Driving from Victoria, British Columbia it takes a full day to reach the secluded Northern end of Vancouver Island. A two-lane road winds through untouched forests, over rivers bubbling to the brim with salmon, and past rusted ship wrecks; ghost-like relics of a time long past.
We stop our car for a crossing black bear, tempted by the ripe blackberries on the other side of the road. The road ends in the town of Telegraph Cove, population: 20.
There is only one reason to come here: orcas. Once you find yourself finally out on the water, you watch and wait; holding your breath and straining your ears for the sound of a powerful exhalation.
Then out of nowhere the calm surface of the water is disrupted by an explosive mist of breath and a black dorsal fin, towering six feet out of the water.
You fall silent. You are rendered speechless by his arresting presence. As you watch, you suddenly realize that he is not alone. Another fin rises from the water, followed by another, then another. Without warning, you are surrounded.