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British Columbia Marine Mammal Studies

PWT11 Update - Sunday, July 10, 2011

Happy Endings

Day 6 was the day we had to say bye to our wonderful guides Cheryl, Tessa, and Amy. However it ended on a good note because we were very efficient as a group and finally mastered taking down camp and getting the boats packed in two hours. I slept in because of a faulty alarm so at 7:00 we lost time, but because everyone has had so much practice and knows the importance of waking up quickly we made up for the last lost time. We had the boats down to the water by 8:30, after breakfast, which was granola again.

The weather for kayaking couldn’t have been better, it was only partly cloudy, and it wasn’t windy so the water was very calm. With the goal of the day being to notice something you never noticed before, I’m sure everyone was looking at their surroundings with new perspectives. Also, since the word of the day was rocks, people were probably looking at the rocks and boulders that lined the water’s edge and on the beaches more than they did before.

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As we glimpsed the first signs of “civilization” we were all very excited especially Steven who exclaimed “finally civilization!!” The first time we left Telegraph Cove in our kayaks we were all pretty unexperienced and kept bumping into things and having trouble steering. After only 4 days of kayaking we were already very good. So, our second time at the port went so much better with good steering and coordination. Another thing that improved was our ability to work together. We fit the kayaks on the ramp, compacted our stuff, and put it all –including the kayaks- on the truck really fast.

After lunch, we had to say good-bye to the guides. As a final self-reflection, Tessa asked us to imagine our group as a car, and each one of us was a part of that car based on its function in the car and our role in the group. We also had to say which part we wanted to be on the next kayak trip. It was very interesting to hear how people saw themselves as a part of the group, as Becca said, and how they wanted to improve for next time. Many people wanted to take on a larger role as a leader which shows how we are becoming more self-confident in our ideas and opinions as we are forced to rely on our own decisions a lot while camping. Of course, we can’t have 6 leaders –or steering wheels- which is why it’s good that we have other people playing other roles within the group. For example, Val and her singing provide us with a “radio” and Becca’s good decision-making skills are useful as a “GPS.”

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After that was our last whale watching experience on the Lukwa as a group. It as well, was a happy ending. We saw a humpback whale at the beginning but reports of a group of transient orcas drew our attention. We saw 4 orcas, a mother, father, and 2 calfs.
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It was the T30 pod which has been spotted in that area only 6 times before 1999. It only got more exciting after that when we saw a pod of around a hundred Pacific-white sided dolphins. We had seen these dolphins before but never so many at once! To get them to bow-ride we rode the boat out to the direction they were swimming. It turns out that pacific white-sided dolphins are reliable to give you a good time because about 5-6 of them started to swim with our boat and bow ride. Since the water was clearer this time than the last time we could see the dolphins very well as they weaved through the water and with each other. We could see them so clearly that you could see the small scratch marks on their skin. Their movements seemed like they were choreographed except that they didn’t practice and just knew where the other dolphins were. When they leaped out of the water you felt so close to them and you knew that you were experiencing some thing amazing.

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This day must be the best day so far because even after all that it still got better. After our many days of granola, sandwiches and glop (which were good, don't get me wrong!) we were about to have normal food again! After talking about food like pasta and French fries, food which you can’t have while camping, we were finally going to fulfill our cravings. Leah, GW and I (because I was the leader of the day) didn’t tell the rest of the group about the surprise until the last minute; we were going to the Killer Whale Café! Everyone was very excited to have delicious food. Lia got her wish to have pasta and Taylor and I got our French fries. Others had pizza, fish and chips, and salmon steaks. The day finished off with sweet desserts full stomachs and lots of laughter.

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Until next time,
Maggie
Maggie

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