So, the first plan was simple. We’d been in Milne Inlet awaiting (and hoping for) the arrival of Orcas that will be the subject of the Wild Canada film-makers aboard Arctic Tern I, but had run short on provisions. So, we decided to spend a quick two days in Pond Inlet for refueling, groceries, repairing, cleaning, showering, etc. while the film crew worked ashore. But, while ashore, we got wind that the Orcas had arrived! So, a short 8 hours later (just enough time to get everything done except, wouldn’t you know it, the crew showers!) we were back to sea.
Plan 2: Having heard of the arrival of the sought-after killer whales, we put to sea for an overnight passage back to Milne Inlet. Every other priority was put on standby. Plan 2 is to film – finally, to film – the orcas!
Plan 3: We forgot to tell the whales about Plan 2. Understandably, they moved on. By the time we got to Milne Inlet and to the last position of the killer whales, none were to be found. We spent the day doing systematic transects, calling the shore observers and so on. We could film only our own disappointed (and unshowered) faces …
Here I must skip ahead several plans, or I would write a novel and not a blog!
Plan 7: Finally, our patience spent, we decided to head back to Pond Inlet and return to Plan 1. We readied the boat and crew, and set out for our overnight motorsail and preparations for a day ashore. (Did I say showers?) Almost out of Milne Inlet, and there they were: ORCAS!
A pod of 12-15 individuals were circling in the distance. So… obviously last plan for the day: follow and film them as much as possible! The whales entered Tremblay Sound with a leading male up forward and the rest of the pod behind. We spent 6 hours with these beautiful and curious animals. Some closely inspected Arctic Tern! (We’re popular … a beluga in Blanc Sablon, a polar bear at Bylot Island, and now a female Orca.
Eventually, the whales moved on, the wind came up, and we headed for shelter. A very happy film crew and boat crew finally went to bed around 2am wondering “when did this day started exactly?” Probably when our first plan was still the one in place!