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.

MAKING A KILL!

20130622-IMG_6635-220130622-IMG_6635-3This 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.