Apart from the belated but very welcome arrival of summer to Bowen’s shores, there is nothing that has quite lifted the spirits of people in the Howe Sound area, than the arrival in early July, of a pod of Orca. Since then there have been daily sightings from a variety of points on Bowen…..Hood Point, Fairweather, Pasley Island, Eaglecliff…..of five whales, one a large male. It seems that the best time to see them is late afternoon or early evening although where they will be at any given time is another question. It is a great treat to spot orcas while kayaking and to wait while they pass you by. This is not the time to leave your camera on land! But remember to be no closer than 100 metres and to give the whales a clear path.
It is such good news to know that there has been a return to Howe Sound of these wonderful mammals after a very long absence. Of course the big question is whether they will remain or be, most likely, frequent visitors. Hopefully, this will not be an isolated incident.
But why now? The closure of the Woodfibre Pulp Mill and the enforcement of stricter pollution controls at Port Mellon must, in part, be responsible for the return as does the clean up of Britannia Creek. But the efforts of the Squamish Stream Keepers to encourage the growth of herring stocks in Howe Sound must play an enormous part in the return of the Orca and the pod of white sided dolphin. More of the Stream Keepers later. For now, enjoy the orca back after so many years . Stay soft and easy with them. Howe Sound is a cleaner, richer and happier place this year.