2017/03 – Whale Talk

A small, but lively, group met at the hall for the March 8th meeting. Two new people came to the meeting to find out what the Newcomers’ Club is all about.

As we were discussing the community bus, Andrea Mills dropped by to answer many of our questions. She discussed the routes that the bus takes on Fridays and explained the technique for flagging down the bus as it goes through the Magic Lake loop. It is likely that a Saturday run will be added to the current schedule. Andrea encouraged us to check out the website, www.penderbus.org for further information.  It also shows the current live location of the bus, the route, and the bus schedules.

Paul spoke about the updated Newcomers’ Club website and asked for input as to its usefulness. After a discussion, we agreed to keep our website in operation for the upcoming year.

Based on the success of last year’s Newcomers’ Club attendance at a Friday night Legion dinner, Dianne will look into organizing the same for this year. The likely date will be Friday, April 21st. Further details will be sent out to all members.

Tara and Paul have offered to host the year-end party. Thank you for this generous offer. Details of the date and time will be confirmed as soon as possible so that you can mark this fun event on your calendars!

Our guest speakers, Richard Philpot and Lisa Moorby, gave a fascinating and informative talk about resident and transient killer whales. They described themselves as “not activists, but whale lovers”. They have both spent many years observing whales and keeping personal diaries of sightings and whale behaviour. One thing that some of us didn’t know is that resident and transient killer whales have different diets. Resident whales only eat chinook salmon; transient whales eat a variety of things, including seals and other whales. The two types of whales do not interact.

Richard and Lisa explained that the females are crucial to the survival of the pod. As well, they outlined the major threats to a healthy killer whale population: noise, inbreeding, toxins (including sonar testing and undersea military exercises) and the lack of (and quality of) their food source.

They encouraged us to learn more about these amazing mammals by visiting the Centre for Whale Research web site at www.whaleresearch.com. The Center for Whale Research is dedicated to the study and conservation of the Southern Resident Killer Whale (Orca) population in the Pacific Northwest. Thank you, Richard and Lisa, for the excellent presentation.