Saturday, July 29, 2006

"J" Pod

My flight week is coming to an end and all things considered it wasn't too bad. Forest fires on Monday, again on Tuesday. Tuesday's show also brought a "breaking" apartment complex fire that was very visual.
But it was first thing Friday morning that I will likey remember most. As I was just getting to the hanger, Gregg on the desk calls. He has details of an assignment that we can bang off right away. He gives me GPS coorinates which I scribble down on my hand as I curse myself under my breath as I am in need of a freah note pad in the truck.

There is a lot of hubbub at the hanger. The evening before a Bell 404 medivac from Denver Colorado had landed and were using our hanger for their time here in Vancouver. That machine and her crew would be part of a film shoot on Saturday or at least that was the plan. Unfortunatally it was discovered that this machine had developed a machinical issue and would need a part transported to them.

A shot of the visiting 407 Medivac Helicopter from Denver

As I arrived in the hanger and inform Peter our pilot of the day as to what we are up to, the 407 crew is inspecting their machine and making plans for a delay in the shooting schedual.
Jana one of the Flight Nurses from the 407 askes if we would mind her taking some pictures taking off on our hot news story. What is happining she askes. Peter reveals that we are headed to see if we can get some pictures of an Orca Pod that is feeding near Sand Heads.
I have never seen whales in a pod from the helicopter before. I had taken video of Luna the lone Orca of Gold River a few seasons ago from our first Helicopter. During our many crossings of the Straight of Georgia I have always looked but have never seen a Pod.

As we powered up we invited Jana and her collegue Linda to join us. It would be a short flight and both we excieted about the possibility of seeing Killer Whales. Not many whales get to Denver, well maybe on a ski vacation,,,,,

A frame grab from Chopper 9 as we approach "J" pod

It was not long before we had our target in sight. There was a floatilla of Whale Watching boats already surrounding the pod as they feasted on a run of salmon. It was just a mile or so off the "Coal Pile" at Delta Port and within sight of the ferry terminal. It turnes out to be "J" Pod a resident pod of Orcas. They travel all over the Pacific Northwest. It is quite a sight. I guess we had quite an audience back at Vancouver control watching the feed come into the station. Nature at it's best. I guess "I" Pod was busy down loading music and was not seen in the area.

Another frame grab off Sand Heads with 2 orcas feeding just a few feet from a Whale Watching tour boat

We spent about 40 minutes or so getting what we needed before we headed back to YVR. Our guests from Colorado excieted from an experience and ready to tell the story to freinds and family back in Colorado of how they went Ocra Whale watching, from a Helicopter, "up there in Canada"

A good shot of an adult orca of "J" Pod.

We ended up running the tape for both our 5 and 6 shows. It wasn't a bad way to end a very good flight week.

A shot of Jana and I as we return from Sand Heads

Linda in the front seat after we arrive back from our Whale Watching adventure

1 comment:

Widescreen said...

You salty old dog. Not one nurse but two! Jana is quite cute to.

A tour boat would never get that close here. Stricktly forbidden around Humpbacks.

By the way, do you do HUET training with all the flying you do?