I couldn’t sleep. The alarm was set for 4 am but I was awake at 3. I tried to go back to sleep but I was too afraid that I’d oversleep if I did that so rise and shine. It’s really dark here with no streetlights!
I’m heading back to the Pacific Whale Foundation’s location for a “Photo Safari”. I usually stay clear of things like this because my one and only experience of being out with a group of photographers was pretty negative. On that trip I was rudely pushed out of the way, yelled at by one, and blocked by a photography club. Getting a picture was near impossible!
I broke my rule because I figured there would be fewer people on board this boat and they would be actively looking for the best photo ops. Check in was 5:45 am.
I was one of the first to arrive but it didn’t take long for the crowds to form. They had 3 different trips going out so you had to listen carefully to be sure you were in the correct group.
While I was waiting I heard a loud crash that sounded like a lens or camera being dropped. Sure enough. Once of the “look at me, I’m a professional” types had dropped his camera. I offered my condolences but as true to the nature of this type of person, he just brushed it off. Turns out he was a pro and the group leader.
Once on the boat, a small catamaran, Brian (the pro) began giving instruction about camera settings, depth of field, ISO, shutter speed and aperture modes. He also wanted to know who were shooting RAW and who was still using Jpeg. I was one of the RAW shooters. He tossed out some recommended settings to start out since it was still pretty dark and I was pleased to see that I’d already set very similar settings on my own. Chalk one up for the weak side!
We spotted a mama whale and baby right out of the harbor. Although they weren’t doing much we spent a lot of time there.
Moving off we started to see breaching whales in the distance but the captain didn’t head there. Too far out he said. We followed a flotilla of other Whale watching boats.
We soon found ourselves with another Mama and Calf. Baby must have just learned how to breach as he was jumping for joy.
That was the only breach we were close enough to photograph. We saw lots more whales , tails and flukes and flippers but no breaching in range. The crew tossed out a hydrophone so we listened to whale songs for about 20 minutes. That was fascinating.
Everyone was very quiet as we returned to shore. No one got anything special so I think there was a sense of let down. Oh well, these are wild animals. They aren’t going to preform “on demand”.