Small cetaceans bring unexpected thrills on whaling trip

ABOARD THE CCGS JOHN B. TULLY — We are far off the B.C. coast in search of big endangered whales but often it is the Pacific Ocean’s smaller cetaceans that provide the greatest and most unexpected thrills. The Tully, a Canadian Coast Guard research ship, is 70 nautical miles off the northwestern tip of Vancouver Island when the first Risso’s dolphins are spotted by the science crew on the monkey island above the bridge. As the ship slows to better observe the dolphins, they quickly increase in numbers — a dozen, two dozen, suddenly an estimated 50 of them splashing all around us.

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