Joining us as our guest this week is professional guide and captain Daven Hafey to discuss his new documentary film project Salmnesia. Daven has extensive field experience in wild places all over the planet including the Arctic, Alaska, Antarctica, and the San Juan Islands in Washington state.
We ask all our guests about memorable wildlife and whale encounters and Daven’s are well worth listening to. He spoke in detail about two amazing encounters in Antarctica that are so compelling. The first was seeing hundreds of whales feeding around an iceberg and the second was with a large, curious group of Antarctic small type B killer whales (Gerlache orcas).
The discussion includes details about the different types of Antarctic killer whales. Just like the orcas we encounter here in the San Juan Islands, there are distinct populations of killer whales in Antarctica. Type B2 killer whales (Gerlache orcas) frequently hunt penguins. Type B1 orcas are seen hunting seals and creating pressure waves to knock them off the ice flows. Type A killer whales target other species of whales. Type C killer whales live on the opposite side of Antarctica from the other and they are seen mostly hunting different species of fish. Finally, Type D orcas are very rarely documented and have been seen in open ocean.
After hearing about Daven’s encounters in Antarctica we discuss his documentary film project, Salmnesia. The concept of the documentary is based on the idea of generational amnesia -- how each generation assumes the conditions in which they are born into are normal. Because of generational amnesia, there is no reason to truly understand what once was, and this is very true today with the massive declines of west coast wild salmon. Salmnesia takes a unique approach with the belief that to know where we want to go, we must first remember what we’ve forgotten. The project is just getting off the ground and we talked about ways people can get involved and provide support.
We then turned the conversation to our latest sightings around Washington state in the San Juan Islands and around the Salish Sea. It has been an amazing spring. We’ve been seeing T63, “Chainsaw,” in June, experienced Bigg’s killer whales in unique, beautiful places, enjoyed the annual return of our famous Humpback Big Mama with her latest calf (number 7!), and a late May visit from J pod. We also talk about the saga of T65A5 leaving his mom and siblings to check out a lagoon in Port Angeles harbor.
Our next episode will drop on July 4th. If you would like to submit feedback or questions for us, we might read them on the next episode. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or message us on Instagram. And please leave us comments, subscribe to our podcast, and share it with your friends!