Let me tell you a story, one of perseverance and strife, filled with sorrow and of love, one that is sure to be remembered… Let me tell you a story…
As light stretched itself upon the lands igniting the darkness with a bitter sweet glow and the day began to break, a heavy rain began to pour down from above. It was becoming abundantly clear that Calypso was not about to make the last voyage of the Island Explorer 4 an easy one, but the crew was undeterred and they began their day as they always have. Rain or shine, windy or calm, only one desire lay within them. To create the most amazing experience possible upon the Salish sea one which would dance upon the hear strings of all their guests for an eternity.
With the turn of the keys and the roar of two cat engines, the world fell silent. Every drop of rain suddenly becoming a note of music, painting a silhouette as it splashed upon the decks of the Island Explorer 4. Captain Scott stood at the helm listening to the banter of mariners over crackle filled radios as he plotted out his rendezvous with destiny. He was joined by Captain Carl, who having filled his morning coffee, was listening in on the latest weather and planning for the road that lay ahead. Sarah was down in the galley, assembling the days feast and putting the final touches on an empty room which, in no time at all, would be filled with guests seeking shelter from Calypso’s vile temper. Soon the crew would be greeting their guests, and beginning the journey into an unknown universe. For you see, no matter how often you sail, the ocean is and always will be a mystery.
It was 10:15 when Carl and Tyson made their way up the wet concrete dock to welcome the first comers of the day. Rain still filled the sky as if to flood the earth, and yet moral ran high. Perhaps it was the joys of the previous days activities still lingering on their minds, or perhaps these two handsomely defiant gentlemen knew that they were about embark upon a most excellent adventure.
Captain Carl was experienced in the ways of world, well traveled and stern in his way, he was the envy of most any captain on the seas to date. A man who had seen it all and done it all, with scars and stories to boot. He stood at the dock entrance, gripping his coffee cup, and indulging in the slight warmth it gave his calloused hands. Next to him a young gentleman by the name of Tyson, listened intently to Carl’s stories of the feast which had taken place but one night ago. Standing 6 feet tall with a beard as red as dragon fire, Tyson was on ominous looking fellow, one that would make Paul Bunyan jealous. Yet to judge him so, you would be wrong, for behind his rugged exterior lay the heart of a teddy bear, and the smile of a prince.
Car after car began to arrive like a long convoy pulling in to its last checkpoint. Within minutes trunks were opening and vehicles were being emptied of their most precious cargo. Donning jackets and thick winter hats, one by one the guests appeared from their chariots to face what the day would bring to them. Quickly they made their way towards the water, down the misshapen dock and onto
the chariot they would ride to glory, or defeat. As they boarded they were greeted by a younger
looking man, a man well beyond his time. With the experience of a crafty veteran and the wit of a skilled rookie, this man would be their captain, and his name was Captain Scott.
When everyone had boarded, Captain Scott once again reached down and turned the keys, igniting the fury from within the belly of the beast. The cats once again roared to life, screaming for their precious diesel in which they would gorge upon. Their purr rumbling through the air, drowning
out any and all worries of the day. Tyson and Carl returned to the boat and in minutes lines were released, and like a newly freed bird, the Island Explorer 4 once again flew from her cage, into the great wide open.
With blue skies to her west, and dark gloom lying just east if her bow, Captain Scott rounded Ediz hook and charged her full steam into the western end of the Salish. Rains came and went and cold breezes blew but the ship sailed on, splitting waves like the sword of a brave samurai, she plunged
ever deep toward the horizon. Sarah, a skilled cook and deckhand, was in the galley, cooking up delicious chili dogs and nachos, showing her obvious skill as a mariner, and a disciplined one at that. With each rock of the boat each order would go out to its intended guest with precision and speed. For you see Sarah has sailed before, her skill this day would be unmatched within her rivals and as time passed much joy was had by her proficiency with a microwave.
Race rocks lay just ahead and with the void of sea life it was time for the crew to prove their worth. As the shipped neared the jagged rocky coast, the faint barking sound of California sea lions echoed
upon the raging rapids that engulfed the lighthouse. A lone bald eagle sat just of shore on a small outcropping, awaiting its opportunity to strike, and steal away any prey it could sink its sharp talons into. Across from its perch lay hundreds of California sea lions barking and raising a fuss amongst each other. Rounding the corner the Island Explorer 4 came across many Steller sea lions and one amazing treat, a group of elephant seals laying out in plain sight. After such a delightful treat it was time to turn north in search of what must be found…. Whales.
Not long after leaving the sounds and smells that envelope Race rocks, Captain Carls sharp eyes spotted success in the distance!!! Blow after blow rose upon the horizon, beckoning us in, like the sweet song of a siren. Carl knew their were multiple whales due to the blows, but nothing prepared him or the rest of the boat for what was about to happen next. With the boat approaching the whales took their deep dive and disappeared…
Suddenly just off her starboard side five humpback whales rose from the sea. Blow upon blow, whale after whale greeted the Island Explorer 4. The world around the gallant ship faded away and soon nothing but the whales were on the minds and hearts of the guests. Without fail the whales surfaced in unison, one after the other releasing its tranquil beauty upon the earth. Each exhalation stealing away the breath of those on board the Island Explorer 4 until finally a deep dive with tails raised high in the chilly November air.
Time passed and to no avail the whales had seemed to disappear, but just when all hope seemed lost, they rose again, this time right next to the boat. Blanketing the bow in whales mucus and striking aww deep into all the hearts onboard the Island Explorer 4. Certainly nothing could get better than this, thought Tyson as his camera flashed away capturing all the glory of the days event, but never had he been more wrong. With no warning whales began to throw their tails high into the air, showing the guests and crew the true might if the humpback whale. One excited whale even did a head stand raising its tail straight into the air, high above the heads of the astonished guests. There was no doubt an amazing show had taken place here, and the crew showed it upon their astonished faces.
With the show at an end the Island Explorer 4 sailed north for more mystery and success, but to no avail. Soon it became apparent that it was time to return home as Calypso came back in force to the ships bow. This would be the last voyage of the 2014 season and it would be one to write home about. With these whales the crew of the Island Explorer 4 set an unheard of record for Island Adventures. 100% success for a single location, oh what a day to sail….
November 28, 2014… A day which will forever echo upon the winds of time and burn bright in the annals of Island adventures
Final words by Tyson Reed, naturalist
Soon to be read aloud by Morgan Freeman
Final words by Tyson Reed, naturalist
Soon to be read aloud by Morgan Freeman
The 2014 season has come to an end today and it was a fantastic one! We ended with a 100% whale sighting success rate out of Port Angeles – What an incredible location to have the privilege of departing from!
Today we left the dock not knowing what we were going to find. The Island Explorer 4, her fearless crew, and hearty passengers were rewarded with 5 very active humpback whales!!
We want to thank everyone who joined us this season from all of our locations. It was an amazing year having two boats, three departure locations, and so much wildlife to enjoy. We couldn’t do it without our guests – THANK YOU and we will see you in March next year!
Stay tuned for a little more detail on today’s whale report to come a little later this evening!