The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #86179   Message #1603159
Posted By: Ebbie
12-Nov-05 - 02:41 PM
Thread Name: ADD: Killers of Eden - Killer Whale Song (Otway)
Subject: RE: Killers of Eden - Killer Whale Song
The killer whale is a beautiful animaal with its precisely drawn color bands and sleek dynamic curves. Here in Juneau Alaska, a pod of them periodically enters the bit of ocean (the Gastineau Channel) between the mainland and the island on the other side and we love to watch them. They are also efficient predators and we have various stories about that.

About 15 miles 'out the road' is a natural bay where there is aa boat harbor with many fingers of floats.

A friend and I went to see the sea lions once when we were told that they were in the harbor. It was an interesting, primal scene. Two pods of sea lions hunting herring. They disappeared underwater one by one and the surface of the water smoothed, giving no hint of the action below. Then suddenly the heads popped up one by one blip! blip! blip! as the pods returned to the surface, and the air filled with bellows. (Sea lions don't sound like lions, to me they sound like cattle.)

We stayed there for a couple of hours. The herring were another facet of wonderment- I had heard of herring balls but this was the first time I saw the phenomenon: great masses of herring formed a huge silvery, squirming ball of fish, as each fish tried to get into its center. One ball was close to the float finger we were standing on; the sea lions never found that one.

Fisheren told us that sometimes the killer whales discovered the presence of sea lions and while some members of the pod patrolled the entance to prevent escape, the orca would come in and slaughter sea lions until the very water was bloody...

There is also video depicting a pod of killer whales attacking a mother moose and her half grown calf when the moose were swimming to the mainland. They killed the mother outright and then pursued the calf into a thick patch of kelp, where they eventually also got the calf.

On the other hand, once a boat I was on came across a small pod (maybe 5) of killer whales and we played with each other for an hour. The orca mostly swam on one side of the boat, dipping in and out of the water and the male repeatedly crossed under the boat to the other side, flashing in the sun, speeding up, dropping back, keeping pace with us.