Have You Seen Any of These?

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Dolphin Sighting - Orca - Grays - Humpback Update to April 16

There is a slight change to the email updates which are now going out very late at night so that I can include any evening reports of the day and it will be in your email InBox first thing in the morning before heading out on the water.

April 16 - I swear I saw a couple of large blows and backs a number of times during the day, but could not confirm what it was that I saw. The last few times spotted was between 6 pm and 6:30 pm working from the South end Rebecca Rocks in front of Powell River towards Vivian Island. Maybe towards Mittlenatch Island? The only thing for sure, is that this was not Orca, and based on one very large blow, I would hazard an educated guess that it was from a Humpback. No tail fluke sighting, so ..... keep your eyes open and let me know.

April 15 - Around 5 pm I spotted between 10 to 12 Pacific White Sided Dolphins moving with great purpose. They headed Northwest from the Powell River side of Rebecca Rocks out towards Vivian Island and into Georgia Strait.

I had received two calls during April 15th of possible sightings of dolphins or porpoises, but could not get any confirmation.
The Transient (meat eating) Orca that we had in front of Powell River appear to have headed down around Salt Spring Island and joined up with others. Great report below.

April 15th:
From Salt Spring Island:
This was the most stupendous day in my life at Bold Bluff! My neighbour across the (Sansum) Narrows phoned to say the whales were coming past my home shortly before 10AM, so I grabbed my camera and life jacket and dashed out in the whaler with Daisy, my dog. I followed two orcas for an hour. One had a tall wobbly dorsal fin and the other a small one - probably a male and female. Often they dove and rose together, as if in a ballet. I followed them for an hour, all the way to Cherry Point at Cowichan Bay and left them there, heading south.
On my way back up Sansum Narrows right at Burial Island to my amazement I saw gigantic splashes and action - wow! A big gathering of more orcas where the seals haul out. There were whales everywhere: spy-hopping, jumping, slapping their tails and flippers, dashing here and there crossing over each other and having a grand time. It seemed like there were a lot of babies! I had not a clue whom I was watching, (but I knew I could find out later by phoning you!) My memory card ran out just when I reached the scene of action, so I zoomed home to fetch another card, and my two pruners who were working in the orchard. It didn't take much to convince them to join me in my big boat.
Wow! Is all we could say. The whales were super active, and it FELT as if they were chasing food but we never witnessed their surfacing with a big morsel in their mouths. Altogether I stayed out with the whales for 3 and a half hours. Once they surrounded my boat, circling around me (I had taken my pruners back to work!) and I got nervous. Were they asking me to leave? Were they curious? Was there a poor seal hiding out beneath my boat? Two Steller Sea Lions looked very scared. They were heading towards shore with their heads high out of the ocean, looking back towards the whales.
Brr! I was COLD! So back at home with a cup of hot tea, I phoned you to ask if anyone had reported the whales and knew who they were. Thank you for getting to Ken Balcomb and John Ford! Graeme Ellis and John came down from Nanaimo, and Simon Pidcock came out from Cowichan Bay. Graeme indentified them as Transients, and I am sure he will send you a report of exactly who was playing in the Narrows for so long. Simon stopped by this evening and said he saw a huge carcass on the surface - a sea lion, so they WERE dining! I got some superb photos, too! What a blessing to be living at Bold Bluff, with a good neighbour who phones to let me know the whales are here. I was just heading out the back door to clean the Garden Cottage with a bucket of rags when she phoned. I would have missed the entire show if Joan hadn't called at the precise time she did.
Tamar Griggs, Bold Bluff, Salt Spring Island, BC
Report from Susan Berta and Howard Garrett of Orca Network on Whidby Island, WA

April 15 from Steve:
I thought I saw something in the water this morning but I guess it was current lines and a small standing wave.  Guess I'm looking too hard.  I did see a flock of about 200 snow geese passing overhead and honking away.  Flying north so they must know some decent weather is coming. 
From Jack:
I'm getting anxious to get into my boat and go searching for dolphins.
Maybe soon -Thanks for the reports