Orca Sighting

OK, it was fleeting.  We were en route from our little cove at Hansen Island to Port McNeiil.  About a 15 mile run.  We left our cove at 0600 because the winds have been very high for the past couple days and predicted same, still into tomorrow – but in the very early mornings, until about 1000 they are low.  We decided to chance it and make the dash to Port McNeiil where we had a reservation (good thing).  It paid off as we got here by 0930 and within half an hour it was howling.  As for the reservation, good thing on that too as it’s full here.  This is a smallish place by “real” marina standards, but it’s the only place around to resupply for the Broughton’s.

Port McNeiil sounds like a big place and it is – when compared to, um, the little islands with nothing on them.  Actually it has a couple docks and a ferry service, and the town has a IGA Grocery (like a Safeway), a marine store, a few restaurants and an auto parts store, but this is a place where you can walk everywhere (which we did today to start restocking Charisma for the next month) in less than half an hour.  It’s not very big.  Oh, yes and most importantly there is a liquor store!  Wine, beer and rum!

Also there is the ferry service to a couple of “touristy” spots we would like to visit that are easier to see via ferry than via boat.  Alert Bay on Cormorant Island purportedly has the best museum, art, etc on native culture and there is another small island (Malcolm Island) with a town called Sointula where Finnish settlers in the turn of the 19th century created a supposed utopian settlement to escape European turmoil.  Both will be interesting to visit.

Oh, yeah, the Orca – I was at the helm in the rain at about 0700 and we were motoring along.  Ann was making coffee down below and I just happened to be “zoning” off looking over to starboard at just the moment a female (short fin) orca surfaced momentarily right in my line of sight and then dove.  It was literally a four second kind of spotting.  I started shouting “Orca, orca!” to Ann and jumped to get my camera, but by the time I had camera in hand and Ann came up all that was left was a whirlpool where the orca dove.  Got a good glimpse since I was looking right at her – black, torpedo shaped, tall fin (but not as tall and narrow as the males) and big – estimate 20-ish feet.  Cool, but wish there had been a pod and a photo op.  We’ll keep hoping.

Anyway, we have pretty good internets here for the first time since I can’t remember when, so we’ll hopefully get some pictures posted in the next few days.



One thought on “Orca Sighting

  1. Port McNeiil sounds like the last outpost before crossing the prairie. Be sure to grease the axles.

    Take a real close look at that Sointula utopia place. I’ve got some Norwegian in my blood and the way the world is going I may soon be in need of it for the same reason.

    Any Orca sighting is an exciting event. Enjoy your time in the bright lights and big city.

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