We were supposed to be looking at invertebrates.
It was a bright and beautiful summer day and my friends and I had come over to Saturna Island to help with an inter-tidal exploration event. We had sea stars and urchins and mussels and crabs but almost as soon as we started we got a surprise visit from an animal much higher up on the food web!
It happened quite slowly. At first just a few people on the beach stared looking out at the ocean, then a few more people, and then a few more. When I looked back towards the channel at first I just saw waves and then a huge black dorsal fin appeared before slinking back into the water. When it appeared again it had been joined by a few more fins, and then a few more! Suddenly the water was filled with killer whales motoring south to round the point. They were moving almost to quickly to identify, especially from land, but I could make out K21 “Cappuccino’s” distinct saddle patch before he too took off for the point.
They were gone past the beach almost as soon as they’d arrived but the lucky people who followed them out to the point saw quite a show. Apparently all of the males in the group were showing off as they breached over and over and over again!
I stayed with the sea cucumbers who were sadly left behind.