The early-morning sun glinted off of sleek black dorsal fins as they broke through the water’s surface. I sat on the rocky shore beside a lighthouse, watching the trio of orcas travel through Haro Straight. Vancouver Island stood hazy in the distance. Somewhere nearby, a small child squealed “I see them!” Others bounded along craggy rocks to get a better view. Below them, a river otter escaped notice as it slipped silently into the water. All eyes were focused on the ethereal black and white mammals that have captured the world’s imagination over the past several decades.