I posted a few pictures from this before, but here's the full write-up.
It's my birthday (7/29) and we're in Washington!
Megan - We should go on a whale watching tour!
She got to work researching the different companies that offered tours and picked the best!
When I woke up in the morning, the kids were excited to give me homemade cards.
Aww, thanks kids. Ian taped a crayon to my card.
It said "Color Me" so I tried to draw on him with it.
A little later, we drove to where Megan was staying an picked her up. Then we all drove to Puget Sound to start our whale watching tour!
We hopped in a queue and at 3pm were led down the gangplank to the ship.
After checking our names, we were allowed to board the boat and figure out where we wanted to sit.
We started by picking a table by the window.
But would move upstairs to the railing to see what's going on.
Our first animal of the day. A bird!
From the front railing, we can look down to see the captain and all his screens he uses to drive the boat.
Off we go!
Queen of the World!
Once we got to the open water, we sped up considerably!
And boy did it get windy!
It started to get cold!
Good for wild hair pictures.
Huddle for warmth. Luckily we planned ahead and brought lots of layers of warm clothes.
While Captain Greg drove the boat, our naturalist Amy told us about what we were seeing outside.
Our first major stop is this rock.
Completely covered in birds and their droppings. Once we got downwind of it, we could certainly smell them.
There's also seals and their pups! This one is giving her baby a kiss!
The seals do blend in very well with the rocks.
Cute to see, but not exactly what we're after.
Let's head further out!
Once everyone put on a few more layers, we headed back out to keep our eyes peeled for the real prize. Whales!
Ha! A floating pieces of driftwood is a haven for birds in the open water.
There's a few other whale boats in the area.
And what do we see?
It's a killer whale! Her official name is T065A, but she goes by Artemis.
There's no real way to tell who the father is, but there are two kids with her, including a baby girl who is 4 years old.
The boat followed them around the sound for about 35 minutes, watching as they took a few good breaths at the surface, then disappeared for 2-3 minutes. During this time we also saw a Minke whale and some seals who were unwisely swimming in the open water. Prime hunting grounds for these killer whales! We thought we might see a meeting between the two, but had no such luck.
Inside you can buy snacks, like hot dogs, mac and cheese, chili, and pretzels.
But you're also allowed to bring your own food. We moved to a much larger table and set out a sampling of meats and cheeses.
Five different tasty meats!
With cheeses and crackers. Yum!
Amy pulled up some identifying pictures on the screens around the boat, showing the photos she took and how scientists identify who is who, along with all her children.
Amy welcomed anyone to come up and ask her questions.
Do the whales live here?
No, they are just here to hunt and fatten up, they don't really stay in one place for too long.
Looking at a replica tooth of a killer whale.
Our journey back, stopping by this large buoy.
With a very noisy group of sea lions.
For my birthday, Megan wanted to take care of dessert. Knowing I love chocolate chip cookies, she got recommendations from her co-workers and picked the top 3 bakeries to get chocolate chip cookies from.
What a "whale" of a birthday trip! So exhilarating heading out to the ocean with the cold crisp air blowing in your face as the boat sped forward into the vast ocean..."Queen of the World" photo of Theresa and her outstretched arms captured that feeling so well. Saw so many different sea animals in addition to the whales...yes, a very white rock that the birds can claim as their own! A wonderful way to celebrate your birthday. Alli will have to stretch her mouth a bit more to get that replica whale's tooth to fit :-) Ian's birthday card for you with the "Color Me" words, sun, and attached yellow crayon was very creative (the attached yellow crayon was the clincher idea) EOMReplyDelete