Went on vacation to the PNW recently and did a half-day (~4 hour) whale watching tour. Never done one before but I’d been cautioned by my relatives not to get my hopes up, so I wasn’t expecting more than some whale trivia really.
Within about 30 mins of leaving the port we saw the first humpback of the day, and shortly thereafter came 17 more. We were in the same spot for probably 90 minutes quite literally surrounded by multiple humpback whales on all four sides of the boat. They were surfacing (fluke-ing if you wanna get technical) the entire time, too. Some within about 100 feet or so of the boat. The crew usually counts and records every fluke seen on a trip but they got close to 200 and lost count/gave up.
Last we went to a new area to try and spot some orca, although we figured our luck was bound to run out soon considering the day we’d had up to this point. Nope. We spotted two orca going the same direction as the boat, one on each side, and matched their pace for a good half hour. The guides informed us that some large prey was also in the area (I think a porpoise but not positive) and we got to watch as the orca worked together trying to corral it. Nature, man.
The marine biologist on board told us that in her 25ish years of work it was easily the top 3 best days she’s had on the water. I was satisfied with just the whale facts brochure so real whales were a pretty neat bonus.