A Special Encounter with J Pod – 12/10/16

This is a reaction story. On our way to where we had northbound Southern Residents I was chatting with a rather elderly lady. Very nice women and she was telling me about how she had been on whale watching trips of the coast off South Africa, Eastern United States, Australia and both the Atlantic and Pacific sides of South America. She was a pretty veteran whale watcher yet SHE HAD NEVER SEEN WHALES!!! I was pretty shocked and privately highly relieved that we knew where the whales were already and were not still searching. This lady was visibly pale and shaking when we first saw them. When we came on scene we shut down and just let them go by. I asked her if she wanted to sit but she said that it was just such a big thing for her to finally see them. She grabbed my hand and as J41, J51 and two others favoured us with a close pass. She squeezed hard.

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As they kept going she turned to me and said I have been waiting 78 years for this. Thank you. And she started to cry. Some of my passengers practically in tears too seeing this lady so happy. So we had a day with no big breaches, spyhops or epic splashy behaviour. But I felt very honoured to share it with this one lady who had waited her whole life for that moment

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-Kathryn

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