I had mildly excited expectations for my first time going on a whale watching tour, but I had no idea it would end up being the best experience of my life! We had some family visiting from Ontario, so we booked a tour with Mariner Cruises and climbed aboard the Chad & Sisters Two ship with a bunch of other folks, heading out for a beautiful sunny day. Not even half an hour later we were greeted by a group of 3 known male humpbacks with an unknown (likely female) companion. They came incredibly close to the boat, and even put on a bit of a show for us, waving with their pectoral fins, tail slaps, a face peek from giant Sockeye and even a tail waggle from big boy Tusk! The excitement on the boat was palpable, and the staff were also so knowledgeable and passionate. Amy told us a story about one of their first cruises with locals during the beginning of covid, and Sockeye came right up to the boat and was staring intently at her. She finally realized that for the first time in 30 years of tours, the humans looked & sounded different because of the masks. When she removed her mask and spoke to him without it, she said he almost shrugged or nodded, as he recognized it was her. These creatures are amazingly intelligent; they have developed such trust with the tour boats that they will seek them out and show off, enjoying the interaction with people. The tours do not feed or bait them in any way, and there are strict rules about only having two boats per whale/group. So they aren't ever crowded or overwhelmed. I got these pictures of the day, but they don't compare to the feeling of experiencing it in person. I will remember that pure joy excitement for the rest of my life!