Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Where have all the Orcas gone?

Ahh an early five am morning a light drizzle of rain a short hour drive and an hour and a half ferry ride and we were almost at our destination. As we stood in the center of the traffic circle, our breath visible in the morning mist, our guide arrived along with the trailer of Kayaks. Total pick up five people and then off across the island to Small Pox Bay our launch area. We arrived to meet the rest of our group which had camped at the park overnight. Including our guide we had a nice group, ten people.
After unloading the Kayaks and carrying them down to the beach through the sea weed, getting our paddles and spray skirts and a safety briefing we were off in search of the elusive Orca whale. The Orca is not an actual whale , it is the largest member of the Porpoise family.

As we started out for the day and rounded our first corner we viewed our first Bald Eagles nest and sat in a resting position in a patch of Bullwhip seaweed for a short learning session on their growth etc. As we kayaked further on we encountered a few Harbor Seals and then the Dahl Porpoise started escorting us on our excursion to about a mile south of the Lime Kiln Lighthouse. We beached the Kayaks in Dead Mans Bay for our lunch break, chatted with each other for a little while and then back into the kayaks for our return trip.

The name of our launch point "Small Pox Bay" was named that way as they use to bring people who had small pox down to wash them in the bay as they believed it would heal them. Dead Mans Bay was named that because the Indians use to call it that after finding a dead man there.

As we venture back to our launch point we got to watch a pair of Bald Eagles flying overhead hunting and calling to each other. At one point of our return trip a Golden Eagle swooped down from the trees along the shoreline and snatched  a fish from the water. I must say I was a bit skeptical of entering the eddy water on the way back as it was traveling two-three miles an hour as the tide was coming in. It was a bit rough but everyone did well. The porpoise returned and once again escorted us to near our point of return.

While we didn't see any Orca we did have a great experience kayaking nearly eight to nine miles. We found out that for some reason all the Orca pods have moved out to sea, maybe to follow the Salmon.

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