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Orca Petting
updated: Jan 24, 2013, 8:54 AM

By Edhat Subscriber

A subscriber was lucky enough to pet an orca last weekend while watching the orca family swim around their boat.

Nature's beauty last weekend. They stayed with us for a half hour then we left them. A Momma , Dadda, and a baby orca family.

Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 COMMENT 366896 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 09:05 AM

I've had experience kayaking and boating with orcas in the San Juan Islands and elsewhere and you definitely DO NOT want to be petting them. They can be aggressive and while you're safe in a large boat, keep your arms and legs inside people.

That said, what a great experience and beautiful day.

 

 BULLSEYEB agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 09:06 AM

What an incredible experience! Thank you for sharing this video with us!

 

 SBSURFERLIFE agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 09:07 AM

Wow incredible. Is this peak whale/orca watching time in the Channel?

 

 COMMENT 366902 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 09:14 AM

Really amazing! Thanks for sharing!

 

 COMMENT 366910 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 09:29 AM

Ummmm, wildlife is unpredictable... It could have turned ugly in seconds. You were fortunate as they probably had already consumed a few dolphin.

 

 AQUAHOLIC agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 09:34 AM

This would be my dream come true!....how lucky you and your family were in the presence of such magnificent creatures.

While I was thrilled watching along with you, I was a little nervous when someone stuck their arm out to pet the Orcas.

 

 COMMENT 366915 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 09:35 AM

Wildlife is unpredictable, and orcas have been known to get rather aggressive. However, if I was in the same situation, I would have done exactly the same. What an experience! So incredibly cool, and thanks for sharing!

 

 COMMENT 366930 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 09:53 AM

Wow... what an amazing experience it must have been for you.

 

 COMMENT 366933 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 09:57 AM

Wow, what an incredible experience. I was excited and filled with so much emotion just watching it from my computer. What a very lucky family you are!!!! Thank you for sharing.

 

 COMMENT 366946P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 10:15 AM

Do not approach the whales within 200 yards in US waters and 100 meters in Canadian waters. You should have boated away. The guidelines and regulations are in place to help ensure that we don't change their behavior or interfere with their life cycles. Plus it's just dangerous. You're trapped in that boat. How do you know they didn't perceive you as an easy meal?

 

 COMMENT 366950P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 10:23 AM

Watching them swim around the boat would have been fine. Putting your hand out to pet a wild carnivorous ocean mammal is dumb, stupid, and irresponsible. That animal could have easily grabbed his arm and killed him. I hope everyone sees this as an example of what not to do when encountering wild carnivorous animals in the ocean or on land.

 

 COMMENT 366979 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 11:12 AM

Magical!

While you are not allowed to approach the whales, there is no evidence of these people approached them. I'm glad they did not "boat away" as 946P suggests, as they could have run over them with the motor. The boat motor was off, and that's great!

 

 COMMENT 366991P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 11:25 AM

979, 946P here. I hadn't thought of that! The motor would be dangerous to them. However, in the video, it appears that the pod was first spotted while far enough away to get out of there without harming them.

 

 COMMENT 367005 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 11:55 AM

haha I knew there would be some negative responses to this. I was curious to see the reactions. We shut the motor off and they came to us. They hung out with us for about 30 minutes, and actually we ended up leaving them. Also they had eaten something that they were playing with and teaching their little one about which occasionally would draw the birds to it when a piece would come off. I believe it was a seal. there are a couple more videos on youtube.. one where my little guy squeaks and one of the whales turns on it's side and blows bubbles under the boat. I was eye to eye with the whale.. I will never forget it as long as I live. so all you negative nelly's can say what you want, but they were playing with us. I was there.

 

 COMMENT 367007 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 12:01 PM

Funny how people are scared of sharks, yet see Orcas as friendly, peaceful creatures. Gorgeous animals yes, but twice the size, agility, brain, communicating, and killing capability of any shark out there. Pack hunters too.

 

 COMMENT 367014 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 12:17 PM

Awesome. Ignore all the negative comments and lectures. As with everything dangerous, wouldn't it be nice if the responses from the scared would be as simple as : " that's scary and amazing but not not for me" instead of all the lectures on danger. Cars are dangerous, sports are dangerous, Olympics are dangerous, life is dangerous (but can be fun).etc. etc. etc... Live and let live people!!!

 

 DDPHOTOGRAPHY agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 12:21 PM

The Orca's have been spotted several times in the last month on different whale watching excursions. I too would love to witness those fantastic creatures, but as others have mentioned, not a good idea to stick your arm out!

You have experienced something truly magical and probably a once in a lifetime moment!

And glad no one got hurt!!

 

 COMMENT 367033 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 12:51 PM

Wonderful!

 

 COMMENT 367042 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 01:10 PM

Wonderful experience, lucky you!

