This is T069C. A large male born in 95. He had just killed a seal! You can see a tint of red in the mist!
It’s at this point, it went down & resurfaced……….turns out, it was coming straight at me & was only 30 feet away! It began to slowly turn onto it’s left side! This lowered that huge dorsal & allowed it to go right under my boat! I saw this 25 foot,5 ton beautiful creature glide slowly underneath me & than we made eye contact! It was looking straight at me! I was frozen & couldn’t breath! It continued past me & went back into the centre of Rankin Cove. We shared a moment!
I pray to stumble upon moments like this! “CONTACT BETWEEN ME & THEM” I swear when these moments happen that I can feel something much more than me? Almost as if I can feel the animal on a primal level…………….I’m sure it’s my imagination.
I was having a nap when a friend phoned me & told me that a group of Orca’s had just gone through the harbour & were heading up into the Inlet!
Finished my nap & headed out in search for them. I didn’t know where they were,so I turned on my VHF to listen to the chatter. Didn’t hear much but when a whale watching boat zipped past me,I realized all I had to do was follow the Whale watching boats. I caught up with them coming out of Tranquil Inlet.
This was the T069 group. Not sure of how many there were,but after looking them up in my book,they are comprised of 6 Orca’s.(Rod Palm,”Adventures With Killer Whales In Clayoquot Sound”)
I continued to follow them as they headed into Rankin Cove. This is when the large male (T069C) made a Seal kill! The water turned red & a few of his blows even had a red tint to the mist!
T069C than dove & quietly disappeared…………….. he came up suddenly very close to me! (I was standing up in my boat with the motor off)It was coming straight for me! It was only 30 feet away! Than It turned slowly onto it’s left side (so as not to hit my boat) & glided effortlessly underneath my boat! As it went past,I could clearly see it’s large right eye looking straight up at me! I’ll never forget that moment!
It returned to the centre of Rankin Cove & than the group proceeded out of the cove. They continued along Tofino Inlet’s north shore to Creative Salmon’s “McCall’s” fish farm. This is where I lost them temporarily.I didn’t see them anywhere,so continued around the south side of Warne island. Unbeknownst to me,they had gone right & where on the north side of Warne!
I realized my mistake & went around to the north side looking for them & sure enough,reconnected!
I than followed them to another Creative salmon fish farm.(Baxter) They passed this farm & were going into Dawley Pass. I waited & waited for them to resurface but they never did? It’s as if they disappeared! Ghost Orca’s!
I waited on the other side of Dawley in Fortune Channel. The water was very calm & I could see clearly up the channel. I waited for 15 minutes & realized that they were gone & so was the light where I was anyways. So I called it.
I headed back as fast as I could. It was getting very close to sunset & I didn’t want to miss it! (I had stayed with the Orca’s for almost 3 hrs)
I rushed back to Tsapee Narrows & payed a quick visit with the Daredevil. I had lost all the good light so I could only shoot him as a silhouette.
Said goodnight & continued on into the harbour. It was at this time I noticed the full moon rising low in the east. I found a eagle on top of a tree & lined the moon up in behind it & took a few shots.
Whenever I do this,it’s kind of like joining the dots. If the moon is point”A” & the eagle is point “B”. I try to find the sweet spot………point “C”! I draw a line through “A” & “B” to find where “C” is?
Because of the tide’s flow & usually the wind too,I can only briefly pass through point “C”. Than I have to circle around & repeat.
Got a few good ones with the full moon!
Made it back into the harbour but I suspect the lions share of the sunset had already happened?
I went to visit with Romeo & Juliette on Deadman Island. Managed to get a few shots of them as well.
The sunset was gone by this point,so I headed back.
Had a unforgettable shoot today! One for the books!
I had just finished fueling up at the local marina & was heading out when I spotted my furry friend on a wharf finger close by! I re-approached slowly & was able to get off a few shots! Otters can be difficult to get close to! If their eating something already,it’s much easier to get closer because they are preoccupied!
We mostly have River Otters close to us in the harbour & the Sea Otters generally stay further on the outside.