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Stumbling on orcas

At around 3:30pm this afternoon, hobbling around on a dog walk at the Dallas Road walkway that borders the cliffs on the Juan de Fuca Strait, the spouse noticed that 2 or 3 commercial whale watching boats had stalled their engines really close to shore, right near Clover Point. They were quickly joined by several private vessels – three sail boats and an outboard. Well, must be some Orcas just under the water!

Sure enough, they appeared, spouting and spewing – about half a dozen. By the time I got around to taking the photo, below, the mini-flotilla (which periodically would start up to follow the pod, then turn off engines, then start up again, etc.) had reached Finlayson Point and was dispersing. In between, the Orcas put on a major show – I swear the lead mammal had a show-biz complex: when the shore was truly ringed by scores of land-based viewers and the flotilla had grown to six or seven vessels, he or she splashed up a storm.

All of it was preceded by the most delicate ballet of the finely-nuanced sort, with the junior members showing discrete bits of fin and flute (white underneath …how odd). But when Big Mama (or Daddy) got going, the small fry moved out of sight until s/he was done. Loop-de-loop, up into the air, twirl, flip on the back, dive in nose first. Rinse. Repeat.

It was really joyful.

There’s much to enjoy here. 😉


  1. Oh that must have been so joyful! I remember sighting them at times from the ferry when I used to live up there, but more recently, I saw them when I was in Sayulita, Mexico. They put on quite a show, but the dolphins we sighted on the same day outdid them.

    And on another note, I sure hope your foot issues will be resolved soon, so that you won’t have to hobble or wonder what is going on. Did you ever have plantar fasciitis?

    Comment by maria — October 1, 2011 #

  2. Yes, twas wonderful. Despite all the problems, I can’t deny a basic level of happiness I feel here, which I missed …um, elsewhere. It’s interesting. 😉
    As for that foot thing … Ugh. The physician I’ve now seen twice seems to have her mind made up about my foot, which is why she has put in an order to get me to the hospital for a bone scan (with dye in the veins and all that). There was NO discussion of whether or not my pain could be caused by anything else, which (in retrospect) I find slightly weird. And yes, as it happens I was dealing with some heel pain for months prior to this incident. But in modern medicine, we focus on the atomic, the monadic, the isolated symptom… 😉 Of course, chances are high she’s right on the money and it is a fracture. :-/

    Comment by Yule — October 1, 2011 #

  3. It’s starting to bug me that I’ve lived in Victoria/Vancouver my entire life but I’ve never happened to see whales from shore.

    I’ve seen whales from BC Ferries and I’ve seen whales from a floatplane (the view from the plane was the best whale sighting I’ve ever experienced) but I’ve never seen whales while I was standing on dry land. I know people who have seen whales at Willows Beach and even in False Creek! It’s all about being in the right place at the right time…

    Comment by kerbster — October 5, 2011 #

  4. Yep, right place at the right time indeed. Hasn’t happened to me too often. Anywhere anytime… 😉

    Comment by Yule — October 5, 2011 #

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