Monday, June 20, 2016
The Griswolds Go :: Whale Watching (Seattle, day 2)
As a last minute (literally, like three days before) addition to our trip agenda, we decided to go whale watching. Just a couple of hours by car north of Seattle, there are dozens of boat captains who will take you out to look for humpback, minke, and orca whales. In the ocean.
The ocean is big.
And cold and a little bit scary.
Oh, and wet!
We drove about 2 hours to Anacortes, which was oh my gosh the cutest little town and I wanted to move there today! I even texted my mom while we were there that we needed to pack up and move to the north west. You cannot beat the climate or the scenery. Beautiful flowers and yards and boat docks full of sailboats. Deer in all the front yards. Gorgeous scenery. Authentic teriyaki restaurants and a McDonald's for a diet coke.
Note: Seattle is a Pepsi town. yuck!
The drive was great. I spent about 15 minutes talking to the nicest lady who came outside while I was taking pictures of her yard. She drives a bus and does custodial work for the school district and is a master gardener, splicing her own plants and growing everything in a green house in her back yard. And, her 35 year old daughter and 12 year old autistic grandson are living with her right now and a week from when we talked, she was going in for back surgery. It made my day to learn about her flowers and hopefully she appreciated the complements on her handy work.
After lunch, we headed to our boat. Skipper and Gilligan were really nice. The boat was a catamaran style, aluminum, and went about 40 miles per hour on the water. That's fast. And bumpy. And, I thought we were going to die. I used the head twice, it was the size of an upright coffin. The pee was just bounced right out of me. Wyatt used it about 6 times. He and Quinn also fell asleep as we bounced all over the ocean looking for those elusive whales.
I love the ocean. I am also terrified of the ocean. Especially when bouncing around in a tiny little boat with 40 people crammed onto it and it being so cold and wet you could hardly move. We did however, finally find some whales and that was awesome. The maritime law in the area is that you have to stay about 200 yards away so we couldn't get that close, but we say 3 very different and distinct whales and Gilligan was super informative. One day, I'd like to go back to try and see Orca's, that would be awesome. But, we learned that the 3 pods of killer whales in the area follow the salmon and the salmon don't start spawning until August, so that's the time to go.
Our four hour tour really was pretty cool and even though there were a couple times I was terrified and thought we might die, it was great. Ross loved it. The boys loved it. I like to seem all my boys happy.
We learned that humpback whales have a very specific breathing pattern. They stay under water, most of them, for 5-6 minutes and take 4 breaths (breech) before they head under and on that last breech, they flip their fin out of the water. It was so curious, but absolutely like clock-work for each of the whales we watched. Pretty fascinating.