has stopped, the sun came out and a beautiful rainbow formed! There were hot drinks and snacks on board, Alison kept us a enthralled with her enthusiasm and knowledge and all in all it was a remarkable way to spend 3.5 hours - a very good decision.
On top of this Chtis had managed to charm a late check out from house keeping so we were able to go back to our cabin, have hot baths to warm up and enjoy 'breakfast burritos' from the cafe on the boardwalk. After that we visited the Whale Interpretative centre - full size skeletons and whales and most other marine mammals, and followed a short hike to the beach.
Just then the rain started to fall again - perfect timing as we set off north again for our 6pm ferry from Port Hardy to Prince Rupert.
We arrived in good time as instructed at 4pm and boarded the ferry, taking our recliner seats in the Aurora Lounge. We had at first been disappointed not to be able to get a cabin (all booked up by last January!) but our front toe seats were in front of floor to ceiling windows overlooking the spectacular west coast of Canada. We went up on deck for departure and this coincided with the sun coming out and blue skies appearing all around. On returning to our seats we sat and watch the beautiful coastline slip by, along with a pod of orca whales!
Supper was fairly underwhelming in the burger and chips cafeteria but we were soon once again very happy in our little cosy corner, Chris working, Bill reading and me blogging in a companionable silence before shaking out our sleeping bags and camping mats in the floor and settling down to sleep.