This past May long weekend, the Cetus Society attended the Maple Bay Marina Wooden Boat Festival. Alongside beautiful boats and unique ‘float homes’, Director of Communications and Education Leah Thorpe and intern Gabrielle Macklin set out to the Maple Bay Marina to educate and inform festival participants on safe and eco-friendly whale watching guidelines.
The people were friendly and the ice cream delicious. Saturday was beautiful and although the weather was on the grey side of gorgeous on Sunday, it didn’t stop the people of southern Vancouver Island from coming to enjoy the festival. Locals and tourists alike were keen to learn and to share their own experiences with whales of all species. Kids of all ages had fun colouring cut-out grey whales and putting together our orca calf jigsaw puzzle, getting a better grasp of the importance of a complete food web.
It was a pleasure to meet such interesting people and listen to stories. One story that stood out was of a man who watched humpback whales migrate past his cabin in the middle of the night. He told of hearing them sing into the darkness and of a curious calf that inspected him as he sat on the beach watching. It’s the kind of experience you think of as only a story until you realize it happened to the person telling it, and that without conservation efforts and the support of the community, these stories might stop being told.
Surrounding all of it was the beautiful mountainous terrain iconic to British Columbia. The mixture of mountains, forests and ocean was almost overwhelming and was truly a sight to behold.
Thank you to the Maple Bay Boat Festival for giving us the opportunity to contribute to the festival and for an entertaining way to spend the weekend.
Written by Cetus Intern Gabrielle Macklin.