THAR SHE BLOWS!

I was downtown chatting with a few friends when another friend joined us. He was very excited! He said he had just come off of the water and had come across a pod of Orcas! I immediately got excited myself and asked where he had seen them and how many? He said there were 10 and they were heading around Meares island!

I had to go around to 4 different whale watching companies to find out where they were exactly at that moment? I finally found out their location and knew where they were heading. They were in the north and about to go south around Meares island,so I got all my gear together and headed out! I decided to go eastward and then turn northward to intercept!

I figured they’d be in Fortune Channel by the time I caught up to them and sure enough that’s exactly where I found them! The best way to find a whale is to watch for slow moving boats but because of the pandemic there were no Whale watching boats trailing behind. So the only way I could spot them was to keep turning my head from side to side like a human radar looking for the blows!

When they surface they blow which puts a fine mist up into the air. That blow will “hang” and give away their position BUT If it’s windy (which seems to be more often then not) the wind will sweep away that blow concealing their location! I’ve had entire pods go right underneath me and not seen them at all! So If you go looking for whales hope that it’s a calm day or just look for the whale watching boats trailing behind.

I stayed with them for over 2 hours. The light wasn’t great but hey……they were Orca’s! One of them spy hopped (coming up vertical) to see what was going on around but because I was moving fast to catch up, I missed the shot.

This pod is known as the T069’s. It’s a category system for identification of Orca’s. This pod loves to come around Tofino! They are Transients,meaning they eat warm blooded animals,Seals, Lions etc The other group of Orca’s are called the Residents (Southern) and they eat salmon exclusively.

The Souther Residents are few in numbers (76?) because humans are eating all of their food! They eat just about nothing but Chinook salmon which is also a prized salmon for anglers. Many Resident Orca’s have died because of malnutrition over the years! Researchers can tell when they are starving because of the shape of their head. They get what is called “peanut head”. The fat reservers deplete creating this odd shaped head.

The only way to stop this group from dying out is to limit the salmon catch of all fisheries but as per usual so many fisherman cry foul! They want money in their pockets and don’t give two shits about any damn Orca’s!

Homo Sapiens are a species that is unsustainable. Until we can limit OUR numbers and live within Natures bounds we are destined to fail and thus perish.

68 thoughts on “THAR SHE BLOWS!

    1. Orca’s are at the top of my list Emma!
      The only other animals that hold as high a rating are Cougars (because I have never seen /photographed one) and a Sasquatch…..which I’m agnostic about….until I see one at least!

      1. Disturbing. It’s like the catching sharks to remove the fin for some stinking soup, then tossing them back into the ocean to perish. I don’t get it.

  1. Great photos and excellent commentary. Human greed will be the end of so much that is good and beautiful about planet Earth. Whale watching here on the East Coast at Stellwagen Bank is a multi-multi million dollar industry that is harmful to the ocean life… But changing the subject. Is there something different between the Residents and the Transients that makes their food sources so different? Anything genetic? Or is it just like Nature vs. Nurture? Could a Resident Orca infant be ever taught to consume the same food as a Transient? Like Residents are Pescatores and Transients are Carnivores and never the twain shall meet?

    1. That is a good question Babsje and I have often pondered it as well? For instance, If I was a hungry Resident and couldn’t find any salmon about and a juicy Seal swam past….what would I do?
      I’ve asked friends in the know and we all agree that it would go after the Seal and vice versa. If a Transient could find any Seals and a school of salmon swam past It would chase them I bet….. cause a empty tummy is a great motivational force!

  2. What a great series of photos Wayne, I would love to see these some day. Thank you for all the photos and descriptions, I always learn something. How exciting you get to spend so much time with them. Yes, that is to bad about the people that are over fishing the salmon. It is always about money and the want for more.

  3. Human greed! The only way the cad fishermen in the North Atlantic were kept from eliminating the cod was for the government to limit their catch (and deny them access for several years). I’m happy to say the lobstermen are very good conservators of the lobsters off on Maine, but not at all in Canada. We are being flooded with small lobster tails, which mean they were underage – and it takes seven years to full growth.

  4. Superb photography and loved the pictures of the Orcas, Wayne. Sad to know we humans are destroying our beautiful species and earth. Hope we could all do something about them. A lovely and awesome read too.

  5. Wow, that’s a great load of information, none of which I knew. It explains a lot of the questions I’ve asked as I went through the images, so this is great. I didn’t know that one group of Orcas eat Chinook salmon exclusively. That’s incredible, is it not?

