Saturday, August 2, 2008

Ruffles and Granny

The orca whale is not a whale, it is the largest of the dolphin family. Fortunately that does not detract from the allure to witnessing the aquatic beasts in the wild. They still are magnificent creatures and almost wholly contribute to the livelihood of most of the denizens of the San Juan Islands, whether they will admit it or not. After six weeks of, "when are we going to see some whales?", Autumn and I finally got our chance through the graciousness of Beau Brandow and Outer Island Expeditions. We set out from Brandt's Landing on the north end of the Orcas Island and motored our way down Presidents Channel taking peaks at salmon, spotting out harbor porpoises, and gazing at seals on Flattop Island. A long deliberation ensued as to the gastronomical quality of a seal and ended in the answer of, "no". Moving along, we passed Spiden Island and sought out its population of exotic-four-legged-beasts. Rumor has it that early owners of the island, of which John Wayne is included, imported exotic game on to the island in order to expertly hunt after indulging in large quantities of their favorite libations. I hope it was PBR and Old Crow. None-the-less, Mouflon and European Roe deer can and will be seen on the island, we did so why can't you? Thank you John Wayne. Through Mosquito Pass, we finally reached Haro Strait, the separator of our land and Canadia, and the most likely place to see the worlds largest dolphin.

The southern resident whales that frequent the SJI are grouped into three different pods and many people have learned a lot about them and are probably smarter than me so look here. Our pheromones had attracted two top-notch orcas, Ruffles and Granny (J1 & J2), and they lingered by our boat begging us to take hundreds of crappy pictures and feel really good like the little boy in Free Willy.

And let me tell you, we've come a long way from yelling at Beau to go slow at the beginning of the summer to needing to go faster and faster all the time.

1 comment:

knielsen said...

That video just rocked my socks off. Amazing.