Raven Spirit Talk: Orca Play's and Humpback Days, Breaching up for Love
Sunday, June 10, 2012
This is my third season working in for the Wildlife Tour company, and as many time's as I have been out and seen some pretty amazing things.. nothing can top yesterday. In fact. I was utterly one hundred percent speechless, and do not even know where to start. Encroaching upon Ice in the Northwest Fjord Firstly, the day started out gloriously with the most poignant turquoise clear skies... calm water and perfect South Central Alaska Temps of the low 50's. I know not exactly a heatwave. Usually Captain Mark commands the Alaskan Explorer on this tour, however today they needed to do an oil change and the boat was switched to the Orca Voyageur one of our dual hauled Catamaran's. Harbor Seals hauled out on the Ice.... Traveling at around 27 knots per hour we can cover a lot more area with a lot of time to spare as well. I will not elaborate on the details of of the twillions of birds we saw and a black bear racing up a hill in hopes maybe A Coastal Mountain Goat as left her youngin alone... there was just too much activity in respect to Whale love to even describe. Captain Tim headed into Agnes Cove where one of our Orca Family groups frequent's for tasty treats... and even though at the early morning hour they were no where to be found, we had our first Humpback Encounter of the day. What we thought was one whale turned out probably to be three or four and they were everywhere around us. Traveling along side the boat we could smell the fragrant scent of their breath, which Captain Tim claimed he needed to divert directions to escape the downwind of the smell.. ha ha.. I love it... and besides what can be more exciting that being along side an amazing creature breathing rainbow sprays into the air. The day transpired to be what would be countless humpback Whales, probably exceeding 25.. everywhere we looked there they were. Our final destination of the day, the Northwest Glacier which is cradled up into Granite Pass and harris Bay turned out to be an amazing turn of events. Firstly, something that is rarely seen here ... we encountered Sea Otter Rafts.... wait a minute, this is not Prince William Sound.. known for it's abundance of Otter Rafts.... Sea Otter Raft up Granite Pass into Harris Bay this is Kenai Fjords.. where you usually find Otter's alone or maybe two.. these were honest to goodness Rafts... and with a backdrop to die for... Snow Capped mountains and glaciers... and deep teal water's. As we traveled up into Harris Bay slowly approaching the Northwest Glacier in a Fjord that is filled with five tidewater glaciers, it was obvious there was a large amount of ice. in fact it was pretty plugged up and there would be no way of getting any closer than 1.5 miles away form it... Normally they can as close as 1/2 mile from the face of the glacier. Anyway, we enjoyed the scenery along with our lunch and observing Harbor Seals hauled out on the ice.... Luckily for the us the boat change turned out to be a blessing, and Captain Tim announced that he really wanted for everyone to be able to experience a tidewater glacier so we were going to head up Aialik Bay and to the largest glacier in Kenai Fjords National Park, the Aialik Glacier. As we slowly cruised out of the area, not too too far in the distance we could see some large splashing... . Well an amazing thing was about to transpire.... and I got to witness an event I had yet to see here... A Baby Humpback in a continuous ballet of Breaching.. .. by the time we got nearer.. this little guy had probably breached 20 some time's and kept going. I was at a complete loss of words... my heart is full.. the baby just kept breaching and breaching and at one point Mom as well... it was magical... I could truly feel the love and everyone on board was mesmerized and i am sure gaining new reverence and respect for these amazing beings. Well excitement continued to stay with us throughout the day.... As we cruised through the Alaska Maritime Wildlife Refuge and the Chiswell Islands, observing Puffins, Murres and Sea Lions... Cap T said he had a surprise.. well my gut strings were pulling at me, and I had a feeling Orca's were close by. As were slowly turned the Corner around Cheval Island and back into Agnes Cove I could see the tall dorsal fins off in a bit of a distance near the shoreline... Get ready folks, because more magic was about to take place. Cap T announced he had the hydrophone and was about to put it in the water in hopes we could all listen to some calls. At first it was very weak and they were really not vocalizing... probably due the fact they were busy eating the King Salmon that was now running in the area... We stopped the boat... and there were Orca's everywhere... all of the sudden The Baby Orca began to breach and we had another amazing ballet of successive breaches, more than 20.. I was beside myself.. truly mesmerized... such exuberant youthful energy was everywhere today.... So at the beginning of the day I had put on my facebook status... that I was going to Dance With Whales.... My Heart was definitely experiencing a Dance with the Whales... and the power of these beautiful sacred creatures whose grace brings such joy. Orca Love My spirit is filled with love, and magic.... I would only hope that you my friends will someday be able to share this with me or on a trip of your own... i know that many of you already have.... and all my Whale Lover pals... whom I share space within this global pod.... And as an added note I would like to share. For me having this experience with whales goes way beyond Scientific Fact and Data... for me it is much more... I truly believe in my heart and soul they are here to teach us something very sacred. I feel they are here to help raise the consciousness of this planet and to bring the vibration of joy to the world at a much higher level. They are Higher beings in my eyes and I realize that everyone may not agree with me, yet that is okay. I just feel this in my heart. To see what has been happening to our Mother Earth and the impact of what human's have had on her I can only hope that the more people get to see these animals in their natural environment and when you experience this kind of magical joy it is like nothing else. My hopes are for more and more people to embrace this level of conscious joy and to take pride in our planet even more. I can see it shifting already. This is my hope I wanted to honor all my other Orca crazed friends and other whale lover's who also share their passion and joy with other's for I feel we are all here to help enlighten other's to feel this way as well. Truly it all began for me way back in the late 70's on my first Whale Watch trip in the Channel Islands off Santa Barbara... With the Grays and the Pacific White Sided Dolphins... and I am grateful and blessed that it continues to this day. I was fortunate while living in the San Juan islands in Washington to reignite this passion and became a Certified Marine Naturalist and was introduced to the Endangered Southern Resident Orca's of Washington and British Columbia. I hope I can continue to spread the love and joy.. Here is a little video I did.. Footage is not the greatest, yet you get the idea for sure.....
Thursday, May 31, 2012
Seems like a zillion years since I last posted an update. Well as the old saying goes, "Better late than Never". Since my last post many things have transpired, and I am now back in my summer home on the shores of Resurrection Bay in Seward, Alaska. Once again, the whales were calling out to me so here I am at home with the Whales. . Humpbacks are the fifth largest of Baleen Whales, those who have plates in their throats that act like strainer's, gathering largest amounts of water containing yummy treats such as krill, then straining out the water and swallowing the food. Females can get up to 52 feet. They spend their winter's in Hawaii breeding and giving birth and go months without eating, so after several months without any food, they come here and pretty much just eat. Humpbacks are also known for their incredible song . So I have been fortunate many times to go out on our boats and experience these amazing beings which is truly a gift. Orcas (Killer Whales) are here year round and despite their name are really not whales, yet the largest member of the dolphin family. For me seeing Orca's is truly magical and I really cannot explain how my heart feels when I see them. Word's cannot describe this, and I feel extremely grateful to be able to go out on my day's off and be with them. Alaska host's two types, Resident's who are fish eating and transients who prey on other marine mammals. Right now in one of the coves of Kenai Fjords National park