Killer Whales at Dawn

Although the wind didn’t do much during the day, it came up strong from the west in the early evening with cold fog in its wake. By nighttime it was blowing 25 – 30 knots. The strong wind warning remains in effect and the forecast expects fog to dissipate in the late morning. The barometer made another step down in its week long descent and ended at 1011 hPa. Tomorrow is supposed to cloud over and showers will follow next week.

There were relatively few commercial operators noted in reserve today, only eleven vessels including a dive boat, and two tour boats who are not part of the ‘regular’ whale watching fleet. There were almost as many sporty boats with several speeders noted, including a Pedder Bay rental.

The sea lion numbers seem to be at their greatest early in the morning so I went up the tower first thing to photograph them and while up there noticed three small killer whales in the southwest corner of the reserve and a group of about six milling around in the middle of the Ecological Reserve. The larger animals seemed to be feeding in a back eddy just off Middle Channel between Middle Rocks and West Rocks. Gulls were attracted to where they were which I assumed meant there was food. They slowly traversed the reserve on the same general track as the Humpbacks and L-pod did on Thursday, heading off towards the southeast. The two groups rejoined on the outside of South Islands. It was a pleasure to watch these animals unaccompanied and unimpeded by the usual parade of boats.

Work was routine (interspersed with incredible nature observations) and there were no bipedal visitors.