Ultimate Whale Watch

Today marked our first Ultimate Whale Watch this season….and it was Ultimate!!

Guests started with a light breakfast provided by Pacific Whale Foundation’s restaurant, Porto.  This was followed by a presentation by a member of PWF’s research staff, diving into the research PWF is conducting throughout the Pacific on humpback whales.  Guests were then led to board Ocean Explorer, after getting a group photo.  We set off on our whale watch, seeing humpback exhalations sprinkled all around.

We first encountered a calf, mellow at the surface.  The calf’s mom quickly followed, seeming to nuzzle the calf at her head, while it rolled over showing us its pectoral flipper.  A few minutes into our sighting, the male escort surfaced with its white pectoral flippers reflecting turquoise in the water.  Conditions were so calm the captain turned the engine off while we enjoyed this trio.

After a half hour, we left the mom and calf pair to their bonding and headed towards other blows.  With whales diving in several directions, the crew dropped the hydrophone to let guests eve drop on nearby singing whales.

These great experiences were followed by several other great encounters, one of which brought a whale popping up nearly 20 yards from our bow as we sat there.  As we headed back to the harbor, we had a finale of a tail slapping whale near the lighthouse.

We finished off our day with a rotation. Half of the guests went in the classroom, getting further hands-on learning with baleen and a life-size pectoral flipper model.  The other half of the group headed up to get a tour of the research department.  Both groups switched, and we ended with closing statements and any last questions.

Overall, it was a hugely successful day, and a great way to begin a season of Ultimate Whale Watches.  I think any guest that came with us would tell you it was in fact…Ultimate!!