Statistics on Orca Attacks on humans (wikipedia):

Wild orcas are not considered a real threat to humans, as there are few documented cases of wild orcas attacking people, and NONE of the recorded attacks have been fatal. There have been about two dozen cases of orcas attacking humans since the 1970s, almost exclusively perpetrated by CAPTIVE animals. Experts are divided as to whether the injuries and deaths caused by captive killer whales have been accidents or deliberate attempts to cause harm.

Can't say that I blame the captive animals for being aggressive either. That is no way to have to live your life.

 

 COMMENT 367056 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 01:46 PM

A close encounter of the best kind! How lucky you are.

 

 COMMENT 367081 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 02:34 PM

I had them come up to my boat 2 weeks ago very cool.

 

 COMMENT 367083 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 02:40 PM

I was the person filming. We were in a safe vessel and killed the props upon sighting the small family pod. It was an amazing , once in a lifetime experience; one that endangered no one. We did not pursue the animals like our many whale watching boats do on a daily, seasonal basis. We interected; both families curious of the other. And contrary to the title no one actually touched the orcas. There is danger in life but adventure often brings danger and a life without adventure is not a life at all. I would not change our approach of the situation at all. Our young son has a lifetime memory and also has a healthy respect for our oceans and wildlife.

 

 COMMENT 367089 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 02:58 PM

What an awesome experience. You have not seen the movie Rust and Bones I take it. When I was a teenager, we were heading out to the Islands and I had the wheel. Coming straight towards the boat were dolpins. I screamed to my Father, "help" I'm going to run them over. He said just hold the wheel straight. They went under the boat and came up in front and rode with us on each side. They knew exactly what they were doing. They stayed for some time. Dolphins and whales are magical, but please be careful you really were lucky.

 

 AUNTIE S. agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 05:44 PM

Wow!. What a birthday present.

 

 AUNTIE S. agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 05:54 PM

Wow!. What a birthday present.

 

 COMMENT 367139 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 06:00 PM

Of course that is illegal, and more important, very dangerous. People are exactly the right size for prey. These animals are predators. You should have even more respect for them than for a great white shark. Certain pods are known to prey on small, non-mammalian prey, but most groups are efficient and deadly large-prey carnivores. They are not people in whale suits.

 

 COMMENT 367236 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-25 06:58 AM

Is that the F/V Salsipuedes?? I sure hope Mike was there to share that.

 

 COMMENT 367252 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-25 07:54 AM

I don't think anyone is arguing how cool it was to be in the presence of the Orcas .... Just how careless it was to attempt to touch one. Regardless of whether or not anyone actually touched the Orca, trying to do so was a dumb idea.

Anyway, totally awesome, wish I could have seen them!

 

 COMMENT 367257 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-25 08:15 AM

Orcas are people killers: witness the two kayakers who disappeared off pt. dume a few years back. hopefully this video will not give the wrong impression. YouTube farallon islands great white vs. Orca

Let me be perfectly clear here: Humans are part of nature. There is no wall of separation that divides us from nature. We interact with our environment and that includes orcas. If you can't handle it, stay in "civilization", but don't begin to judge me through your anthropocentric lens.

The dolphin whisperer

 

 COMMENT 367283 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-25 08:57 AM

Seriously everyone? I think this is the coolest thing ever and so did everyone on that boat, I'll bet! Stop being such whiny recluses about how dangerous or illegal (it wasn't) it was.

That was AWESOME!

 

 COMMENT 367293 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-25 09:21 AM

Beautiful! --- Don't listen to the 'negitive nellies'!

 

 COMMENT 367306 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-25 09:34 AM

For many years we only had gray whales in our waters. I never get over how amazingly fortunate we are to have several different kinds of whales here these days. Let's get out there and see them while we can :)

 

 COMMENT 367322 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-25 09:57 AM

The "Dadda" is not part of the group. Pods consist of females and their offspring of varying ages. The fathers belong to other pods.
Yes, of course it is thrilling to be in the presence of magnificent animals, but a little knowledge can ensure that you'll have a positive experience. We all survive daily on a great deal of luck. That doesn't mean that the dangerous or foolish things we did that day are neither - only that ignorance is bliss, and we were lucky.

 

 COMMENT 367341P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-25 10:26 AM

Wow-! Thanks for sharing a magical moment. You did no wrong.
Amazing how calm that water is!

 

 COMMENT 367379 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-25 11:35 AM

Congrats to the OP on a wonderful experience. I would love to have been there.

For the most part, wild orcas are not dangerous to humans. To other animals, yes, but not to humans. I know researchers who go into the water with the whales to observe their behavior.

Also the OP did the right thing, turning off the motor. And while the Marine Mammal Protection Act requires people to not chase, harass, etc, a good plan is to guess where the whales will be, take your boat to that spot, and let them come to you. If they want to interact, they will.

Finally, I am amazed by the lack of knowledge on this topic. On most issues, there is more I do not know, than I know, but I try to not comment on things on which I am not knowledgeable.

 

29% of comments on this page were made by Edhat Community Members.

 

*** 7 comments were deleted from this thread by the Edhat Board Nanny for violating Edhat Comments Board policy. Click Here to see them.

 

 

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