Fog is fascinating and something I miss about the Central Valley of California. After driving in tule fog in the dark anything else seems like gravy. (Meaning easy, not, as thick as.) In the past few days though, the islands have delivered up some pretty good shows of fog. Last night was absolutely surreal, what with us being on a boat floating around in something that resembled a dream since we could not see more than 100 yards in any direction. Forget about seeing land. It was like being in an alternate universe or as if we were the last people on the face of the earth. I could even imagine it being a scene in an Alfred Hitchcock film. Of course, there was no murder or monster involved.
There were however, orcas. Lots of orcas. It started out with a chance sighting of a female. She was there and then she was gone and we could not find her again. Then another whale watching boat materialized out of the ether. To the port side of it a huge black dorsal fin cut the water like the sail of a demented ship. It was only Ruffles though and he looked even cooler in the fog. Oh so slowly we tracked his blows and eerie presence through the misty grey. Suddenly we came into a tunnel in the fog that was like a yellow brick road to the promised land. We could see orcas spread out in small groups off into the glittering sunset, with their blows crystallized by evening light. We sought out these denizens and were mesmerized by their show. Calves tail slapped and splashed, adults chased salmon and all of them moved about the area with grace and purpose. All of them were entrenched in their worldly business.
It seemed like a bit of a longshot, but we lowered our hydrophone into the water and were immediately transported even more deeply into the alternate universe that we had discovered. The vocalizations and echolocation clicks were more weird and lively than Capt. Mike, Ashley or I had ever heard. There were buzzes, clicks and whistles. Some close and some far. All carrying importance to the orcas and magic to us. It was truly a night like no other.
So, from all of us at San Juan Safaris, to all of you navigating your own miasma out there, thank you and we will…
See You In The Islands!