Photo: Ten minutes of Exhilaration

(Credit: framestealer via Flickr)

Kayaking off of Bamfield on Vancouver Island, a group of us men, camping on the Deer Island Group, decided to paddle about Vargus Island. The weather was sunny as eagles soared overhead; a light breeze made a small chop on top of the incoming large Pacific rollers. As educators we felt it essential to experience this outdoor adventure to help students, and ourselves, better relate to the beauty of BC.

A couple of our group scouted ahead, but returned with the story of a gray whale feeding close to shore. We followed, and within twenty minutes, were in range of the juvenile feeding at its leisure. We approached with caution within twenty metres of it as it rhythmically dived and surfaced. The last time we saw it was as it moved beneath our kayaks and surfaced within three metres of us.

Its exhalation was awe-inspiring as it rested for ten minutes, barnacles dotting it's back and sides. It slowly slid under the waves on its foraging mission as we paddled away, more appreciative of our fellow creatures on this plane, Earth; and our province, BC.

By Rafe Sunshine

Victoria, BC

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