On Sunday, Shawn and I went whale watching. I made reservations for us awhile ago so that we wouldn't be tempted to sleep in on Sunday morning. :) We left the hotel around 7:30 for the drive to Anacortes, Washington. The organization that we chose to go through is the same place that we used for sea kayaking a couple years ago. Once we checked in at their store, we drove over to the marina and waited to board the boat, Island Explorer 3.
We left from the marina in Anacortes and sailed through the San Juan Islands. The San Juans are north of Seattle, but west of Victoria, British Columbia. If you click here, you can see a map of the islands, and the inset map also shows you where the islands are in relation to the rest of Washington.
The entire trip was about 6 hours long, and it was beautiful! Not only were we able to enjoy being out on the water, watching the islands as we passed by, but we saw quite a bit of wildlife, including harbor seals and harbor porpoises. Our captain let us know that we actually did go into Canadian waters, but we eventually found a transient pod of Orcas!
Apparently, an Orca pod is normally only about 3-5 whales, and this one was comprised of 4 Orcas. There were 3 females and one male, and it was obvious even to me which was the male. A female Orca's dorsal fin is about 3 feet tall; a male's dorsal fin is about 6 feet tall! We probably watched them for about 60-90 minutes. It was amazing to see these creatures in their natural habitat! According to the captain of our boat, Orcas are an endangered species, so he couldn't take the boat any closer than 100 yards from them, but a couple times they came closer to us than that.
Shawn was able to get some pictures of the whales, but again, I don't have the cord here to upload the pictures. I'll post them next week, when we're back in Colorado. In the meantime, here are a couple of professional pictures! :)