Simone Thom has seen her share of orcas while working on B.C. Ferries, but one of her best wildlife experiences involved a large pod of dolphins swimming alongside the Salish Orca between Comox and Powell River.
Thom, who works in catering, happened to be looking out to sea when the pod appeared and quickly began taking a video of the awe-inspiring sight on her cellphone. She estimated there were a couple of hundred bounding through the waves together.
“It was pretty cool, something I’ve always wanted to see,” she said. “We see whales almost daily but that was pretty exhilarating to see those dolphins.
The ferry was nearer to Powell River when the sight unfolded, she said, adding that being able to see nature in action like that is one of the perks of the job.
“I’m always watching because it never gets old,” she said. “I love it.”
Thom said orcas — she saw a pod of 20 recently — and humpback whales are common sights.
She first saw the dolphins in front of the ferry and then suddenly they were at the side of the vessel, and that’s when she started recording.
The ferry was faster than the dolphins and pretty soon they were left behind.
Thom later made a Facebook post with the video, taken about 11 a.m. Tuesday, and went to bed.
That’s when people started to take notice, she said. There were about 850 likes when she last checked that night and around 3,000 when she woke up the next day.
“It’s been neat to see the response and just the joy that it brought to so many other people,” she said.
She hasn’t talked to any experts but one person suggested what she saw were white-sided dolphins. They are known to travel in large numbers.
Later in the week, she was talking to a passenger who told her she had seen “the most incredible video” of dolphins taken from a B.C. ferry.
“I said: ‘Oh funny, I think that was my video,’ ” Thom said with a laugh.