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Monday, January 25, 2010

'A Pass By' by the Kodiak Killers

Today after work as I was driving out the road to go skiing I looked out over the harbor from my car window and saw orca (killer whale) fins. I parked the car and took some really bad pictures and video of the orcas just to prove to everybody that I had actually seen them. It was like video taping a submarine race - I'd get the camera on them and they would go under water and all that I'd catch on the video was the surface of the water with no nothing on it. The photos aren't much better - but I did get this one of one of the orcas with his/her fin silhouetted against the mountains. All the while people drove by on the highway and it was just an ordinary day in winter in Kodiak. I wanted to shout out to everybody to stop what they are doing and to look at the killer whales.

'Aint it great to live in Kodiak - a place where orcas are nothing out of the ordinary?

I gather from attending some Whale Fest lectures a few years ago that the orcas that frequent the waters around Kodiak only eat sea mammals - no fish. The biologists have nicknamed the pod the 'Kodiak Killers'. They cruise by the harbor and eat a few sea lions now and then. Usually they drop by a little later in the spring. Patrick


Ishmael said...

Sweet. NIce to see them a little early this year instead of way late. Nice photo, too.

gpc said...

Beautiful photo. The orcas are fun to watch -- my sister and I went on a whale trip (we saw fish-eaters near the San Juan islands) last year -- I don't know if it's true, but the naturalist there said that the mammal-eating orcas have ingested so many toxins through their food that they exceed the legal limits for toxic waste in the waters where they live. If that's true, it's very scary.

Zoya said...

gpc, I heard that too (during the whale fest lectures). I gather since they eat sea mammals only that they eat at a higher trophic level than the ones who only eat fish - higher up on the food chain so to speak. Hence the toxins are more concentrated than they are for the fish eating orcas. This is why the 'Kodiak Killers' have problems giving birth etc. And I gather the momma orca breast milk is particularly toxic. Patrick

gpc said...

That sounds ominous for the people, especially the women and children, who have always lived off the land. I feel such shame sometimes at how we have trashed such a beautiful world.