Sightings Report April 13-24

April 24, 2015

The last couple of weeks have been amazingly steady, especially for April, and things don’t show any signs of slowing down. Our current whale sighting success rate is between 86-92% depending if you look at individual trips, or days. Of course, recent sightings have almost nothing to do with future sightings because things can change in a matter of hours, but so far, so good! *knock on driftwood*

It’s been killer whales all over the place recently, with residents and transients apparently playing a tag team. If we don’t have residents, we have transients, and vice versa!

As usual, J-Pod was the first back of the southern residents, and they were sighted several days in a row, with all 3 new babies accounted for, as well as the pod’s oldest member Granny, or J2. We always look extra hard for Granny in the early season, just to make sure she’s survived another winter. She is estimated to be 103 years old after all!

A few notable transient families have been the T065A’s, T075B’s. T049A’s, T123’s as well as T103. And these guys have been doing what transients do best…eating pinnipeds. We have witnessed numerous seal foraging bouts, in which a family will hunt a harbour seal (their favourite food)! In addition, several boats have had the opportunity to see some less common sea lion take-downs. Either way, it tends to end the same way: pink water and some very happy whales.

Conditions have been a little all over the place with most days providing flat calm and sunshine, but just enough rough days thrown in there to keep us on our toes. Rough days aren’t for everyone, but we get some cool photos (like the one above!) and the whales sometimes behave differently, so it’s always worth a try!

The weather has cooled off a little bit this week, and the rain threatened to scare a few passengers away but fear not! That’s what the covered boat is for! We’ve got lots of room on Ocean Magic II, so you can stay dry and even get a hot chocolate.

Today was extra special because we spotted an animal that’s unusual for this time of year. Big Mama is back! Everyone’s favourite humpback has likely been kicking around the area since she was last seen a few weeks ago. We watched her feeding near Pender Island, and as soon as we arrived on seen she treated us to an uncommon behaviour: she pooped!

Lots of stuff to see out there this time of year (even if whale poop isn’t your thing)! There are more immature bald eagles than we can count, the porpoises have been playing with us, and seals and sea lions are heaped on every available rock.

So what are you waiting for?

Get out here!

By Jennifer Dickson