The Tale of a Whale, that wasn’t…

22 Oct

And a walk that was…

We are still being exceptionately fortunate with the weather, and today Wednesday has been clear blue sky all day, it could be summer if it wasn’t so cold out of the sun.

When we were in Vancouver Aug. 07 we went whale watching for Roberts birthday, if you are unlucky enough not to see whales you get a free return until you do. We managed a second trip that visit and were again unlucky. We held on to our ticket, not sure exactly when we would be back, but yesterday we were able to take another trip with Vancouver whale watch.

The boats depart from Steveston Harbour, a very picturesque fishing port with loads of history from Vancouver’s early days and the canning and fishing industry. It is still one of the biggest fishing harbours today and had quite a few boats in yesterday, however there can be up to 500 in there, a sight I would love to see. It reminded me a little of Tynemouth when we first moved to the NE and their fleet was larger.

The whale boat takes 45 passengers and there is a guide aboard who is a naturalist and explains all the different wildlife as you begin the trip down the Fraser river. As the river joins the sea it becomes a little more choppy but blessed with a lovely day we were fine. We sped across the water heading towards the Vancouver Gulf Islands which lie between the mainland and Vancouver Island. On the way we spotted some bald eagles and harbour seals, one entertained us by catching a salmon in mid air, but we were soon heading off as one of the other boats had found a minkie whale and was marking the spot until we got there.

The boat slowed as we got nearer the area where the whale had been seen, so as not to disturb it, they operate under strict code of practice to conserve the wildlife and habitat. Everyone on board, there were 22 yesterday, scoured the water for signs of the whale, not really knowing exactly what we would see. Eventually a call went up, there he is.. so brief few people saw him. The minkie whale will stay under water for up to 20min so it could have been a long wait, however over about the next hour he surfaced, very briefly several times. We did get some photo’s, we know it was the whale…not sure anyone else would. BUT we did SEE a whale! So we were very surprised when on the way back our guide came around and gave everyone their tickets back. They considered the whale had been far too shy to be counted as a sighting, so…we can go again… July is meant to be good, there was some comments that we had been previously and were very unlucky, we think we may get blacklisted soon as we are reducing there 90% success rate!

These giant fellows all one tonne of them are Stella Sea Lions, on a lads day out, away from the wives who are looking after the little ones up north in the arctic. They have 10months a year away from their 15 wives sunning themselves and eating fish!

For saying we sat still on a boat for 5 hrs yesterday we woke today feeling stiff and tired, being such a lovely day we decided to explore Lower Seymour Conservation Area.

We took the easy option to start with a 2km flat walk around Rice Lake which looked beautiful in the Autumn sunshine.
We stopped for a snack in the sunshine and decided we were OK to walk a little further. (The family reading this will already be groaning “one of Dad’s walk’s” but I must add I was up for it). We decided to walk to the suspension bridge as we had enjoyed Capilano so much, mostly the paths were made up well, if a little steep and there were quite a few steps. When we found the river it was beautiful, very clear mountain water, gushing through a rocky gorge. Walking on we came to the suspension bridge, not as long as Capilano but probably more impressive because of the flow of water underneath.
From there we walked down stream towards Twin Falls bridge where we intended to cross back to the other side and return to the car. This is where we slightly lost our way, probably partially due to the fact that we were both very preoccupied with the wealth and variety of fungi we were finding (unfortunately not edible, but interesting). We slightly missed the turning for the bridge, the footpath forked and we decided to take a route which led down towards the water, it was slightly steep and a bit wet in places, getting to the bottom and finding we were not where we should have been meant it was even steeper, (isn’t always) going back up. Once started uphill it was best not to stop, I don’t think I would have managed to get going again…we got to the main path at the top and met a young couple with their dog who kindly directed us to the bridge and the other side!

It was a great walk, we really enjoyed it, Robert thinks about 5km in total, I pointed out that would be on the flat, we counted approx 185 (lost count!) uphill steps on the last bit of the return, that has to count for at least an additional km, doesn’t it? My legs say YES!

I am sitting here writing this looking out over Vancouver city skyline, bathed in glorious evening sunshine. I feel we are very lucky and fortunate to be able to experience Canada as we are, I hope we are able to convey a little of it home to you all.

2 Responses to “The Tale of a Whale, that wasn’t…”

  1. Jennie October 23, 2008 at 6:35 am #

    firstly a point to help lower the tone…at least the whale guide man wasnt a natureist… yes i did have to re-read that bit!maybe their 90% sucsess rate is a lie, like you saw a whale and they gave you your ticket back…so they lied cos you did see a whale.the thing with dads walks is that you do always agree to them…and it only takes 5 mins to realise you wish you hadnt!!xxxthis silly thing wont let me log in 😦

  2. Elizabeth October 23, 2008 at 7:29 pm #

    Hello!That was a pretty good whale sighting I thought! What do they usually do, stand up and play banjo!? Maybe he was feeling shy and didn’t feel as much of an exhibitionist as your naturist guide?Well done on the walk, I don’t like the sound of the scramble though! I think the walk was probably more like 5 miles than km, dad always says they aren’t that long, but when you measure it on the map….By the way Jennie you need to do a spell check before Christopher checks this! (they are having a spelling squabble on my facebook page mum!)Love E

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