Sunday, December 16, 2012

The reward for watching

I talk a lot in E,W&W (and real life) about the importance of looking for and being aware of nature wherever you are. Of not relying on guides or tours to hook you up but of taking opportunities wherever they arise. So when I found myself on a ferry to Vancouver Island, I wasn't going to spend my time in the warm reading my kindle. I headed up to the top deck on the foremost bit I could get to - alas my vantage point only allowed me a 180degree field of view on the starboard side - and donned my bins and camera.....

......and about 6 layers of clothing. Ye gods it was cold. Bitter windchill and wet air. horrible......

.....and I watched and waited, searching the seas - looking for something interesting. A few gulls here, a western grebe or loon there. Eventually a blow besides the boat revealed.......

......probably the least interesting (to me) marine mammal in these waters -  a harbour seal. Gah. Still I watched and waited. My eyes strained to turn waves into flukes, my mind asked horrible questions about what I might be seeing if I were on the port side.....

...and I watched and waited. Craving a coffee.....and then the tannoy announcement called drivers back to their cars ready for arrival. I had failed completely in trying to see what I wanted. No point going back inside - I may as well look for sealions as we come into port and then......

.....blows! such a long way away I could barely make them out. I swung the camera onto them and blasted furiously - 5 shots. 2 came out recognisable when heavily cropped..........

orca1

orca2

Self-found Orca! Who cares about wind, rain and crappy views?

As I arrived at my hotel that night I was told a storm was coming and the whale watching tours I'd booked would probably be cancelled. This would be my only view of Orca this trip. My life view. Quite the reward for watching.

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