When we loaded our gear into the car and headed out to West Vancouver on this day in late February, we were hopeful to see harbour porpoise in Howe Sound. We brought friends with us to share the experience. The weather was perfect, and an abundance of various sea birds and several harbour seals we spotted immediately upon arrival made us jittery with anticipation. And then we waited.
But this time it was not long before we heard the first signature sound of a harbour porpoise exhaling nearby, and seconds later spotted the first one.
In total we saw about 10 individuals in what seemed to be two distinct groups that stayed in their chosen spots, foraging, for about an hour. This was the first time we saw this many.
What really stuck out that day though was one particular individual who we repeatedly watched leaping out of the water. Hoping to capture some of the evening’s action on video, I had pointed a camera at one particular spot and just kept it running while taking still pictures. By pure chance it was pointed at the exact location where this little porpoise decided to display that incredible behaviour – not unheard of, but still very unusual for a harbour porpoise (see the video here).