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Thursday, October 16, 2008

Afognak Orcas

One of the best things about boat hunting for elk around Afognak Island is the opportunity to view wildlife. Sea otters, whales, loons, bears, you name it we saw it. The wildlife viewing highlight on this trip was a pod of orcas. I was calling Zoya on the SAT phone and leaving a message on the answering machine when I first saw them - the message must have seemed staged. But it did happen that way - 'oh wow, there's a killer whale'. The orcas were pretty difficult to photograph as they appeared and disappeared at will. A whale would surface and I'd just have to point the camera and shoot quick before he went back under the water. Sort of like filming submarine races.

Oddly enough there were sea otters all about and neither the otters nor the orcas seemed particularly interested in each other. I thought orcas around Kodiak fed on sea mammals and half expected some sort of feeding frenzy. It never happened. What's up with that? But our skipper Jim did tell us that the last time he filmed a pod of orcas feeding on a sea lion the boat sank and he lost his camera. So perhaps it's better we did not get the 'feeding frenzy' photos. Patrick

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