Taking a Northern Expedition up the Inside Passage 

We are going from Port Hardy to Prince Rupert and it’s a fifteen hour ferry trip. We need to be at the ferry terminal 5.30 am so both Ren and Gilbert retire early, while I know I will wake at about 2am if I go to bed at seven, so I sit up and write my blog post. ‘North, North and more North’. Wifi is dropping out all the time so I decide I will hook up at the end to send and 9pm I try and try, but can’t get on. While I’m fiddling around I manage to delete my post. Argggghhhhh. I’m gutted and can’t believe it. But decide I’ll show Ren in the morning and hope she can fix it. The curtains don’t quite fit the window and at 9pm it’s almost full daylight, which is pretty crazy.

We’re up early waiting for the taxi, and I take this pic just as the sun is rising at 5.17am. Ren is down with her camera taking photos left right and centre, so I know hers are going to be amazing, but this is fine for me. The roads are full of Dodge Rams and Chevys and they’re all huge. If you see one in NZ they look massive, but here they fit right in. There’s heaps of huge RV’s and what I think they call third wheel campers and many are waiting in line to load on the ferry.

We finally board at 6am and leave the dock at 7.30am. We are to go through what’s called the ‘Inside passage’, as there are hundreds of Islands we must pass through. Some seem like narrow slips between islands. Ren has it in her google maps. Of course from the get go everyones on high alert to hopefully catch a glimpse of bears on shore or whales and dolphins. An hour goes by and people have relaxed. Their wide angle long lens cameras or binoculars, resting in their laps, and some are dozing from the five am or earlier start to the day. I lean over and suggest to Ren it could be fun to just yell out ‘whale breaching over there!’ That’d wake them up! Ren’s giggling and ‘grumpy face’ down the way leans forward to give us another disdainful look. He apparently doesn’t appreciate happy people. It’s pretty hard to not laugh as Ren and I are happy. We pat ourselves on the back that we have chosen good seats. Front row. Port side. I’ll never forget that now as I was told ‘Port’ and left have the same amount of letters. Easy! 

It’s early morning and the mist makes it gorgeous.

Suddenly the young couple next to us move quickly and I look up to see them gather jackets and cameras. I look at him, and as he catches my eye he says quietly, “whales” as if he doesn’t want the whole boat to know. Ren and I dash down to the end of the boat and two grey whales are just hanging out and flappin their flippers…or tails. I’m not sure because I can’t really see. The young couple hand me their binoculars which was pretty nice of them as they are keen spotters, and take turns on lookout. I actually can only see a bit of movement on the water, but they are telling us excitedly they are two small grey whales. I go to hand the binoculars to Ren but she says, “it’s OK Mum. I saw them with my own eyes”. Bloody bionic eyes. Haha!

An hour or two later the same girl gets excited and is pointing out our window, and as she dashes outside for a better look, I peer out in time to see a couple of whales blowing out their blow holes. Too slow to get a picture, but it was pretty close and I could easily see. Ah, I’ve at least seen that, so anything from here is a bonus. Both Gilbert and Ren were taking a walk so missed that one. 

A snooze and some lunch later the Captain announces there’s a baby whale on our starboard side, and we get to a window just in time to see him surface and blow and go down again. Little devil didn’t come up again until well past us so that was that! No photo again.

There is a recording that tells us interesting facts as we travel. We call her Siri, and at one point she tells us there’s a river up ahead, where the salmon swim up river to spawn and we may be lucky to see bears fishing there. If we are really lucky we may see the white bear, known as the ‘spirit bear’. Some mistake him for an albino of the black bear, but in fact one in ten is white. I’m able to get a pic from the magazine next to me, which is as good as it gets today.

It’s pretty cold outside and once again I’m glad I packed that warm set for a North American Summer.Finishing dinner and the captain announces a whale on the Port side but I miss that too. Ren convinces us to go outside for selfies but it’s pretty chilly now and we leave her there taking pics.

Didn’t know I got that one did ya!

It’s going to be a late night with us docking at 11.30pm and finding our booked hotel and an early start tomorrow as we fly into Haida Gwaii. This will be a highlight. Talk soon! 

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