August 23, 2015

Unexpected but Fortunate Visitor

 Kathryn has been ridiculously busy with her whale watching work the last few months, but had a stroke of strangely fortunate luck when her boats were cancelled one day recently due to high winds in the Strait of Georgia. We set the alarm forward from her earlier start time to my regular start time and went back to bed. Our alarm plays a local radio station for about 30 seconds each day and on that particular day, the DJs were talking about a whale at Third Beach (maybe 2km from our home) Kathryn was ready and out the door in under 5 minutes.
 A grey whale had made an unexpected appearance right near Stanley Park and was visible for several hours reasonably close to shore before heading out to deeper waters. As bottom feeders that dredge for clams and the like they show up in the city once every few years but we've never had good luck seeing them locally and actually went to California earlier this year to try and spot a few. Kathryn has been on the water with Wild Whales several days a week for the last 3 summers and never seen one in our waters.
 She got some nice close pictures too, and I wanted to share the one below just to show a little more of the mottled detail on the tops of these beasties heads. Grey whales are frequently covered in barnacles and whale lice, and I think the picture below shows a bit of that texture which is quite different from humpbacks.
All in all, an encouraging sight to see such a magestic giant returning to our waters despite hunting in the last century and the generally busy and polluted state of our waters today.

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