    And, yes, I agree with you about humans – greedy to the bitter end. No consideration for the rest of nature’s species. It’s bloody tragic that because of humans we have Orcas dying from starvation and all of nature’s wildlife under threat. I never eat salmon because I don’t like it. My mother loved it, bless her.

    I’m so delighted that you had a great adventure amongst the Orcas.

  6. Hi Wayne, I’m having trouble finding contact info for you but I wanted to ask you a question about a couple of your photography prints, what’s the best way to get ahold of you

  7. Hello Wayne, I had to write to you right away. I just saw my first Mama Black Bear with her cub right here in my yard. They were about 70 feet away from my cabin. I did get a few photos, plus I had some interesting dreams with the feather under my pillow. I did not see an email to write to you so I just am adding a note here to your last post. So exciting Wayne.

      1. It is just something Wayne, I have never been this close to one. So beautiful and they looked very healthy. My computer is off right now so I will email tomorrow. I put one picture of them on my You Tube community page,

      2. a persons first experience with anything will always be very special and memorable!
        Fingers crossed she will hang around!
        Just one cub eh? You should choose a good name for both.
        Will send a few bear shots.

      3. I will never forget this. I stepped out my back door of the cabin, which was a good 70 ft away from them and had my camera on a tripod. She looked up a couple times when she heard the camera click. Then I just turned on video, she laid down and yawned. She looked right at me a couple times. I was looking for any markings so I would know her again. She is probably the same one I saw last year. I will post pictures on Monday.

      4. I can guarantee you won’t forget this Sandra! It’s a big moment in your life and you should celebrate!
        you’ll know her again by her coming back each year. Bears are predictable.
        Look for any white patches on her chest, scars or anything that is odd?

      5. I know , I can’t sleep, it is almost midnight and I am still thinking about it and looking up information on black bears. It says there are about 10,000 of them in my area. I will name her Elita, the chosen one and Tuck the cub. Not sure if it was a girl or boy.

      6. do you have a telescope? Something with a stead base so you can observe more closely.
        What the way the cub pees,that’ll tell you what sex it is.
        Adrenaline is running through you! It’s a very powerful drug! Drink lots of water and listen to calming music.
        I’m surprised you have that many bears but have not seen any? She will come back each year with a new cub or she could keep this one for for 2 years?

      7. I don’t have a telescope, but I noticed in one of the photos, it looked like a scar by her front left leg. It was a brown colored spot about an inch or two long. Very noticeable against her velvety black fur. She appeared very tired while the cub was going back and forth and even climbed a tree for a few seconds. The cub went right up to my trail cam I had over there. I will check the footage on that tomorrow. I am going to try to close my eyes now. I usually get up at 4 am, so I will try to sleep now. Thank you Wayne, so exciting to tell you about this. I can still picture her looking right at me.

      8. excellent! Lets hope she hangs around so you can become more familiar with them. That’s when the real fun starts! When you become familiar with them and they with you. Like building a bridge between two worlds.
        You get up too early. get some rest and dream of bears dancing in the woods and eating cake.

    1. and the worst part is nobody can do anything about it!
      Even If I could reduce the population to 1 billion,It would simply be back up to 8 in 50 years or so.
      China tried the “One Child Policy” and it failed miserably!
      This Pandemic is Natures way of correcting a species numbers. The last Pandemic was over a hundred years ago. The next one I bet will happen within 10 years and it’ll be far worse than this one!

      1. I’m off to see your post, but I want to recommend this book to you, while I haven’t finished it, I do think it’s an excellent read:
        Four-Fifths a Grizzly by Douglas Chadwick. He talks about how all life on this planet is interconnected and how closely we’re all related…even to Grizzlies.

      2. I read the short read up they had for the book. Chadwick points out that we are connected to Nature. It is where we came from…….. but we have drifted from our natural place in it and so have placed the earths natural cycles in a state of imbalance. Our sheer numbers are too large for this planets ecospheres. Maybe If the earth was the size of Jupiter everything would be fine?
        This imbalance will only keep increasing.

        The sun is the source of all life and so we are connected to it as well. Many elements cannot be created without a super nova going off!
        Thank you for the suggestion.

      3. Yes, I seriously believed covid would have provided an awakening to people but no it was an inconvenience and/or a political issue, certainly not a wakeup call.

  8. Your orca photos are superb, Wayne. And I really enjoyed hearing how you caught up to them, with help from your friends, and your ability to be quick. The topic of the burgeoning human population is a tricky one, because although I completely agree with you, it is a difficult thing to convince humans to limit their offspring.

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