Sunday, January 02, 2011


Whale watching, something of a New Year's tradition for us, is as unphotogenic an activity as it is exciting. The grey whales - if you're lucky enough to encounter them at all - rise to the surface to release a little cloud of vapor for three or four puffs, and then dive under for a few minutes, even more occasionally show some tail ("fluke!"). The excitement is all in scuttling from one side of the boat to another ("thar she blows, ten o'clock!") to see the knuckled back of one briefly appear... This time, despite brooding weather which sent us back to port early, we saw a few whales, a pod of dolphins (with some sea lions leaping along) and, most unusual for these parts, a mola mola (giant sunfish). The camera limps behind; I was lucky to catch the dolphin back, mola mola and whale puff, above. Most is left to the imagination - which, however, ranges widely along the long route of the whales' migration.

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