Sunday, June 10, 2012

Raven Spirit Talk: Orca Play's and Humpback Days, Breaching up for Love

Raven Spirit Talk: Orca Play's and Humpback Days, Breaching up for Love

Orca Play's and Humpback Days, Breaching up for Love

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

Where she goes,she blows, back home with the Whales

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.
Just a quick recap for those I have been out of touch with. My winter included a wonderful road trip with a friend to Taos, New Mexico or should I say back to Taos. After spending a couple of months last fall working in Zion National Park in Southern Utah, I flew to New Mexico to check out the wide open skies and view the most majestic sunsets I have seen to date. I knew I would fall in love in love with it there, and I did, so circumstances led me there twice. After leaving Zion in late November, I spent a few weeks volunteering at a horse rescue forty mile north of Phoenix in New River, yet after witnessing some abuse by her farrier, I opted to leave as the energy was unfortunately not very healthy. I loved the horses and fell in love with Annie, A grey flea bidden Mare of 24. For the most part the animals were taken care of, yet after enlightening the owner to this unfortunate abuse, it sadly flew over her head, as she was fried on prescription drugs due to health problems. I only hope and prey that the animals stay safe, and that karma does it's magic on the abuser. Anyway, I do not want to focus on that... I am back in a magical place of deep blue Fjords, animals who dress up in black and white and snow capped peaks all around.
Kenai Fjords National Park is indeed a gem among gem's.
Flanked by the Chugach Mountains to the east where the 2nd largest National forest in the U.S. holds fame, and the Kenai Mountains to the west.
This part of Alaska is one of the largest temperate Rain Forests on the planet, thus bringing high concentrations of precipitation which of course is why it is so stunningly beautiful. With the warm currents coming from Japan which collide with the Arctic air from the north, thus creating all this precipitation and why this area has so many glacier's. In the summer with the increased light, brings increased amount of food source for all the migrating animals who return here every summer to feed and raise young. The most known of course is the North Pacific Humpback Whale . 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
there are King Salmon running so one of the resident orca pods known as the AD8's have been spending a great deal of time feeding.
It is promising to be a busy summer, although we have been plagued with Weather warnings... which is highly unusual for this early in the season... Meaning the Sea conditions are not cooperating so we have had to convert of few of the glacier trips into bay tours... Hopefully we will begin to see calmer day's and I plan to go out again on my next day off. Besides working for Kenai Fjord tour's, I am also working for Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines on my friday off at the cruise ship dock so I only have one day off. I never thought of myself as a cruise person, however after you complete a season with them it entitles you to a cruise for around 20.00 a day pretty much anywhere. I have my eye on one in South America, or possibly the Panama Canal or Greece/Turkey. I can take up to three friends with me, however since it is standby it could be challenging since they often only give you a few day's notice if you made it on.. which mean's you really need to be near the port where you will embark. Anyway, something to think about.
Well I will be sure to keep all posted as much as I can.. yet not promising too much..... Meanwhile I am enjoying all the awesome wildlife, birds to boot as well, and my other favorites, Puffin's who dress up in black and white as well are here as well.
Who knows maybe at some point we will all meet up and watch Whales together... Whale hugs from Alaska.
On that note take time to enjoy the view outside and reflect