Underway on a sunny day, freedom from the harbor feels like
an escape well made. I am still stowing stuff an hour out of port…not that we
would stay out the month we are provisioned for, um, but we might.
Whale spouts! They’re near Anita Bay which we will pass by.
As we draw nearer there are hundreds of seagulls milling around on the water. We slow to idle, and give them some distance. A few whales are surfacing, blowing, and diving.
Then some of the seagulls lift off of the water, and start to circle a bubbly disturbance on the ocean. Quickly, more gulls join, and then, great, black, gaping mouths of the humpback whales suddenly rise out of the water! The seagulls screech and dive, hoping to nab a small fish.
The humpacks are bubblenet feeding; working together to trap krill and small fish in a net of bubbles that they blow underwater. Spiraling up to the surface, the whales open their mouths, taking in huge amounts of water and food, and then close their mouths and strain the water out through their baleen.
The whales settle back to the surface, turning, nostrils up, and breathe.
After a few big breaths the whales dive, showing their tails.
The markings on the bottom of each humpback whale’s tail are unique. Someone somewhere knows who this whale is.
Hi Seagull! Can you tell us when the whales will surface again? No? Okay. I guess it’s time for us to move on.
Just a note, this was October 27 but I could not publish from the bush. We ran back to town November 4 to avoid a storm, but it caught us on the way. Below is the 105 foot tug ERNEST CAMPBELL when the weather was just starting to kick up.
Some nights it is really, really nice to be tied to a stout dock.