The sounds of Compton Island

A tale of a summer told in sounds:

Gun shot – Whales breeching. They throw themselves high up into the air and land on their sides displacing a whole lot of water. It seemed to be a welcome as this happened within minutes of us arriving to our new home on the 13th June. Other theories include playful behaviour, or displacing barnacles which are attached to them.
Screams and cheers – usually following a Whale breech.
Slightly more distant gun shot – Tail smacking, often happens more than once as the whale launches his back end up and smacks down onto the surface.  Most memorably a Humpback took to performing this sequence whilst we were enjoying sunset and celebrating an 82nd birthday in camp. 
Hose Blast – Whales blowing. You don’t have to watch the horizon for long until you see the jet of air being blown up out of the water by a Humpback.
Several smaller blows – Orcas passing by, usually travelling in groups who surface together. 
“Orcaaaaaaaaa” – Kelly shouting from the beach to draw attention to the Orca passing by.
Big splash – Seals fishing in the bay. Their tail slapping is the least stealthy sound this swimming pup makes.
Squawking – Crows playing, chatting, insist you stop what you doing to pay them attention.
Squeaky, high pitched chatter with the occasional clicking sound – One of the smallest creatures in camp, the squirrel, making the biggest noise.

Loud thump – Squirrels pelting their pine cones from the trees to the forest floor. They do seem to practice targeting humans sitting on the beach, or the kayaks for biggest noise effect.
Tree cracking then a thump – falling trees. In the old forest the trees complete their own cycle, often choosing their moment to fall and break down into the duffy forest carpet. Interestingly, just another strange occurrence of ‘Cougar morning..’
Lapping waves – the gentle background noise of the in out of the ocean.
Smacking waves – the wake of a boat which has just passed hitting land a few moments after the boat has passed.
Loud chesty gurgling – September sounds of Sealions beginning to gather in the sound, posturing and competing for the best snoozing spot.

Bells ringing – Food is ready.
Crackle, pop – The fire ban is eventually lifted and we can return to campfires and s’mores living.
Tent zipper closing – Bed time.

Orca Dreams is a whale watching safari based on Compton Island in Blackfish Sound. JD and Kelly are Vancouver Island locals who host guests in the experience of a lifetime. Find out more at

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