ORCA’S IN THE HARBOUR!

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A friend phoned me up & told me there were Orca’s down the inlet! He knows I cannot go on the outside to follow these guys & sometimes gives me a heads up when they go on the inside!(much calmer on the inside)
Turns out there was a pod already out by Warne island with a second coming into Browning Pass!
I headed out to find them. The best way to find Orca’s is not to look for Orca’s,but to look for Whale watching boats moving slowly!
Once they go into Tofino inlet there are only two ways they can leave. Back out Browning Pass to the west or up into Fortune Channel to the north.
I didn’t see any boats down Tofino inlet,so I thought I’d pop up into Fortune Channel to see if I could see any boats in there? I did & couldn’t!
So the only thing I could think of,was that they must of been further down Tofino inlet out of sight? So I headed down the inlet looking.
The wind was kicking up which made the ride difficult! I went all the way down to Deer bay at the end of Tofino inlet looking for them & came up empty handed! I was very disappointed!
They must of gone up into Fortune Channel & left the building before I arrived?
Missing the Orca’s bummed me outfox awhile,………….. but it happens.
Going on my “Wild Goose (Orca) chase” took up 2 1/2 hrs! I looked at the sun & decided I had enough time & light to look for bears in Gunner inlet. Went in,looked around but couldn’t find a one. The tide was still too high I suppose?
Decided to go into Fortune Channel & look for my furry friends there? Didn’t have a huge amount of time,so I did a short run along the eastern shore line to the north. Couldn’t find a one out & about!
Had to leave Fortune,but on the way out I kept a look along the shore line that I had already checked 10 minutes earlier.
Sure enough I spied a bear about a 1/2 mile off in a small bay! I realized this bay it was in was getting very close to having the light go bye bye! Meares islands shadow was creeping close. So I came in a little faster than normal. I glassed the bear & realized it was “White Eye” & the triplets! She’s a very calm bear & already knows me,so that worked in my favour!
From the time I stopped to the time the light went couldn’t of been more than a few minutes,but it was long enough to get some good shots of “White Star” standing up wondering what the fuss was all about!
Said goodnight to “White Eye” & headed back to town.
I stopped off in Tsapee Narrows of course to visit with the Daredevil & Delilah.They have a eaglet in the nest. They both came over to say hello. Got a few shots of my friends said goodnight & continued down Browning into town.
I looked behind me after a minute & realized they both were following me very closely! I told them to go home.
As I was coming into the harbour (the sun was beginning to set) I saw the very distinct blow of a Orca! The silly buggers must of slipped by me as I was heading down the inlet! They were heading westward,as I was going eastward! If there is a wind,it wipes out the blows very quickly. So you cannot see them unless you happen to be looking at that exact moment when they breach. The best is a calm day! The blows can hang in the air for several minutes sometimes!
I recognized the large Orca! It was T074. He has a dorsal fin that’s been chewed on. (I wonder what was brave enough to do that?)
It was a group of three. The father (T074),the mother (T073) & the youngster (T073D,sex unknown?).
When I first came into the harbour,nobody was around them! They had just arrived into the harbour as well. They came out of Tofino inlet all by themselves! Remarkable!
They were not cruising,instead were milling about. I tried to keep my distance but they came over to me several times!
I followed them throughout the harbour. But by this time,many boats & kayaks were surrounding them.
Keeping my distance became difficult.
The sun had set by this time,so I knew the only shots I would be able to get would be silhouettes! The western sky looked fantastic for a back drop! The only problem was to line that sunset up with them as they breached?
I managed to get off a few great shots when the bull decided to do a series of 5 consecutive jumps out of the water!I was in perfect position!
I have no idea why he did that,but was very happy he did! I could hear the crowds along the shore line cheering away!
After this fantastic performance,they regrouped & headed out of the harbour. I followed for another 10 minutes or so & called it a night when they surfaced a long ways off. The light was gone & the show was over.
Called it a night & headed back in.
I looked 2 1/2hrs for them in rough water & came up empty,but they surprised me near the end of the night & gave a fantastic performance that Tofino rarely ever see’s in it’s own harbour!
Another day in paradise folks!!
T074,T073 & T03D rocks & so does living in Tofino!!