I was on a kayak trip based out of Telegraph Cove, and we were camping right by the entrance to Blackney Pass. It was the last night, and two of us (me and one other person) were getting kind of anxious because it was Northern Resident killer whale season, but we hadn’t seen any. We were standing on a lookout, scanning Johnstone Strait for any sign of orca dorsal fins, but all we saw were Dall’s porpoises.
Disappointed, we went down to dinner. After however, I turned on the OrcaLab cams so that we could see into the pass and listen to the hydrophones. To my amazement, I could hear echolocation. The Northern Residents were here! It was starting to get dark, so we really hoped they’d come out of the pass before there was no light. A few minutes later, we saw the first fin on cam. A small group from our trip was gathered around my phone to watch as the orca travelled from Flower Island to OrcaLab. Then, a few other fins could be seen on cam.
Almost our entire group gathered on a lookout, excited to see our first orca of the trip. Every time a fin moved closer, we got more excited.
When they got close to the edge of the pass, my dad took over looking at the phone, and me and the other person were scanning the water with our binoculars for fins. We were literally racing against the darkness. Not long before the light started to fade, my dad spotted a fin, and I saw it through my binos. We were looking at the I15s!! But none of us knew that at the time, I just knew they weren’t A-pod. I even thought they were transients because I didn’t quite know G-clan calls.
We watched the orcas until they became fuzzy on my binoculars as they headed towards Cracroft Point, and probably the rubbing beaches.
When we got back to Telegraph Cove the next day, they were travelling up through Blackney on the cams, and we hoped that they’d come by. But, they turned around in the pass and came out into Johnstone.
Which way they were going, no one had any idea, and we needed to get home. But the mission had succeeded! We saw the Northern Residents!