Have You Seen Any of These?

Friday, May 20, 2011

Killer Whales - Dolphins and Porpoises May 20

This report is not last to first but covers today. It's in time sequence, so do read on:

What a perfect day to be on the water! Flat calm and sunny....and whales and dolphins and porpoises to boot!

9 am I heard a report of a "couple" of Dalls Porpoises at the bottom of Cape Mudge, Quadra Island - heard over the radio from the other Aaron - sorry, not sure of a link to his web site. No direction or numbers.

At 11 am I received a call from John and Joan T. that we had around 5 Orca out in front of Powell River. Funny, I had just put the binoculars down and never saw a thing! Quickly grabbing cameras and gear, I was off with them to find the whales. Great to get out on the water!

11:30 am Found the approximately 10 Transient (meat eating) Orca between Powell River and Harwood Island. They were doing long dives, anywhere from 5 to 8 minutes, heading Northward in a somewhat zig zag pattern. Dropped the hydrophone, but there were no vocals. Suddenly it appeared that there were between 12 to 16 whales in a couple of groups between Harwood and just south of Atrevida Reef.

12:54 pm One lone Porpoise, which I thought may have been a Dalls Porpoise was very rapidly heading South by Harwood Island. The whales at this point were still heading Northward and were by Atrevida Reef.
As we continued up, another Porpoise, believed to be a Harbour Porpoise, was Southbound also trying to get out of these Transients' way.

1:33 pm Received a call from another regular contributor and neighbour, Steve G. of approximately 12 Pacific White Sided Dolphins at Westview, Powell River, also heading Northward.
A short time later, I received another call from Steve that actually the numbers were more in the neighborhood of 60 Dolphins! This is the first time, in a long time that we've had these numbers around...wonderful, but what about the Transients who eat them?

3 pm The Orca had made their way to Lund and stayed split up into 3 or 4 groups. Some were by the Savary Island dock area, some by Keefer Rock just off Hernando Island, and the main group of 8 to 10 Transient Orca were by Lund aiming towards Major Rock and Baker Pass. I left them shortly after with Jen, Campbell River Whale Watching, and Garry from Aboriginal Journeys to head back towards Powell River, hoping to locate the Dolphins.

320 pm Found the Pacific White Sided Dolphins just arriving at Dinner Rock still heading Northward to Lund. There were closer to 80 of them, slightly spread out, but leaping and wake riding. Since they were heading Northward, I did too. They wake rode all the way back to the line between the Iron Mines and Savary Island when they suddenly broke off. Did they hear the Transients, who by this time were somewhere up closer to Baker Pass and Twin Islands? Jen and Garry both came back to see the Dolphins and I again headed back towards Powell River leaving the animals with them around 4 pm. What a great day...must remember more sunscreen.

I was hoping to include some photos, with some ID's and if I get a chance later tonight, before this goes out to subscribers, I will. But, I will have some tomorrow if I don't make the cut off time tonight.
Susan MacKay Whales and Dolphins BC