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Vancouver Island, BC Canada 4

I am so excited about today's adventure, that I had difficulty sleeping. By 6:00 am, I am ready to start my day! I am going kayaking and whale-watching adventures from Campbell River. We are eight people on the tour squeezing into a small boat. Even though it is cold on the deck, I choose to stand outside. It is a beautiful sunny day, and the temperature is perfect. The skies are blue with some patches of white clouds with a hint of gray.

As the boat leaves the marina, we get a message that a pod of Orcas are just north of us. Yay! I am so happy I remembered to bring my binoculars, what a sight! Seeing this majestic Orca breaching is incredible! Our captain, Jessica, turned off the engine for the boat to stand still far enough away so as to not disturb their natural habitat.

The show is over, and the Orcas disappear into the depth of the sea. We are on our way to Read Island. It feels like Jessica is steering the boat at full speed, and of course, I am loving it! What happens next to my emotions, body, and feeling is like nothing I have ever experienced. With the wild view of islands, layer upon layer of so many mountains folding into each other, some still covered with snow, hypnotized me into a trance. The wind tunnel I am standing in, as the boat speeds through, enters my nose, filling my lungs with pure fresh air. I am in total awe!!! All my senses are on fire! Only the sound of the engine humming in my ears proves I am not dreaming. I am so mesmerized by the view I can't even take my eyes off to take a photo. I want to capture it straight into my heart and seal this experience in my memory with no interruption. I cannot put into words the beauty I see. Just yesterday, I thought nothing could top the wonders I see daily, and here it is, the one and only! I hope the pictures I will take later capture the view I am seeing right now.

As we get to Whale Passage, we split into two groups of four. My first half of the day will be kayaking to view wildlife around Whale Passage. For the second half, we will return to the boat to continue our search for whales.

I love kayaking! One of my toys back home is a bright and happy kayak, so when I am paired with an orange kayak, I feel at home. Nova, our guide is briefing us on some rules to follow. We go around introducing ourselves. Janet is from Hong Kong, Janeen and John are from Australia, so we are an international team on a mission. What do we see as we explore the Whale Passage? Janeen spots a bald eagle perching on top of a tree. Then, as we turn a corner, we were startled by a colony of Sea Lions congregating. They all jump into the water, disappearing for just a minute before popping up their heads, curious to check us out. I feel like I am playing a game of hide and seek with a fun twist with the seals. We continue kayaking, enjoying the warm sun and the gorgeous view. At one point, we are hugging the shoreline in search of more wildlife. The water is so clear that it is easy to spot many Starfish; their vibrant colors of purple and orange are rich and bold. As we get closer to Evans Bay, Nova receives a message that a pod of Humpback Whales has been spotted at Evans Bay. It doesn't take long until we see the cloud of moist air and hear the blow expelled through their blowhole. Yes, I hoped to see whales on my journey, but this? This is beyond incredible! Seeing them at eye level and hearing their breathing cut through the air is a once-in-a-lifetime gift. We realize they are heading in our direction, so we get closer to each other and stay close to the shore. It is so exciting for me, I don't even consider the danger that it might present. We see them a few times as they swim past us and then disappear into the deep water. At this point, our little boat is back to pick us up. As we switch activity, the pod of Humpback Whales are back, giving us a show of breaching, fin flopping, and tails splashing. I am elated as I watch them with my binoculars, getting a close look at this beautiful aquatic creature. Then they disappeared again as we were about to leave. Without warning, they suddenly leap out of the water just 50 feet from us for one last hello.

We continued our travel through the Hoskyn Channel and Drew Passage to immerse again in this breathtaking view. As we entered Drew Passage, I spotted a little cabin on one of the tiny islands. That's it! I found my future home! :) Well, now I have a new dream to follow...

As the day ends, and it is time to return to the marina, we spot a herd of Steller Sea Lions resting on a buoy enjoying the warm sun before nightfall.

This adventure for sure will have a special place in my heart. I hope to keep in touch with my little international team, as now we have our Whatsapp group and share other experiences as we continue to travel.

Thank you, Ramona, for this amazing gift; thank you for your friendship, kindness, and generosity.

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