Day 6: Thursday, May 21, 2009: Prince Rupert, British Columbia

We didn't arrive in Prince Rupert until 4:00 PM, but that still gave us five and a half hours on shore. It was only slightly chillier in Prince Rupert, at about 53 degrees. It is another fairly small town of about 13,000 people that is in a relatively narrow band of land between the sea and the mountains. Our shore excursion for the day was "Whales, Wildlife, & Historic Lighthouses."


I like these little gatherings of islands.

 

A little lonely lighthouse.

 

More neat little islands.

 

The ship's bow, as seen from the front of the Spinnaker, where we sat to watch Prince Rupert come into view.

 

The shipping center. This is how most of these small communities get their supplies - by barge. Everything from a t-shirt to a toothbrush.


Some of the cute little houses.

 

Eagle booty.

 

Almost there!

 

That green building is about where we ended up docking.

 

Boats and such.


A gathering of eagles catches our eye.

 

We suspect they were doing that whole mating thing where they join together and spiral down.

 

You can see their feet together here.

 

They broke up down at the water and flew off. Of course, I never really saw anything, so maybe they were just fighting?

 

I suspect they put these owls out to scare off the other birds.


So our tour is now underway. This is a Native American (or First Nations) settlement just outside Prince Rupert.

 

One of the numerous islands surrounded by kelp.

 

There were a few boats gathered in this one area because a small gray whale was spotted. These eagles were the only thing visible at the time.

 

And there's our whale! See it? Yeah, I know, barely. That's all we ever got to see.

 

But then the eagles decided to take flight and made much more interesting subjects.


 

 

 

 

 

 

One of the optional excursions was in this zodiac. I don't know, it looks cold. We were nice and comfortable in our deluxe catamaran.

 

This is the lighthouse on Lucy Island.


Watch that last step, it's a doozie.

 

The inviting beach next to the lighthouse.

 

You can really see the difference in the tides.

 

More islands and kelp beds. Hunting whales isn't very exciting until you actually find one.

 

We were told that the only thing on the other side of these islands was Japan.


None of the other boats were finding whales either, so we decided to go over to where there is a known sea lion population. There was this one guy, and he wasn't happy.

 

So, we decided to go to another spot. Jackpot! These are stellar sea lions. Apparently they weren't too thrilled with us either.

 

There were two groups originally, scattered around on two main rocks.

 

They sent Bubba here out to investigate us. I suppose he decided that we were indeed a threat.

 

They started making all kinds of noise and all the sea lions on the rock on the right began migrating to the guys on the left to form a unified front.


This one guy decided it wasn't worth the effort.

 

And then began the march to the sea.

 

I swear, it was as if a drill sargeant was out there shouting, "left, left, left, right, left." They were all in unison.

 

This one stuck his tongue out at us.

 

After successfully coaxing just about every sea lion into the water, we decided to return to port and leave them alone.


After four hours of searching, we returned to Prince Rupert without much in the way of whale sightings.

 

But hey, there's our ship again.

 

This is the catamaran we were on. It was very nice.

 

Another view of the boat. If you look at the front starboard side, you'll see the hockey player we met on our trip.

 

Travis: Just taller than the Gordon's fisherman.

Well, it was a fun day even if there were no real whale sightings. OK, well, the gray whale was real, just very shy, apparently. It was just a little early for peak viewing season. Turns out it would have been a great time for bear viewing. Eh, maybe next time. Speaking of eh, in an effort to celebrate our new appreciation for Canadians, Travis bought a t-shirt that says, "Fukeneh." Too funny!



Day 7: Friday, May 22, 2009: At Sea

Another sea day, on our way back to Seattle.


We were just chilling in our room and both looked up and shouted, "Whale!" Look, our very own whale sighting!

 

Pffftt!

 

The evening's self portrait.

 

Another attempt just for fun.

 
 

We dined at the Aqua Main Dining Room that night and then enjoyed a showing of Twlight before heading off to sleep.