The second season of Orca-live ended at 2pm on December 4th as a group of 18 “offshore” orcas were making their way westwards in Johnstone Strait. The whales had come into the Strait two days previously, providing a huge thrill for the Orca-live audience… almost as soon as we sent out an email “alert” to registered viewers the “house full” message came up on the site! The 2001 season of LIVE was successful in many ways – from the spectacular orca sights and sounds we were able to share, to the growth of our audience and the stability of the webcast. The biggest “superpod” event in more than 30 years happened in August, with as many as 163 northern resident orcas crowding into Johnstone Strait. For weeks on end during the summer, more than half a dozen families totalling over 50 members were present in the “core area”. The LIVE audience more than doubled to include viewers from 62 countries who made more than 45 million “hits” on the site; the “registered” audience grew to more than 4,000; and there were very few occasions on which we were “down” for more than a few minutes. Altogether, the results of this season convince us that the concept we are exploring works – that it is possible to use technology to bring people at a distance closer to the natural world, to help them feel part of Nature and not separate.
As we go forward, we hope to improve our technical capabilities and enhance the experience of the world of Orca that LIVE offers. Please join us next year, and meanwhile continue to visit www.orca-live.net to enjoy some of the highlights from past great days. LIVE is a complicated project in many ways & we cannot overstate our thanks to everyone who has worked so hard to make it a reality – producer Atsushi Miura, director Soichi Ueda, Anna Spong, Bill ter Brugge and OrcaLab Assistants deserve special mention, along with many others from NEUX, AXIS, JSTREAM, ATLUX, Pro-Vision & QLC, but there are others as well… thank you all! LIVE would be possible without the generous support of our sponsor, NTTDATA, so we also wish to express our heartfelt thanks to this wonderful company for sharing our vision!