Call of the


Nestled within Canada’s Great Bear Rainforest and the waterways of deep fjords, Rosie Hoban volunteered as an intern observing the daily movements of whales. The Fin Island Research Station synchronises these observations with their ability to tune into underwater hydrophones, deciphering the secret language of these majestic animals. Rosie shared her account of the experience with Womenclan.

Words: Rosie Hoban 

Photos: Janie Wray and Rosie Hoban


Picture this: It’s a silvery grey windless day. The ocean is still. You are gazing out from a wooden deck of a cabin upon a rocky outcrop overlooking Squally Channel, near Hartley Bay on the northwest coast of British Columbia. Luminous green kelp, barnacles and starfish in deep oranges and purple grasp the rocks at the shore line (you’ll later harvest the kelp to eat with dinner). Untouched forest frames the scene. This is blissful Canadian wilderness. This is Fin Island.


Damp wood rests under your palms as you lean on the railing. It’s 8am and the sky and ocean are like two lovers who have found a moment of reprieve. For a brief stretch of time, each is content in each other's closeness. 


Each day starts like this: With coffee in one hand, preparations begin for your hourly 20 minute scan of the ocean for whale sightings. You will be using ‘big eye’ binoculars which are half a meter in height, a foot in width and what seems to be a tonne in weight (please forgive this simple Aussie traveler’s attempts at navigating complicated systems of measurement!). In addition to smaller (but still fancy) binoculars...

Want to keep reading? Find the full story, Call of the Wild, in Womenclan magazine available here.