One of those 'we are so lucky to be in such a beautiful city' type of days! http://t.co/pmkVhOHZ44
September 1, 2011
Before I start to tell you all about today's whale watching tours I thought I would mention some details about a conservation campaign happening all across the globe today. September 1st is Save Japan Dolphins Day. September 1st marks the beginning of the seasonal slaughter of 23,000 dolphins in Taiji, Japan. Each year fishermen frighten migrating dolphins into a cove where they trap them with nets. A select few dolphins (bottlenose dolphins to be exact) are chosen and sold to people who use the dolphins for Swim With the Wild Dolphin programs, mostly in Mexico and the Caribbean. The dolphins that are not selected are slaughtered and sold as meat which has a dangerously high mercury levels that cause mercury poisoning in humans. Today, all over the world, cities are hosting protests to spread the word of what is going on in Japan, and appealing to the Japanese government to stop the horrific murder of so many dolphins. If you would like to help make a change, sign the petition to the Japanese government at savejapandolphins.org, and watch the amazing documentary called THE COVE to see exactly what is happening in Taiji and what is being done to stop it. You can also choose to not participate in Swim With Wild Dolphin programs when you travel. Even if the dolphins did not come from Japan (and most places would never tell you they did), it is this industry that fuels the dolphin slaughter. Learn more, educate yourself about the activities that are going on around the world, no matter what the topic. Be a steward of the environment and help make a change for the good of all species that inhabit our shared Earth!
Cruising out on the Pacific Explorer, we were met by fog, making searching for marine life a bit more difficult. We headed south on the calm waters to scan for animals. We searched to no avail when we received a radio call that a humpback was west of us in the Strait of Juan de Fuca. We travelled over to the action as quickly as we could! We soon saw the spouts of spray from the massive humpback whale. This individual was taking very shallow breaths, not arching his or her back above the water. As the humpback moved west, we tried to follow. To our surprise the whale surfaced off our seven o'clock and actually raised its back above the surface! Yay! After 3-4 breaths, the humpback raised its tail flukes above the water, leaving us all in awe. It was not a long visit with the whale, but we were lucky to have the privilege to spend time with one of Earth's largest and most mysterious creatures. Out afternoon trip was not as successful when it came to whales as this morning. We were unable to relocate the humpback and no company could find any orcas in the area. Unfortunately there will be days when there just aren't any whales to be found in the Straight. We did however enjoy stopping at Race Rocks Lighthouse to view the couple hundred California and Stellers Sea Lions. The all male group was rowdy as usual, growling, barking and biting at each other. What a noisy place! We also spotted Harbour Seals lying lower on the rocks and away from the huge sea lions. The historic Race Rocks Lighthouse stood in all its beauty against the background of the sharp peaks of the Olympic Mountains. Days like today remind us that nature does not always work in our favour, and when we do have the opportunity to view animals in the wild, we should appreciate every moment. The more time we invest in wildlife, the more we will see.