Sightings Report May 12-19

May 19, 2015

The revolving door continued this week with transient orca and humpbacks dominating early on, and residents returning to the area for May long weekend!

The same four humpbacks we’ve been seeing lately were enjoying what has become a common feeding spot for them. They are liking the northern end of our range, occasionally meaning that we have to extend our trips. We are more than happy to do this and go the extra mile (or 15!) to make sure that not only do we see whales, but that everyone on board has a spectacular experience. The four humpbacks we’ve been observing the most recently are Big Mama, Windy, Split Fluke, annnnnnnd BCX1057. Is it just me or does that last one need a better name?

Transient killer whales really lived up to their name this week. They were EVERYWHERE! There were tons reported in Nanaimo (some even in the harbour!), which is beyond the range of all the Victoria based operators, but at least we knew they were around. And sure enough, four times this week we hung out with several large groups of transients! One of the largest groups we encountered was the T65A’s, and B’s, along with several others including T63, who is one of my personal favourites. His nickname is Chainsaw, because he has two massive cuts in his dorsal fin that looks like someone took a chainsaw to it. He is, hands down, one of the easiest transients to ID.

J-pod made their long awaited appearance on Sunday May 17th and delighted us for the rest of the May long weekend, spreading themselves all along our southern range. The J16’s were high on our viewing priority list, and Ocean Magic II managed to spot them on both of her trips on the 17th.  We love this group because it has females, a big male (Mike, J26) and two of the three new babies in Jpod! What’s not to love?

The rezzies were in Vancouver today, so unfortunately that was too far for our morning boats, but we nabbed them in the afternoon as they headed south. Hopefully they’ll stick a little closer to home for the next few days; if not, we’ll widen the search effort for those humpbacks and transients!

We’re also excited to have our full complement of crew returning for the summer! Keep your eyes and ears out on our website and Trip Advisor for mentions of the following skippers and naturalists that will make your experience with us completely unforgettable. Ocean Magic II is being captained by Jeff and Anthony, and crewed by myself, Joe, Claire, Emily, Andrea, Justin, and Rowan. Zodiac skippers this year include Mark, Rush, Rhonda, Bo, Matt, Satchel, Marek and Tristan, with more to come! 

But of course, if you really want to get to know us and the wildlife, you gotta get out here! Give us a call and book now.

By Jennifer Dickson