Looking for Whales

April 26, 2016

Every time someone pointed at something, people turned towards that direction only to find that it was a false alarm.

Not everyday of our trip was an adventure. We've had so many disappointments and plenty of things did not go as planned: no whales, no Aurora Borealis, just us and the ever-changing weather. I did realize that this was a possibility even before the trip.

But if you're planning a trip and want to make the most out of it, my advice is to avoid December. The winter equinox (longer nights) makes it hard to do a lot of activities during the day unless you're a night person and know how to drive in snowy conditions. The only silver lining was that it was low season. So there's that.

Sometimes, being paranoid can be good. We would have never gotten on that boat if I never called them that morning. Our names were apparently left out from the list. Thankfully, the person on the phone was very reasonable. I gave him our confirmation number and names and pretty soon, a man picked us up at a meeting point.

He looked stressed out and annoyed as he drove frantically towards our destination. There was no explanation or conversation the entire trip and the silence felt awkward. When we got there, everyone was already inside the boat and the crew was waiting for us — the very last passengers.

Glaring eyes met us as we walked past people already settled in their seats. I felt my face flush. Nothing to see here folks. Just a couple of kids who got forgotten. The boat's engine started seconds later and everyone resumed to their original state. Oh thank God!

There's a narrow staircase that led to the bottom of the deck. We grabbed a couple of overalls that looked like something fishermen wore when they go out fishing in the deep sea. The ones you'd often see in reality shows like Deadliest Catch.

It wasn't easy moving around because of the consistent tilting of the boat. People stood by the edges and kept their eyes focused on the sea. I imagined seeing one or two whales coming out of the ocean, swimming close to the boat as we admired its gracefulness. I've always had this strong love for the ocean and anything living in it.

Hot chocolate sounds good right now. My body was warm thanks to the suit but my face and hands were freezing. Every now and then, rain would pour, followed by mild snow, and then rain again. It was as if the sky was in a state of indecisiveness.

The guide sat on top of an elevated platform reciting facts about whales in his monotone voice. Every time someone pointed at something, people turned towards that direction only to find that it was a false alarm. People were starting to get bored and after a few hours of standing around, some went back inside to keep warm. Jeremie decided to go back inside as well and fell asleep in one of the seats downstairs for the rest of the trip.

As for me, I stayed, holding on to my camera still hoping for something to happen. Maybe I'll see a fin. I wouldn't mind that.

Up ahead, snowy mountains began to emerge. The guide said something on the radio. We were going to try one more spot and then head back to the pier. We never saw any whales that day but we were given a card that allowed us to go on another free ride in the future.

Next time, we will see whales.

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