We were spending a couple days we had been lucky enough to see Northern Resident Killer Whales, Bigg’s, Dall’s Porpoises, Humpbacks, seals and sea lions.
Also, while we were there, roughly 350 Pacific White-Sided Dolphins (also known as Lags) were rampaging up and down the island squalling, harassing Humpbacks, hanging out with the Northern Residents.
On our way back to Telegraph this squall of Lags decided to bow ride and play in the boat wake and seemed to want us to speed up for them to play. I was hesitant to speed up due to safe cetacean guidelines but I did speed up a bit and the Lags were into it! They were having a great time, playing off the bow and in the wake-lots of bow riding and playing. I could hear Roger shouting “I love this! I love this!”
Here enters the Dall’s-roughly 30 of them showed up and showed the Lags how bow riding was really done, essentially pushing the dolphins out of the way to the best spot to ride the bow. For about 15 minutes the Dall’s and the Lags were competing for a spot to play with the wake.
They broke off as I slowed down into the marina, towards another boat. We had to wait for the Lags and some Northern Residents to get out of the way before we headed into the harbour.
We saw the dolphins head off to play with the other boat and the Residents and the Dall’s split off too to play with other boats.
Its wonderful how one of the smallest cetaceans takes on the big boys and just rules! Those black and white minis are always a treat should you be lucky enough to encounter them.
Photos by George Taylor and Roger McDonnell
This post was adapted from a voice recording in the thirtieth episode of the Whale Tales Podcast, listen here