OK. I am going to make this brief so that we can get to the pictures. We went whale watching yesterday aboard Mystic Sea Charters. (I have to give them a plug because they were awesome.) We started out in Anacortes and traveled 2 1/2 hours to get to the whales. They happened to be fishing near Vancouver Island. I was going to bore you all with the pictures that I took on our way up, and I still may do that, but I am just too excited to get to the whale pictures.

The Puget Sound Orcas are an endangered species. They are lovingly called J, K, and L pods and between the pods there are about 80 whales. They differ from other orca in that they feed on salmon rather than seals. We do have some transient whales that come into the straits and feed on seals, but they were hanging out very close to Victoria, B.C., too far for us to go.

Because these Orcas are protected, there are all kinds of regulations that must  be followed. Boats must remain 100 yards away. Let me tell you, much of the time I really wished that I had had a bigger lens, but the whales don’t care much about regulations and they surprised us a few times giving us some great viewing.

I caught this picture after they decided to swim under the boat. We had been sitting dead in the water. We watched them come at us from 1/2 mile away. They paid us no mind and just kept on trucking.

Same with this guy, but he couldn’t be bothered to swim under, so he just passed us by on the side.

Most of the 200 or so pictures that I took are from this distance. Still awesome, but let me tell you I was weeping for a telephoto.

Then came this shot. (make sure you enlarge this one.) If I was weeping before, now I was making a spectacle of myself. I begged and pleaded with the man next to me to let me use his lens, but he was so selfish and wouldn’t share. Fortunately, the whales heard my tears. We moved to another location and watched a small pod travel. They all dove together and didn’t come up. We waited and waited and waited for them to surface ’cause as Freckle Face kept reminding me, “They have to breathe. They have to breathe.”

They decided to take a breath right in front of me! Do you see the baby next to its mom? (enlarge this one too.) Oh my! I was so excited that I was shaking. It was just awesome! Then, my girl showed me up and caught this next picture.

She has decided that she wants to be a wildlife photographer.

I am going to go again someday. It won’t be until I have a better camera lens, but I am going. We had a wonderful weekend with wonderful weather. Lots of things to write about! Hope you liked the pictures.