This view of a humpback whales lunge feeding is from the top of it’s head. One can see the baleen hanging down over the lower jaw. As the mouth closes the water is forced out through the baleen and the herring are trapper inside to provide another meal. These whales have become common in out viewing area so we often see eight to ten different whales on a viewing day.
However in this case you can see the wash from the boat so we were moving when the pacific white sided dolphins came to play. There were a number of pods is our area this summer. Confusing is the definition of a pod: “A group of dolphins is called a pod. A pod usually is formed of around 12 dolphins and it is the usual social group of dolphins. However, when a group of pods join in places with abundance of food, they can reach up to one thousand individuals forming a large group which is called a super pod.” The confusion it that our pods normally contain between fifty to one hundred dolphins which may be a result of the “abundance” of food in our viewing area.
It is a good thing that there has not been a law passed about taking one handed photos while driving a boat – or I would miss some of my better opportunities. This is a dall’s porpoise that came to visit while we were waiting for a humpback whale to surface so I really was not driving….
I always try to find an interesting location to eat our picnic lunch on a whale watching tour. This day it was with a mother bald eagle that had just caught a small salmon and was sharing her catch with this years offspring. When any animal / bird has food and you are not intrusive they tend to ignore your presence so we enjoyed watching this exchange of food for about thirty minutes.
In this case the boat’s antenna helps to obscure the humpback whale fluking, however the intent of the photo is again to show that on occasion we do get close to that we are viewing. As the guide and picture taker it is often a “shot from the hip” rather than a planned and timed photo. Guest safety is number one priority over a good photo.
It must be another misty August morning in Johnstone Strait with a pod of killer whales on their rounds. The metal bar in the corner to the picture is the mount that holds the radar on my boat and gives an indication of the nearness of the orca. By noon the mist will have “burned off” to gives us another nice after noon to locate humpback whales, Steller seal ions, bald eagles etc. …
In late August Grizzly Bear Lodge uses viewing platforms on the Glendale River for our grizzly bear watching trips. At this time the salmon are in the rivers and many of the eagles have left the open ocean and feeding on herring to the easier scavenging on salmon remains from a grizzly bear kill. Scavenging is the most energy efficient way for getting meal. It is a matter of sitting in a tree until one is hungry and then moving to the river bank to eat.
I counted nine breaches during that half hour. Some of the photos were only splashes but some were excellent breaches. As a guide I say “Luck is better than skill” and this was one of those lucky days. But I had a guest say: “The skill puts you in the right place so the luck can happen.”