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Photo: My Personal Experience with the Pacific

(Credit: Jodi Stark)

I had left Winter Harbour after selling my load of fish. I had fished alone this trip and was on my way home to Port Alberni on the Pacific side of Vancouver Island. I had passed Cape Cook on Solander Island and was enjoying the quiet and peacefulness of the open ocean after coming through the pass.

I put the autopilot on and went out on deck to the ice hold for my dinner. I had my head in the hold and a shiver ran up my spine. I knew I was alone but I could hear someone. I brought my head out almost slamming it on the deck and looked around. There was nothing out of the ordinary. I went to the cabin and looked around. I didn't find anything. I remembered a time when I was with a friend in his speedboat and we snuck up on a fisherman alone on his boat and my friend jumped on board while I drove the boat. The fisherman was asleep when suddenly he was awakened by someone else on his boat. After he regained his composure we felt bad for scaring him almost to death.

Finding nothing on board I went back to retrieve my dinner. Again I felt a presence and then the sound of a whale blowing. I rose again and on the beam of my boat was an Orca about 24 feet long, almost as long as my boat. My stomach rose into my mouth and I couldn't take my eyes off this whale as it breached, did a dance with its tail and then fell back slowly into the ocean to repeat the process three or four times before it was out of sight. I had no idea if it was male or female but that didn't matter, what mattered was that this whale was giving me a performance like no other.

It only took a few minutes for the whale to pass me but the memory of that event lives with me years later. Nothing like that has ever happened before or since that takes my breath away as that whale did.

Message to Canadians: We are lovers of animals and appreciate everything they do for us one way or another.

http://www.davidsuzuki.org/issues/oceans/projects/healthy-oceans/pacific-ocean-stories/my-personal-experience-with-the-pacific/
Author photo

By Gladys Swedak & Ken Enns

Vancouver

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3 Comments

Sep 17, 2012
1:50 PM

An animal lover who makes money out of selling fish he has caught and killed? It would make me laugh if your attitude wasn't so tragic.

Aug 30, 2012
5:23 PM

Reading this story one can actually feel the presence of the whale right beside oneself..What an experence this would have been Thank you for sharing with all of us.

Aug 24, 2012
9:29 PM

Great story. I can't emagine being alone on the ocean in a small fishing boat. Those big whales have been known to capsize small boats. Anyway i'm glad Ken survived.

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