I used to live not far across the border, near Blaine, and orcas and sea lions were not that uncommon.
It’s a bit weird to see them right there, surrounding you… but otherwise no, not really. My mother’s town has a whale sighting group who post updates whenever a pod swings by the neighbourhood.
I sincerely hope there wasn’t a diver down below (and thankfully didn’t see any dive flag displayed).
But for sure she seemed like a tasty target herself, hanging over the edges of the boat. If that seal were even smarter, he would have just tripped her…
I would love to know whats going on in orcas minds vis a vis their ability to feast on seals, sea lions, dolphins and even whales— but they leave humans completely alone. Sharks don’t like humans, but they’ll take bites. Orcas just don’t attack humans, at all.
That’s the case with sharks. They bite, hit bone, and are disgusted from the venture like we’re milk that’s gone bad. Orcas, never. They’ve never mistook us for food. The only time they’ve attacked us is at Sea World, but we had it coming.
Or our Southern Residents that forgo all those options and only eat chinook salmon.
I’ve assumed without proof that we’re too lean and chewy. Yuck. Not at all like nice plump blubbery sea lions. Nom.
This from one YT ‘expert’; planting it here for consideration and discussion. Me? I’m outta here!:
Alright, guess I’ll do the explanation.
Orcas are an endangered species. There are laws in place to protect them, and INCREDIBLY harsh punishments for injuring or killing even a single one. You’ll ruin your whole life if you harm an orca.
Boats like the one in the video have propellers underneath itself for propulsion. Had this woman turned on the engine and activated the propellers that wounded an orca, she’d lose her job and could face a huge fine or even confinement.
The law states that in the presence of orcas, boats are to disable the engines in order to avoid harming the animals with the propellers. So she had to just SIT there and wait until the orcas left.
-Which they weren’t going to do… Since their lunch was on board. Her available choices were:
-Turn on engine and flee, possibly harming an orca and going to prison for it.
-Sit there and wait for a hungry pod of carnivorous orcas to try and leap onto her craft to get the sea lion, and risk her boat being capsized and then SHE gets to be in danger.
It’s a shitty situation all around, but given the choice between risking my life and freedom for a sea lion… I’d be hard pressed to not do the same thing this woman did.
I wonder if eating people would give Orcas the cetacean version of “Rabbit Starvation”.
-Use that great big red shovel on the boat and give the sea lion a push overboard. Sea lions have very healthy populations. Orcas are threatened. Easy choice.
See, now this would be a much more interesting version of that stupid “trolley problem.”
I thought about that but the sea lion’s head is shaped kinda like my dog’s, and I’m pretty sure I couldn’t do it.
I think that poster is overstating things a tiny bit. For example, when last I checked, the rules aren’t to turn off your engines but to switch to neutral idle within 400m. They can be on but you aren’t going anywhere. (Rules change depending on which side of the border you are on).
Ideally she never should have ended up that close to the whales in the first place (they aren’t hard to spot in the distance and you can usually keep out of their way.)
The best option when Orca are hanging around your boat is to relax and enjoy the show.
I can appreciate a little stress as those must be transient whales (the residents only eat Salmon) but I have never heard of one doing anything more aggressive than bumping a boat that size. Even in a Boston whaler they tend to just check you out. If you feel you are in real danger you can always call the coast guard…
I was also of the same thought. (NOW, I’m outta here!)
It’s also illegal to harass sea lions so best get comfy, and wait for the whales to get bored. In the meantime you could reflect on how you shouldn’t have gotten into the situation in the first place
Fair enough, but it at least needs to be one the list of possible actions.
Plus, and I don’t want to make assumptions about your dog, one you’re close enough to shovel a sea lion off your boat, you are close enough to smell it’s breath, and that alone would convince 99.9% of the population to go for it.
@BradC There are limitations to what would be considered harassment, and I’m pretty sure protecting one’s own life or preventing injury is a huge exception. I doubt they would give you a ticket, for instance, for pushing an aggressive seal lion away from your kayak with a paddle. There is a limit to what you have to put up with.
True, there are of course limitations. My argument would be that I didn’t see someone who was in any danger, other than being really late for whatever else she was planning to do…
Being stuck on a small vessel with a freaked out sea lion is immediately dangerous. They carry an incredible amount of diseases (according to an acquaintance of mine who works in fish & wildlife and has to deal with trapped sea lions) and, unlike orcas in the wild, do have a history of attacking humans when stressed and in forced close proximity.
Don’t they have self defense laws where she lives? pretty sure that over here reasonable fear of death by large mammals is sufficient reason for possible harming it.
Gotta admit, my dog has days in that category of breath.