Thanks to a call from a friend, my camera and I rushed to the harbor this past week. Situated on the beach near St. Herman's Harbor, I joined fellow photogs poised to capture the small pod circulating around the harbor and channel. According to the locals, this is the pod we see every winter, including a bull with a collapsed dorsal fin, a couple of smaller orcas, and a new baby calf.
Our sea lions who hang out in St. Herman's Harbor did not feel safe on their platform and dove into the shallow water abutting Near Island. They swam around to cross the channel and into the safety of the shallow small boat harbor on the cannery side of town. As they made a break for it [across the channel], the orcas were heading their direction into the channel. On shore, we all sucked our teeth as the orcas surfaced to breathe and made an exaggarated dive, signaling that they were going to make a run at the pack crossing the channel.
We stood, each wishing we had an underwater view, or at least a topside view to see down into the channel. Each rooting, inherently, for our beloved sea lions, but secretly each hoping to see some carnage, a la National Geographic or Planet Earth. Alas, all sea lions surfaced near the breakwater and slowly made their way along the large barrier and into the refuge of the harbor, away from the orcas who turned and started back toward the buoys.