lol! Am loving that seal! Kpr, I hope those northern right whales make an appearance...how neat would that be. Am so intrigued, that one whale, has his tail with little scalloped edges..the others do too, but I never noticed how much, until these photos..thank you so much..this is the coolest. So big, you can get barnecles on ya..whoohooooo. I hope the fog stays away for the next two months!
kpr..I can not swing a trip your way, this year, but I think it would be so cool if a bunch of us from the labs could plan something for next year together...maybe I'll start a thread in the off topic section. Rui, Joe, Serentiy, popo, jaxy, lensbaby neil, start savin' your money. I bet it would be a blast to get a gang together, and go!
The boats are bigger then those little orange and grey ones, right?
Just started talking to kpr about the same thing Patti.... no commitments yet but either east coast around kpr or Haidi Gwaii on the west coast is what we have touched on... kpr seems a bit excited bout Haida Gwaii.. but again.... no one is commiting to anything yet. I know its early but the sooner ppl start talking about it the more likely ppl can plan for a certain time... "if" it would be haida Gwaii and "if" 8 ppl would commit to it I know the owner of an eco-tour company up there and he is an amazing photographer as well. He and his partner grew up there and know that area better than anyone there imo. Anyways.. if 8 ppl would go I'm positive he or his partner would personally guide a tour for us geared strickly for photography. I'll post more on this if a thread starts or if there is interest. Due to his mom owning a lodge at the southern end of the south island he is also the only tour company offering to go to the extreme southern edge of the island. The other appealing thing about this trip is that after the tour... if ppl are interested.. when you get back to Prince Rupert onthe mainland... it is from there that they offer day outings into the grizzlybear reserve for some amazing grizzly encounters.
Oh.. the boats used in Haida Gwaii are zodiacs so they are the small boats but like kpr mentioned.. you get a lot closer and they are incredibly safe.... Just try and get over the fact that you are in a small inflatable riding on top of 75 gallons of gas (the whole bottom of the boat is a gas tank) as quick as you can
And like kpr mentioned.. they do a lot more than just show their tails.... what ppl are mostly after when shooting whales are..
1) Syncronized twin tail dives.. 2 whales diving deep and showing their tails in the same position at the same time.
2) Just one showing its tail.. the most common shots you see.... they only do this just before their deep dives though.. when they do do this humpbacks tend to stay down between 3 to 12 minutes.. different species stay down for different lengths.. sperm whales have some of the longest dives lasting for up to an hr if I remember right.
3) Lundge feeding.... this is the end result of bubblenetting. What they do is one or 2 whales circle below a school of kaplin or other small fish blowing a circle of bubbles around them acting like a net and forcing the fish into a small concentrated ball. One or more other whales will lundge up through the middle with their mouths wide open breaking the surface of the water taking in all the fish they can. They then reverse roles and others take turn feeding.
4) Breeching... they litterally hurl their entire bodies out of the water similar to a fish jumping but they dont reenter the water head first... they just kinda flop down on the water on their sides. Very cool to see but really hard to catch on film.. as is the lundge feeding.
5) Spyhopping.... they stick just their head out of the water to where their eye is just above the surface... they do this when they are curious and want to check things out. If you see one do this and if it doesnt take off right after its usually a good sign that the whale is curious and it will stick around for a while slowly getting closer to check you out meaning some awesome pics hopefully.
6) Catching a spout of water is also always cool but harder than it may sound.... they spout pretty well as soon as they break the surface and you need to catch it fast as within a sec or 2 the spout has dissipated to the point where it is hard to make out in a pic.
7) Finning.. one of the side fins riding above the water like a sail.... another feeding method.... one or 2 whales will swim in a tight circle on their sides with their mouth open sucking up fish on the surface.... they also do this at times when they play.
If ya do make it out whale watching look for spouts.... 95% of the time its the first thing you will see and/or hear and not the whale itself. Also.. dont get discouraged if it is foggy.... if you think there are whales around stop the boat periodically and sit quiet for 5 to 10 minutes.. this time listen for the blow of the spout....the sound travels a long way when everything is quiet and its pretty easy to zero in on them even in fog.
Another thing to look for when looking for whales are seagulls and other birds feeding on the surface in a large group... this usually means some big is below the smaller fish feeding on them and forcing them to the surface.... depending on where you are this caqn in many cases be whales or dolphins. When you get close and if you can see the small fish jumping out of the water and your not seeing larger fins of larger fish or flippers of seals or sea lions get ready for the whales... odds are good thats whats under the small fish then.
LOL and if you are on a charter look for everything but whales... the guys who run these boats are amazing.... they will see them a long time before you are aware of them unless you know what to look for.... even then it is slim you will site one before them. Many times however they will miss seals, seal lions, sea otters, eagles and other things and if you do see something like this and point it out they will try and get you close for a shot.
KPR... every time I see pics of the ocean and its wildlife I tell myself I need to move there.... man how i miss it.... awesome shots!
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Reflections On Canadian Wildlife