Here is another view of the Orcas as we went through active pass on the Mayne Queen ferry yesterday. The image is available as a photography print, tote, iPhone skin, mugs and more in my redbubble store at: http://www.redbubble.com/people/terrillwelch/works/14861800-orcas-surface-in-active-pass-gulf-islands
The waters were heavy with the long weekend water traffic. So with this post I am including a comprehensive set of guidelines for viewing whales and other wildlife that is published by the Whale Watch Operators' Association Northwest (WWOANW) on their website
Whales orient themselves to their surroundings, to food sources, and to each other, primarily by their sense of sound. Boat noises are much louder underwater than through the air.
Fast turns, accelerations and decelerations make very loud noises underwater. Go slow around whales. Avoid speeding toward whales or trying to intersect their course.
Take your time. Gradually slow your boat to idle speed when you are within a mile or so of whales. The whales may be miles apart from each other. There may be other whales much closer than the ones you last saw.
Try to approach slowly, from behind and off to one side, in a course that will gradually bring you parallel with them and at least 100 yards away from them.
Avoid jumping from one group of whales to another, and avoid "leapfrogging" directly into their path. You are just as likely to see whales when they surface if you remain where you are or continue on the same course and speed when the whales dive.
When it is safe to do so, the best whale encounters may be experienced with the engine turned off. If you have a hydrophone, drop it into the water and listen to amazing orca conversations.
When you leave a whale or group of whales, wait for them to surface safely away from you before crossing their path behind them.
Such a pleasure to share the waters with these fellows. #NatureIsCalling #GulfIslands