Thursday, July 28, 2005

Summer Vacation 2005
Part I: It's All in the Planning

If any of you are masochistic enough to have been reading this blog since last summer, you'll already know what an awesome time my girlfriend and I had when we took our very first whale watching tour out of Victoria, BC. And for all you new readers, my girlfriend and I had an awesome time when we took our very first whale watching tour out of Victoria, BC last year.

How's that for "setting the stage"? Pretty good? Cool.

Well, for this year's trip, we had decided it was time to take a nice, romantic Caribbean cruise. Sadly, those plans got quickly tossed away as soon as we discovered that, "Hey! These things cost money!" So, it was back to the coast for a second round with the Killer Whales... How could we go wrong?

Read on.

In order to save a few bucks, I convinced my girlfriend that it would be much better to slip down to Bellingham, Washington to do our tour, as opposed to going all the way to Vancouver Island and spending a fortune on the ferries. I figured the idea was brilliant, like all my ideas, because we could get some shopping done while we were down there. She wasn't as keen, but eventually gave in after much whining (not hers, mine). I think what won her over in the end was that I had found a company that offered 7 hour guaranteed killer whale watching tours on a luxurious 110 ft boat that would make last year's jaunt on the Zodiac seem like "slumming it".

In hindsight, it probably would have been smart of me to make sure the tour company was operating on the day we went down. Which it wasn't. Nor the next day either.

As it turned out, we were lead to believe that there was only one company offering whale watching excursions on a daily basis, but you had to take a 2 hour cruise on a 45 ft boat out to Friday Harbor first. Not what we had in mind, but what the heck... So we decided to take the lemons that had been handed to us and make lemonade by signing up. At least we'd see whales and spend some nice time out on the water.

Here is a picture that I took from inside the boat:

Not exactly a great day to be out... Or, at least I assume not... It was hard to tell through the rain- and sea-spattered windows. Yay. I couldn't wait to see whales through that stuff! Keep in mind, too, that the boat could seat about 25 very comfortably... A fact that was completely lost on the 40+ people crammed into it!

And the fun was just beginning...
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