Whale’s tails

This is about as close as I want to get to a humpback while sitting in a kayak! I was amazed at how easily the sound of their exhale carried over the calm sea – we heard them long before we actually saw any. A real treat! A great day out with North Island Kayak.

Our rest period between backpacking trips involved a few days near Port Hardy, one of which we spent sitting with our bums inches from the water in a double kayak. Early in the day there was a suggestion that we might see killer whales – that would have been incredible, as kayaking in Johnstone Strait with killer whales was one of those must-do things I had at the back of my mind. Alas, that turned out to be not the case but we did find humpbacks.

We were paddling on flat calm seas, a heavy mist hanging low over the water when we heard it: a loud exhale of breath. We stopped to work out where the sound was coming from, and there in the distance we saw it – the characteristic bump of the back of a humpback. And I have to say, I was a little nervous. A friend of ours had had a very close call with a humpback while in a kayak when it surfaced directly underneath his boat. But in this case the whale stayed well away, sticking to what seemed to be a good feeding ground while we hung around near the edge of one of the Pumper Islands. We watched for a while before the whale dove one last time, when it was time to move on and join the playful sea lions instead.

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