On Saturday, May 25th, GRCC students were treated to a rare and inspiring performance by a humpback whale in the Puget Sound. We had departed campus bright and early at 6am in order to embark on the Victoria Clipper for a day of sightseeing and whale-watching. We all hoped to catch a glimpse of a whale or two, but none of us expected the show our friend gave us!
By the time we saw this humpback whale, we’d already seen the rare sight of a mother minke whale with her small calf… which we all assumed would be the highlight of our trip. However, when our boat began its approach to Friday Harbor, we glimpsed the fluke (tale) of a humpback whale as he dove into the water in the distance. The captain manipulated the boat to get a closer view, and all of a sudden, our aquatic buddy started breaching (jumping out of the water), slapping the water to say hello, and rolling around in circles. It was as though he knew how far many of our students had come, and he didn’t want to leave them disappointed. We enjoyed this spectacular show for several minutes (an eternity in whale-watching time!), as everybody on the boat squealed with delight at each new trick by our whale friend. Afterward, our guide apologized for not narrating the whole thing, but admitted that she was “stunned speechless” by the demonstration. Several of the other passengers on the boat remarked that –although they’d been whale-watching on numerous other occasions- they’d never seen anything like this! It was quite the adrenaline rush!
Bo Sun, a student from China, said that watching the whale jump out of the water was “really cool.” Ming Jeng Wang of Taiwan added that, in addition to the whale-watching, she really enjoyed shopping at Friday Harbor. One of our students was able to get some great pictures of the whale and his antics, which you can see here. However, the pictures certainly cannot do the experience justice… it was something altogether different to view it all live and in-person!
This whale-watching trip was one of many activities arranged by the International Programs Activities Team. Stop by the Student Life Office to check out the other fantastic events we have coming up!