I haven’t been able to get out for one reason or another. Life in Tofino is never linear……thankfully! Life here is always unpredictable. When I wake in the morning I never know where or what I will be doing at the end of the day? Its a strange life to be sure but I wouldn’t trade it for all the gold.

This was originally shot on June 23rd,2013.
A small pod of Orca’s came into Tofino inlet looking for a snack.
Whenever a pod comes into a area,they make their presence known by announcing themselves.They make certain sounds that are very recognizable to all listening! Everyone in the neighbourhood knows exactly who they are & what they want! So everyone swims away & hides.Usually in beds of seaweed.
Once the pod announces themselves,they fall silent.They move into each bay checking the seaweed beds for hiding prey.Once supper is found,it’ll try to make a run for it.Sometimes they get away……..& sometimes they do not.
This time not so lucky for Mr.Seal. They made a kill! The water must of been all red from the blood as a few of the blows turned red!
After making the kill,the large male decided to come over and check me a visit.
He caught me off guard! I had my large lens on but because he popped up only 15 feet away I needed a wide angle lens. You could hear me cursing for a mile when I realized that!

………and I “think” I know why he came over to check me out?

I wear a pair of large headphones.I like listening to music,plus it muffles the engine noise and also keeps my hat on. When we came into Rankin Cove I took it off & had placed it on the hard floor of my boat.I shut the motor off so I could hear them breath. I hear them,locate and shoot.

When I threw the headphones to the boat floor I had accidentally left the music playing.I suspect the large male heard the music transmitting through the hull & simply came over to find out what that noise was?
When he surfaced directly in front of me,he surprised me! He slowly rolled over onto his left side & glided gently under my boat.I’ll always remember that large questioning eye looking up at me!

Yes,I do take pictures for a living but also live for moments like this! Words fail to describe the moment exactly. I’ve never been good with them to be honest. My worst subject through school. As a matter of fact If my English had been 2 percent points higher in grade 13 I would of gone into Ryerson for  a BSc in Photography rather than pursuing Geology.

Life is complicated but in moments like this it seems so simple!


  1. So these orcas must be the so-called “transients.” I’ve heard that J Pod, one of the groups of dwindling “resident” orcas, hasn’t been seen around Victoria much this spring/summer. Rumour has them off the west coast somewhere. I have to admit, I think those guys are doomed. They couldn’t adapt to us and our fishing habits, it seems. Sad. Good to see that the transients seem to be doing OK. And great photos as always, Wayne! Not many folks are in a position to deliver wonderful images to us land-dwellers.

  2. How awesome! Are you still seeing them as much as in 2013? We didn’t see any on our last trip there. The resident pods are under siege in so many places. Starving, attacking great whites in Monterey Bay and eating their livers, and the transients are taking over the very old territories of the residents. It is a die off that most people don’t know of. Satellite photos show the residents off northern Washington state reducing body mass as they starve, witnessed from space.
    It is good we are such a smart species, right?
    Your photos are phenomenal.

    1. They drop by every two weeks or so,but I prefer when they come on the inside personally.
      Drone footage shows “peanut head” occurring due to body mass loss. We are slowly but surely wiping everything off of this planet. Our turn will come.

  3. It’s been said that, “pictures speak louder than words,” and also “pictures speak a thousand words.” I can agree with both of these because the Lord has spoken powerfully to me through the pics you’ve shared and used many of them to confirm many things He’s spoken, so snap and share away my brother.

  4. When he surfaced directly in front of me,he slowly rolled over onto his left side & glided slowly under my boat.I’ll always remember that large questioning eye looking up at me!

    ….absolutely breathtaking; I am just imagining the experience :) … and how stunningly you capture the beauty.

      1. Music would have to be much better than listening to the motor boats, traffic, and local barking dogs, so I think they’d like it! :-)

        Tonight is holiday fireworks less than a mile away. I wondered last year on whether it put fear in B&B and family. Now again. :-(

      2. I know the resident eagles are upset by the noise! Not to mention all the rest of the wildlife in the area.
        Cats and dogs must all run for cover! Watch Beau and Bella for their reaction?

    1. your always entertaining Anne and thank you being that way!
      Yes,It was a life moment I will remember. If its true that your life flashes before your eyes at the moment of passing,I have a epic movie yet to be screened!

  5. These are amazing photos Wayne – the Orca rising out of the water is just incredible – you helped us see the awesomeness of an up-close encounter of the best kind!

      1. You have told me several times it is all about being at the right place and right time. They showed up and you were there Wayne. While I liked all the post pictures, your header photo is magnificent, as so much of the Orca’s head and body are visible, plus the sky made it even more special.

      2. I just went back and looked at that header pic – I did not notice it before, was just admiring how much of the Orca was out of the water and the scenic sky and background – that’s a big chunk – ouch and good thing the salty water would have healed that big wound. Must have been a special female to have such a violent fight, but I suspect they are not the first creatures to have done this – you mentioned bears too I believe. Humans usually pop off the encroacher with a gun (and we are more civilized?)

      1. That’s very true Wayne. I personally think being street smart is the better option. I may have gone to college, graduated, but what did it get me? I have never used my print journalism degree unless you want to count writing this blog. The university couldn’t place its graduates – way too many of us as everyone wanted to be an investigative reporter after Watergate. Yesterday when I heard the news about Lee Iacocca’s death, my feeling was not one of reverence for this “great man” as they called him. I had a job in an ad agency and a mentor who was going to help me climb that ladder, but Iacocca fired our ad agency and two others the same day – didn’t like our work was the reason. Before we got a new big client (Lincoln-Mercury) my mentor left for another agency and he could not take me (his secretary). So, that was my missed opportunity and I often wonder where I would be if we were not fired from the Chrysler account. You had a missed opportunity but it never affected you, plus you got to study geology to boot. Got more street smarts at the diner! It is going to 90 in Alaska today – there go the boulder, icebergs and the poor polar bears.

      2. going to school is always great! It helps stretch the mind to be more than you are,plus all the knowledge never hurts! You just can’t have too much of that!
        I carry all the knowledge of many jobs. It helps me do oh so many things!
        Yes,heard about Alaska. We have altered the large environment conveyors,for both water and air currents. If we disappeared tomorrow the affects of our presence would continue to be felt for many many decades!…maybe hundreds of years! Who knows?

      3. Yes school is great and something that no one can ever take away from you – listening and watching the news and/or reading the newspaper as well. Scary about Alaska – scary about California’s back-to-back quakes and aftershocks.
        The weather is worrisome. Your job knowledge is helpful as well as you go through this life – I’ve only done my diner waitressing job, worked in an ad agency and been a legal secretary – not a wide variety of occupations.

      4. I sure hope not – we are having some bad weather right now – I thought I’d catch up here a little before the storm later on, looks like it arrived earlier. I heard the earthquake aftershocks could be as high as 5.0 – yikes! Mother Nature has a bee in her bonnet.

  6. What a wonderful experience! Your words and photography speak out loud and clear when it comes to respecting and defending your furry and feathery friends.

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