It was one of those quiet days when nothing seems to be happening on the ocean. It was calm but there were hardly any boats around and only a seagull or two made their presence known.
I was exploring in my little boat, Snoopy, which is my favourite thing to do during summer in BC. My destination was the north end of Cortes Island where I explored all the little bays and inlets, but I hadn’t seen any wildlife.
It happens sometimes. I’ll be on my way home wondering where the wildlife went when suddenly everything changes and “no wildlife” turns into “a lot of wildlife” right under my nose.
Out of the corner of my eye I saw a bunch of seals on the rocks. Ordinarily I might have just zipped right by, but since I hadn’t seen anything that day, I thought I would take a closer look.
Soon, I realized I wasn’t the only one to notice the seals. There were Orcas, also known as Killer Whales, nearby!
What happened next was a remarkable sight to see. A pod of transient Orcas hunting the seals. I only know they were transients since they were hunting, and eating, the seals. The resident Orcas only eat fish.
What they do is work together to create a big wave that washes a seal off the rocks and then bingo — lunch.
I was quite astonished that I could easily see the fear in the eyes of the seals as they tried to shuffle themselves further up the rocks!
Look how close the Orcas get to the rocks!
I made all these photos while driving my boat, Snoopy. I try my best to position my boat so the current won’t take me into the rocks and then I put it in neutral and start photographing.
I was not nearly as close as it seems in these photos. I was using a 400mm lens on a Canon 7D, which is a crop sensor camera, giving me an equivalent focal length of around 600mm. Then the photos were cropped in post processing (some more than others depending on how far away I was). I was at least 100 meters away at all times – those are the rules.
After a few seals met their maker the Orcas moved on and so did I after another incredible day of whale watching in British Columbia.