Yesterday, I experienced something that I will never forget. I thought I'd share it because there are going to be thousands of tourists in the Vancouver area this summer, especially since Pride is in a FEW DAYS. If you're thinking of taking a break from the long list of Pride events that Vancouver has to offer and want to visit the island, I highly recommend Orca Spirit whale watching!
The boat docks in Victoria, so it's a little bit of a journey, but a breathtaking one. For about $100, you travel by boat across the sea and get to observe anything you might come across, including orcas, humpbacks (if you're lucky!), dolphins and seals.
We watched the orcas in their natural habitat for a good hour. It was so extraordinary; I had goosebumps the entire time. To see these majestic creatures so free and happy, travelling with their family members, was truly touching.
There are marine naturalists on board who are very informative; they're ready to answer any of your questions and talk you through the experience. What resonated the most with me was the love that these whales have for each other. They travel in a pod, which is like a family, and when they reunite with a pod that they had previously separated from, they literally party! They breach and celebrate for hours, sometimes days. They are remarkably smart, and they love and protect each other their whole lives. Even when the males leave their mamas to mate, they always return! They're the biggest mamas' boys in the animal kingdom.
I will never go to Marineland or any other water amusement park where these incredible creatures are held in captivity. After seeing them as they're meant to be, with the entire ocean as their home, the thought of capturing them, taking them away from their families and putting them in a pool, which would be the equivalent of putting a human being in a bathtub, is quite simply wrong.
I got seasick on the way back, but a little nausea was more than worth this once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Check out the video (below) of a humpback whale being freed from nets by a boat of people with big hearts, and see how she rejoices. This is a prime example of how the whales in our oceans should be treated: with love, respect and awe!