Photo: Orcas in the snow on the coast outside Nusfjord, Flakstadøy, Lofoten Islands, Norway. April 5, 2021. 17:20
For the last week I’ve been hearing various reports that the killer whales have returned to the Lofoten coast for their spring herring feeding. On Sunday, while planning to go out for a hike from Nesland, I finally spotted them in Skjelfjord – but they were on the far side and barely visible from land. I need a boat, I thought.
Monday I was out with some friends fishing near Stamsund when I got a text that the orcas were back in the bay at Nusfjord. Typical situation for me, that I’m usually occupied with some other activity when they are in a good location. But fortunately, there weren’t many fish to be found (I don’t eat fish myself anyhow, was just along for the ride), so we returned early to Stamsund, where I quickly said goodbye and headed to Nusfjord.
I arrived to the news that they had already left and were further along the coast. But, I was also informed that a boat would be coming, so I asked if I could join along. Having already been at sea outside of Stamsund, I knew it was going to be rough sailing in the choppy water. And even more difficult trying to photograph the orcas with a telephoto lens from a wildly bouncing boat. And soon enough, a large front of snow arrived, making photography even more difficult by limiting which direction we could shoot in.
But luckily enough, the orcas were just hanging around and feasting on the herring. As we drifted in the boat, occasionally they would surface nearby and swim around us. Then it is a matter to try and point the camera in the right direction and hope it focuses on the orcas and not the falling snow.
Hopefully this is just the first chance of the year and there are more times ahead as they hang around the coastline over the next couple months.
Head over to my Instagram account for (almost) daily postings of the local conditions here on Lofoten: @distant.north
Nikon 70-200mm f/4