living the coastal life

West Coast Living in Ahousaht, BC



Transient Orcas in Herbert Inlet

When Lennie and I find out about orcas in our area, it’s always a last minute adventure! When I stopped teaching, I pledged to take my photography more seriously. I am not sure how successful I have really been at that, But I know my whale photography has improved, purely by having more time available to go out with the whales when they are nearby.

Not only is there the benefit to myself to be on scene with whales, but for the scientific community as well. If clear ID shots of the visiting pods to our area are not obtained, we do not know which whales were here when and we can’t track their movements. Photo ID with a long telephoto lens is the least intrusive way to track a whale’s movements. I was the only photographer to get clear shot of these whales, the T49Bs and T68Cs, to confirm their identifications.

We stayed with this pod for about an hour and a half. In that time they made a kill and fed before heading up Millar Channel. They were spotted briefly by another boat just over an hour later.



Orcas at Sunset

A couple weeks ago I got to spend some time with a large mixed pod of Transient orcas in the outer waters of Clayoquot Sound. The T109s and T11s were all present and slowly working their way up the coast. We joined up with them around Cox Point and left them at Wilf Rock as the sun slipped below the Pacific horizon. There was lots of action along the way. One youngster was constantly chasing birds across the water, surprising them by lunging up from the depths below them. Others gave a sneaky sea lion a heart attack as it held onto the rocks amidst oncoming swells with all of its might while their slick fins passed by just feet away.


Some of these photos are featured in my upcoming 2019 calendar which can be found here.


Forget Whale Watching…

Let’s landscape watch!

(Mouse over or click on each image for the caption)

Yesterday was a gorgeous adventure into the upper reaches of Tofino Inlet, right to the head of Deer Bay. I really enjoyed watching the scenery slide by from my perch on the bow. I haven’t been that relaxed in ages.

We were following transient orca T077A, who was being rather elusive and going on extremely long dives before popping up erratically further ahead. We spent a while lazily following him from quite a distance and left in the mid afternoon when about 7 other boats were on scene.

I actually fell asleep on the bow as we cruised along and definitely have a bit of a burn today. I really want to be out on the water today too – Lennie has a neat whale watching tour, but the fog will burn off by then and I think I should be indoors looking after myself.

Orca Surprise!

What a beautiful and unexpected way to end the day!

We didn’t think we would get to meet up with the pod of orcas that was in the sound and in fact, we had no clue where they were. But 10 minutes from home, smashing through the glassy calm waters, came one of the youngest members of the T109As. We thought it was a Harbour porpoise at first glance, then maybe a dolphin. .. and then when the rest of the pod surfaced… Orcas!

For our friend on board, it was only the second time in his life to see a whale (the first was a cow and calf grey whale earlier in the trip!)

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