|Paddling with a Gray Whale
Labor Day 2007
On Sunday, September 2, 2007, Jackie and I were at the Klahhane potluck at Salt Creek which is located 20 miles west of
Port Angeles. Before lunch, a group set off after Ron as he had seen some whales in Crescent Bay. A few saw the whales, but
they were at a distance. After lunch, we drove along Crescent Bay and saw two gray whales in the bay and sat for a half hour
watching the whales. Not wanting to miss a good thing, we went back this morning and put our kayaks in at Crescent Beach.
We saw no whales, so we paddled to Tongue Point. From there, we began to paddle towards the other side of the bay when
we looked toward the shore and saw a whale surface between us and the beach.
We spent the next 75 minutes sitting in our kayaks and watching the whale (just one) surface about every three minutes. The
whale kept coming up in different places, but it was not a problem knowing where it was as we always heard the sound of air
blowing when it surfaced. Sometimes, it would surface in front of us and then the next time behind us.
This last picture was taken as the whale surfaced on the outside looking out across the strait. The mountains in the
background behind the fog are on Vancouver Island. The big ships were blowing their fog horns.
The next to last time the whale surfaced he was only fifty feet from my kayak. He came up behind me. My camera was in a
sleep mode, and I was caught by surprise and did not catch his photo at my best opportunity. I heard the whale come up one
more time, but this time it was too far to see. Elated, we paddled back to our car and came home to prepare for our last Labor
Day celebration that evening.
Below, Jackie in late August 2007, paddling in Port Angeles Harbor.
Left, full moon from Hurricane Hill,
August 29, 2007.