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Orcas: Amos Nachoum Reports From the Field
 November 12, 2007 @ 03:00 AM (EST)
Images & Text by Amos Nachoum

Last week was one of the frustrating weeks in the wilderness...

It is bitter cold outside, being on the ocean and effected by wind chill factor the temperature drooped below freezing to -10 and some time –20 and No orcas to be seen...snow started coming down and at times hard...in a course of five hours of daylight we experienced about four weather patterns - gray gloomy and rain which later turn into snow and minutes later the sun showed up, but the wind kicked in and a cloud covered it up again...you get the picture...I was telling myself and the guests ”it is not over till the fat lady sings” - in recent years I find myself using this term over and over again, a sign of things that are changing in front of our eyes.

Friday arrived and nothing yet, however gray and gloomy outside I ventured forward on deck facing the incoming wind and snow...with few sunny breaks in between. We have spotted Orcas dorsal fins in front of us - and 20 minutes later we were dressed up in Dry suit and ready to go no matter what....indeed for the next three hours we have engaged with a pod of 11 members. Few divers saw seven at once underwater.

My turn came up and I had an encounter with four adults which were very calm around me, one of approached me straight on in an unusually friendly or curios move...and very welcoming of course...despite the fact that this was the first encounter and the excitement was high my finger did not loose the touch. Stay tuned as I have one more week here in the Fjord, despite the cold the expectations are high as the herring start arriving so the Orcas must be just behind and my team and I are in pursuit.

...and the tale about our search for the Orcas took turn on a sad side yesterday...we had a short encounter and discover to our dismay that one female have been caught in fisherman's net and she was towing the net behind her. The net was over 100 meters long – before she has disappeared from our view...see the image (and only of the day).

This morning we were treated to an awesome sunrise, calm sea but Orcas only at the end of the day(the end of the day here now is 2pm!!!). Many other vessels have swarmed in so we decided to leave, waiting “patiently” for tomorrow. There are clearly changes in the “air” and they are not encouraging for the Orca behaviors.
We have attempted to search for the caught female. My team and I are concerned about her well being. As the long and heavy net was holding her tail down dragging her downward.

Of course the Orca will do all that she can to keep up and reach the surface to breath, survival instincts kicking in...the deep concern here that she eventually get so tired and drown....as the Orca's only source of power and motion is generated from the tail. But now there is so much extra weight dragging on her tail, holding her down...the Orca eventually may get tired and may not be able to rise to the surface to take on more breath of fresh air, unless somehow the net will get loose...we will keep looking and I will share with you when I have more news. It is clearly in my view...one more illustration of human over population. Our increasing need to expand and cultivate more of the wilderness for dwelling and food supply, colliding with wildlife..such as between the Orcas and the fishermen.


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