One Last Call for Summer

One Last Call for Summer

Salish Sea ~ August 2019

Happy Fall! Even though I am excited about the fall, I had a fantastic summer.

One of the last adventures I had to close out the summer was a whale and wildlife sightseeing cruise from Anacortes, Washington. It did not disappoint! We saw seventeen orca whales, one humpback whale (the largest humpback whale I have ever seen!), one minke whale, dozens of steller sea lions and harbor seals, plus many birds and seabirds. The boat traveled south into the Salish Sea, where we saw most of the wildlife between San Juan Island and Vancouver Island. This is the second time I have seen orcas in the wild, and it was just as magical as the first.

I visited SeaWorld in San Antonio, Texas, many times when I was younger. I still remember the first time visiting the park. I was about 19 years old at the time, and I was so excited that I was shaking. My mother, grandmother, and I had been planning the trip for a while.  By the time we arrived, I knew the entire layout of the park. I had memorized the map and taken the routes, to what I knew would be my favorite attractions, in my head countless times. When the day finally arrived, I made sure we left early in the morning so that we would be at the park before it opened, and one of the first to enter. I was ready!
Picture

SeaWorld San Antonio ~ May 2001

​I believe seven orca whales lived at SeaWorld San Antonio at that time, five of which performed during the show we saw. They were incredible to watch; all of them graceful and majestic. I kept looking towards the pen area, knowing I would be sitting over there later that night having dinner while they swam next to me. In addition to a day at the park, we had also purchased the Dine with Shamu Dinner. The dinner experience was also a memorable event.
​I dined on chicken strips, burgers, fish (the irony of eating fish at marine life park was not lost on me), and dessert. All while, the whales looked happily to swim around the pen area and perform small tricks for the diners. They were taught to wave their flukes, pectoral flippers, and even their tongues for us. In all, the day was as delightful as I had hoped it would be. I still left the park feeling sad, but I wasn’t sure why.
Picture

SeaWorld San Antonio ~ May 2001

I later learned that the whales were taken from the Salish Sea, close to where I live now and where I just saw them a few weeks ago, and then sold to parks around the world. It is an entirely different feeling seeing them in their natural environment. It is incredible to see the pods, either feeding or being social. We saw two different pods during this excursion; both were southern residents. They were very social and remained near the surface the entire time we were there. We even saw a three-month-old and an eight-month-old calf. The three-month-old was so tiny in comparison to the large male she was gliding next to. The male has a six-foot-tall dorsal fin that commands attention when it breaks the surface of the water, rising high into the air. There were many spy hops and breaches from both pods, that left us echoing many ohs and ahs from the boat.
Picture

Salish Sea ~ August 2019

Picture

Salish Sea ~ August 2019

Picture

Salish Sea ~ August 2019

It concerned me to see the number of boats around the whales, though. We were one of three larger tourist boats, plus there several smaller vessels, including a small research boat. I hope the noise from the engines was not causing too much noise pollution and interrupting their communication. I did notice that each vessel kept a respectable distance and turned off the engines while idling.
Picture

Salish Sea ~ August 2019

It is always conflicting for me when I go on a sightseeing cruise. I am usually excited about the possibilities of what we will see, but also know I am causing an impact on their environment and habitat. I am grateful to be able to see wildlife in the wild, instead of in captivity.

What was your favorite nature or wildlife experience this summer?​

Get blog updates and new recipes straight to your inbox.

Sign Up for

Blog Updates

Posted in ,

You might also like...

Salish Sea ~ August 2019

One Last Call for Summer

burger.jpg

A Friendly Fourth

20190608-085439_orig.jpg

Cherry City Vegfest!

Leave a Comment





Blog Categories

Sign up to receive the latest Conscious Living Tips, News, and Recipes!

Sign up to receive the latest Conscious Living Tips, News, and Recipes!
Please enter a valid email address.
Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.