Wild Ways to See Whales – ‘A Better Way to See Orcas’

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Wild orca riding in the wake behind the whale watch boat. (travelvancouverisland.com)

Even though a visit to San Juan Island in the far northwest corner of the States is a terrific place to see wild orcas (killer whales), these sleek and dramatic whales inhabit coastal communities throughout most of the world – and the warm climate of Southern California and other areas encourages year round viewing.
Australia, New Zealand, and regions of the North Atlantic also have well studied populations of these whales, and ready access through whale watching companies – and some countries even allow you to swim and dive among these benign giant sized dolphins.
Video cameras show you what is going on underwater. (Hawaiiactive.com)

For most people in the world, it is actually easier and more affordable to go see them in the wild than to make an expensive trek to theme parks, and the best news is that whale watching has come a long way from the days when you had a choice of dank cabins or leaning over rails for fresh air only to get overpowered by diesel fumes.
Friendly whales often approach, an unbeatable experience! (seatrekbaja)

Modern whale watching companies offer an experience that rivals the circus acts of captivity, and has the bonus that no whales are harmed.
Today’s tours strive to be comfortable, and some have embraced the electronic age and are able to virtually put you in the midst of the activity. Hydrophones (underwater microphones) let you hear the sounds the whales and dolphins make as you see them through underwater viewing windows, and webcams allow you to share your experience, real time, with people at home. Staff will take photos and present you with a cd or memory stick for a nominal charge at the end of your trip.
This recently released video was created by The Orca Project, and was made in a joint effort by dolphin expert Dr. Lori Marino and author Leah Lemieux, and contrasts the lives of captive animals and their wild counterparts. This touching video documents the negative effect that captivity has on the whales, both wild and free, and should be viewed by anyone considering what values they want their families to learn from going to see whales and dolphins.

Be sure to visit The Orca Project to learn more about the orcas featured in the video, as well as more about these amazing animals in general.

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