Friday, December 18, 2015

Pacific North Wonderland Day Six: I Saw a Whale!

On our last full day on Orcas Island the main plan for the day was to go whale watching. We talked about it a lot. Is it too expensive? Is it too late in the season? Would it be worth it? We decided to go for it. And I'm so glad we did!
Our boat left at one, so before that we went on a hike in Moran State Park. We took the short trail to see Cascade Falls.
It was beautiful!
Had to commemorate with a selfie. This the sweater I bought in Portland! It has been so warm since we got back, I haven't gotten to wear it again!
Look at that tiny pine cone!
It was such a beautiful day, and we were already in the park, so we decided drive up to Mt. Constitution again and attempt to see the view. And it looked like THIS.
We were laughing so hard! It looked like we were on the end of the world! I told Travis "Look like you are seeing something amazing!" Hahahaha, even though we couldn't see anything I'm glad we went up there.
Then it was time for whale watching! We went with Outer Island Excursions on one of their last excursions of the season.
The boat went up into international waters and around Canada. It was GORGEOUS! Even without the whales, it would have been wonderful. We zipped past lots of islands, saw seals, and maybe I cried when we saw the tiny dorsal fin of a harbor dolphin way in the distance.
There had been a pod siting about an hour out. At first everyone was excited and riding on the front of the boat. It was COLD though, and windy so by the end almost everyone was inside. Except Travis, up on the bow in his shorts.
This guy had the biggest zoom lens! I was jealous! This was moments before we saw the whales...
These photos aren't super impressive but it was INCREDIBLE to see these animals in the wild. We saw a pod of seven whales, including a baby that was only a few months old! It was so tiny! We followed along with them for almost an hour. I took something like 300 photos of them, almost all of them look  like this, but further away. Ha! See the mist coming out of his blowhole?
When we first saw them they were feeding on something, then we saw them in a hunting pattern. It was just amazing, and I couldn't take my eyes off of them! The crew of our boat was amazing too. There was a naturalist on board who answered questions and was so excited about the local wild life.
There were a few other boats nearby, and it was cool to hear the crews talking about which pod we were seeing. They could identify them with just their markings. Which seemed crazy to me, they look so similar and you can only see them for a few seconds at a time!
Here is me, moments after seeing a whale! Ah! So happy! Definitely cried.
Here is the inside of the boat. You sat on big bench seats. The guy in front of us kept opening his window to take photos out of it, so cold!
This island had seals all around it! You can kind of see them, the little dots down there at the water line. We saw two get in a slap fight. So cute.
As we were getting off the boat the naturalist said that this would be a perfect night to watch the sunset from Mt. Constitution. We were a little skeptical, but decided to give it one last try!

We stopped at this mountain lake. I wish it had been warm enough to swim! We saw lots of geese here, and someone was walking a cute little poodle.
I love exploring with Travis. He is always up to pull over whenever I want, even if it is just so I can peek over the edge of a dock.
We stopped at our favorite lookout again. It's looking good...maybe we'll be able to see from the top! And guess what, we saw ANOTHER half white deer! This one was a baby (kinda).

And here is Travis scaling the mountain, trying to get some closer pics for me.
Look at that golden light! We stayed on that tiny trail, but it was a pretty steep slope!
Success! It was clear and we could see so far! It was breathtaking! Here is Travis at the top of the observation tower on top of the mountain.
Just amazing. Totally worth the three drives we made up there.
Remembered to take a photo together, even if we are both making kind of weird faces.
We stayed up top until it started to get dark, then went back to our little cabin to catch one last beach sunset. We had a beach fire, then went inside and Travis made us spaghetti with this super delicious locally made pasta. It was such a good day!


  1. I cna not believe you got to see Whales. Such an incredible experience. Thanks for sharing. :) It looks like such a serene and beautiful place. Nothing looks like this in Australia.

    1. when it is warmer apparently it is swarming with tourists, i'm glad we went at the time of year we did. i felt like we were alone in the world a few times!

  2. Gosh. What a super great trip you two had. Really fun to see your take on the PNW. Come back again!

  3. Awww! Amazing! I also cried when I saw whales when I was in Mexico

  4. I love all these pics. I think I would have freaked out if I saw a whale! We see dolphins sometimes in the fall in NC and that is always crazy. Like I feel like I'm in a movie.

  5. Your photos from this trip are making me seriously want to start saving for a trip of my own!


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