September 8, 2009
Hurry up and wait!
We have been stuck here in Bamfield for over a week now waiting for a decent weather window to open for our voyage south. Usually times like this I tend to go a bit crazy, mulling over the weather, wondering, waiting, planning and scheming. However this past week has been filled with wonderful time spent with old and new friends. We have had dinner with fellow professors of biology, my cohorts that are teaching here at the marine station this fall. A good dose of time was spent with our old friends Doug and Nicole who have dedicated their lives to monitoring and informing the public about safe boating practices around the whales of the region. (Straitwatch.org) It is interesting having intellectually stimulating conversations about whales and ideas about hot topics in biology and conservation and having these majestic animals all about us. Another treat that I have had the pleasure of is to write biology lectures for my upcoming course while actually observing these animals on a daily basis. This week I have been writing a lecture about the physiology of diving in marine mammals (whales, seals and sealions) and just this morning while anchored in a pristine bay in the broken islands we watched as several California sea lions preyed on the abundant schools of herring that are frequenting the coastal waters as spawning season approaches. On the way back, we sighted the now familiar spray of a humpback whale near Effingham island. We were able to share this past few days with our new friend Erika who is a documentary film-maker and lives on Helby Island near Bamfield. With such company and in this location, beautiful sights, great conversation and plenty of laughter has sped this past week away.
We are now standing on the precipice, the edge of the map, the end of North and the journey to South. The weather looks promising for the next few days. Tomorrow we will decide if we make the leap.