It had been a cool and sunny morning when the three of us, Dr. Advice and I and our good Canadian friend Frank, had left to somehow entice any local salmon into our small boat.  We had decided to simply lollygag around Quadra Island, perhaps hooking into a salmon, if not, to collect some oysters on the opposite bank and wash them down with a bottle of wine.  It was the middle of the week, and there were few boats in the water.

Discovery Passage, British Columbia is one of the planet’s greenest and most beautiful of destinations.  Habitat of more than fish, bald eagles nest there, and any number of other water fowl.  The trees and vines dip gracefully into the water from time to time, creating small hideaways for small fish to escape the eager beaks of hungry birds.

It clouded over, as it often does in the Pacific Northwest, and Frank shut down the motor midstream.  There seemed to be a hush in the silence, as if something yet unseen were present.  Frank saw them before we did and quietly said, “Don’t move, it’ll be OK—–I think!”

Looking both to our right and to our left, a pod of Killer whales had opted to come check us out, quietly skimming just under the water and close enough to touch.  There were five or six of the beautiful animals, watching us and swimming around the boat.  They played that way for perhaps ten minutes, and then with a final salute, they dove and disappeared.  What a magical moment in time.

Surprisingly, because we were sure the whales had feasted on any salmon to had that day, we caught one on the way to the island, and after gathering a few oysters and building a fire in the barbeque, we spent the rest of the afternoon marveling at our good fortune.

The whale sightings in the ensuing years, while exciting, could never match that day.