March 10th was a pretty awesome day this year! Cory turned 30 and I planned a kick ass surprise birthday for him. We headed back to his hometown with his family in tow, three boats, and one or two Lucky Lagers. The weather was unreal, the prawning was top notch, but the most amazing part a 12 meter sperm whale swimming within our view. We would later come to learn just how special this really was.
Now full disclosure we told everyone that day we saw a humpback which is quite embarrassing to think about now but how would we know?? I’ve lived on Vancouver Island for my entire life and I have never seen a sperm whale in fact I’ve never even heard of anyone talk about one.
Within an hour of being on the water Cory spotted this juvenile beast cruising in front of us and cut the engine. We sat there in ocean silence in almost flat calm water and listened to the breathy blow of this incredible giant. It seemed lethargic and docile for what I’ve seen of humpbacks but I sat in awe and clicked away. It surfaced for its final time and rather than a tail flip it turned sideways as if to wave goodbye and just like that it was gone. We tried to call the rest of our group over but it was too late. The three of us were on repeat for the rest of the day reliving how incredible it was. Little did we know.
When we got back home I had to pull the photos off my camera. We studied the images which I actually couldn’t believe I had taken and I kept joking about its weird shaped head that reminded me of something. That’s when Cory’s sister joking said maybe it’s a Sperm Whale. Cory googled it (thank you internet) and up popped a recent CBC article about the first siting of a Sperm Whale in the Johnstone Strait since 1984. And then came the piece we needed, their distinct 45° angle blow. Well that was it, Yukusam confirmed.
This is one of those moments in life that I will never forget. I will be plagued with thinking it was humpback but meeting Yukusam is a story I will tell for the rest of my life. Yukusam is pretty well known around here now since his cruise down to our Capital, Victoria. But seeing him within the first few weeks of his first viewing is something we will remember forever.