I cannot think of another photo that I have posted of white-sided dolphins, which tells a more complete story than this one from James O’Donoghue. On tour days we frequently travel with another boat from the lodge when we run to Johnstone Strait near Telegraph Cove to look for whales thus the picture of one of our boats in the back ground. Notice the warm “floater” suits the guests wear while on the water. Even though this is summer it is cool on the water in the morning. Also it is easy to pick out the guide without the suit as we tend to be climatized to the weather. The most amazing aspect of the photo is the fact that it shows every stage of white sides’ “porpoise” (short term for the way dolphins come out of the water when traveling in a hurry). It shows them first breaking out of the water to clearing the water and then their returning dive. Also note the calm water surrounding the ripples indicating there are likely several hundred dolphins keeping the water churned up as they pass close to our boat.
The last 3 years we have been starting to view sea otters in our area more regularly. They are still often a distance away, but the sightings are increasing with some “rafts” of them developing in areas near the western portion of our whale watching trips. These animals were hunted heavily for their fur and were completely wiped out of British Columbia waters. Re-introduction occurred from Alaskan otters in the 1960’s. They have long been protected and their numbers have been steadily increasing along the exposed BC coast and are now moving back into inside waters. They are unique in that they don’t have the insulating blubber that other marine mammals use to keep warm. As a result they have dense (over 1 million hairs per square inch) fur and feed heavily. They are important in balancing the eco-system. They eat a lot of sea urchins, which eat a lot of kelp. Kelp is extremely important as it provides cover for juvenile fish and is where the herring spawn in the early spring. With the increase in these otters we are seeing a greater abundance and healthier kelp forests.Visit our Blog