August 3, 2011

Adventures in Solitude Home Movies #11 – Dolphins of Desolation Sound

A dolphin of Desolation. Photo by Kevin "Flo-Ro" Rowan

There is always something to see” – Russell Letawsky, Hermit of Desolation Sound

That credo came true again this weekend in the Sound, as myself and several close friends were treated to a spectacular show of oceanic nature at sunset… earlier that day we had heard that a large pod of Pacific white sided dolphins had been spotted a few different times in our inlets, and were putting on quite a show, leaping out of the water and showing little fear of boats, swimming right up and around them.

We were off on our own adventures in a different part of the Sound when we heard about the dolphins, and thought for sure we’d have missed them when we got back to our cabin hours later. Amazingly, the pod was still there, and we were able to power Big Buck$ over to see them. I pulled up and stopped the engine a couple of hundred metres away so as to not disturb them and view from a respectable distance, when to our shock and delight, they all headed straight in our direction not once, but several times, swimming around and right under old Big Buck$.

In thirty years of off-and-on visits to Desolation Sound, I have never seen anything like it. Besides being with my wife, friends and family all weekend, it was the best birthday gift I could have ever hoped for.

What’s your favourite wildlife encounter?

Here’s the video:

(14) Comments

  1. John Teeter says:

    The coolest thing we saw when we were out in Vancouver Island area was the Dahl’s Porpoises or bow riders. They travel like these fellas and love riding along side boats.

    What I love most about this video is the gaggle of adults in the boat, getting like kids, at the amazing brush with the beauty in nature.

    Coincidentally, what is the person limit on Bog Buck$?

  2. Happy happy Grant! Awesome video. Not surprisingly, I had some of my best wildlife encounters in Alaska (Anchorage and Seward)– beluga whales, otters, an orca, a moose cow and her calf (waaaaay too close to them). But I think my favorite is when I was walking the fenceline in my pasture, stopped and happened to look down, and there was a fawn curled up literally at my feet. So lovely, so still, you could barely see it breathe.

  3. Steve Pratt says:

    That’s incredible! What a cool birthday surprise!! The shots of them with the sun behind them are amazing.

  4. Grant Lawrence says:

    @john um… Bog Buck$… and yes, we were a little (over) loaded.

  5. Grant Lawrence says:

    Ah… thanks for sharing, Cathy! I’ve never seen belugas or moose in the wild! Just saw a spotted fawn last week on Vancouver Island though… so beautiful.

  6. pat mcphillips says:

    That’s pretty amazing! You have to wonder what changes in their environment drew them into the Sound where they may have never been seen before.

    We had a brown bear and her triplet cubs (quite rare) hanging around the cottage one hot summer night a few years ago.

    Poor Mom sure had her paws full with 3 cubs. One climbed up the birch tree that overhangs the deck, and her response to that was to come up on to the deck and shred the window screen! She easily could have made her way in, the windows and deck are at the same level.

    It took her a good 30 minutes of pacing and growling to round up the misbehaving cubs so they could move along.

    The four of them made a lot of trouble in the area, breaking into one cottage owner’s freezer and gnawing the frozen food. They eventually were trapped and moved to a more remote location.

    Needless to say, we don’t sleep with the windows open anymore, no matter how hot it is!

  7. Rebecca Gladney says:

    That’s amazing! We’re going sea kayaking on the west coast in a couple of weeks, and the whales are known to come put on a show and play a little with the boats. (youtube it, some of the footage is INSANE). I am terrified yet hoping it happens to us. If so, that would take the cake as most amazing nature adventure!
    Oh, and happy belated birthday GL!

  8. Grant Lawrence says:

    Thanks Rebecca… where are the West Coast will you be kayaking??

  9. Grant Lawrence says:

    Wow, triplet cubs, that must have been pretty cute to witness. The mom’s behaviour soounds a little terrifying though… shredded the window screen?!?

  10. Kathy Gallant says:

    Hey Grant! Wow, so beautiful!

    I’m lucky enough to have a close friend that does wildlife rehabilitation, so I’ve had some pretty cool encounters of the wild animal kind! Just this past weekend, upon arriving back from my vacation from the East, I headed up to Meadow Lake to witness my good friend releasing two black bears that he’s had since cubs. I am so proud of him. He has the first black bear rehab centre in Saskatchewan (and I’m pretty sure the west.. but I could be wrong.) Sooo amazing.

    This is a video my friend made of their story. 🙂

    Oh, and happy belated birthday!

  11. Rebecca says:

    Headed to Woody Point (west coast of Newf, not your west coast) for the writers fest and gonna stop In at Norris Point to take to the seas! Touristing at home!:)

  12. Todd Wong says:

    I loved seeing wild sea otters in Kyuquot Sound on the Northwest side of Vancouver Island. But 2 weeks ago, we had just gone out to see lots of orca and 2 humpback whales with Mackay Whale Watching from Port McNeil. It was great. So special… we wanted to do it again and again…

  13. Grant Lawrence says:

    Awesome story Kathy, thanks for sharing!

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