Sightings Report April 25-May 3

May 3, 2015

Man, I swear all the cetaceans in the Salish Sea are in cahoots. It’s like they’re in a revolving door. We just keep seeing different things every day!

Residents, transients, humpbacks, residents, humpback, transients, Pacific white-sided dolphins (they showed up randomly on the 28th), transients, residents, humpback, transients. It’s nuts!

J-pod left the area on April 24th, but it was only for a little while, as the J16s returned on the 30th! Not sure where the rest of them are, so if you see them, let us know! These guys have been exploring some unusual areas recently, and not just enjoying their favourite haunts. This is exciting for us because we also get to explore new areas, some of which I’d never been to before! This is my 5th year in the industry, so it doesn’t happen a lot.

The transients have been doing their thing, eating everything in sight, including something that isn’t normally on the menu. We had a spectacular trip yesterday when we found some transient killer whales at Hein bank . . . harassing birds. This is not unheard of, young whales have been documented hunting/playing with birds before, but never for so long! We considered that they might be feeding initially, based on their behaviour: swimming in no particular direction, surfacing irregularly, breaching, tail slapping, and being just generally kind of all-over-the-place. However I noted to my passengers that the absence of birds surrounding them looking for scraps made me suspicious that there was no food being consumed. Sure enough, a few minutes later, we confirmed it, other birds in the area were giving the whales a wide berth as some Common Murres were being repeatedly attacked by the whole group! And this went on for over an hour!

Weird wild stuff guys.

Big Mama, everyone’s favourite humpback has also been making regular appearances, enjoying some early season feeding before the rest of the humpback hoard arrive in July and August. No one is quite sure why Big Mama is here so early. She had a calf last year and has likely taken this year off breeding, so maybe she’s been here all winter, happily feeding away. Regardless of the reason, we’re not complaining!

This week has been all calm water and mostly sunshine. Starting to feel like summer for real now!

Ocean Magic II is running regularly at 12:15pm every day, and zodiacs number between one and five per day, depending on demand. Offering on-demand zodiacs allows us to be super flexible to your schedule, so give the office a call and let’s see what we can do to get you on the water!

Or you could take Ocean Magic II and come hang out with me…

Just saying…

By Jennifer Dickson