Our Captains, Anthony and Jeff and crew members Mika, Jen, Lindsay, June 2nd and 3rd, headed the Ocean Magic out of the harbour, and east toward San Juan Island. It is here, at this time of year, we encounter the Southern Residents Orca, while they forage for salmon. Chinook Salmon is their preferred food source, however that species of salmon is not always found this early in the year, so they forage for other species of fish. On our way, several Harbour Porpoise were seen briefly. A few members of L Pod came into these sheltered waters over the weekend, the L 12 and L22 family groups. We had great looks at ‘Mega ‘, L 41 the oldest male in L Pod. He is also the oldest of all 3 Pods that make up the Southern Resident Orca community in this area. We watched them travel along the shoreline. ‘Spyhop ‘ behaviours were seen. The tiny Orca L 119 born last year, was seen traveling often with one of the larger males, an uncle. Orca are very social and have close family bonds. This is apparent when watching male Orca swim near or close to their mother, if alive. If she is gone, then males swim with either sisters, aunts, grandmothers or surrocate mothers. Our guests on board enjoyed the interaction of our Biologists and Naturalists. A visit to Trail Island to observe Harbour Seals on our return added another dimention to our afternoon wildlife trip with Prince of Whales,
Most of the images on the blog are shot with a 400 mm & 600 mm telephoto lenses. Because of our restrictions around wildlife (100+ meters), we use powerful lenses to better share orca activity that passengers see on their trips. Keep in mind this also heavily compresses space between objects. We also crop images for best blog viewing.