Setting out in the morning with no reports of whales, and no resident orca in the area, can be a scary thing. People’s faces often drop when I tell them we we’re going to look for whales, but the reality is, we’re ALWAYS looking for whales!
And we find them.
Today we decided to go west in the morning, and quickly caught up with the T18’s, a charismatic group of 4 transient orca, easily recognizable because of T19B. He’s about 19 years old, and hasn’t quite grown in to his fin, to the point where it leans dramatically over to one side. Jeff, Lindsay, Tom and I on Ocean Magic II had a wonderful morning following these guys west.
Meanwhile in Vancouver, Anthony, Sandy, Wilma, and Brenley were looking at different transients! They found a huge group consisting of at least 20 whales. Likely the T36A’s, T37A’s, T65A’s, plus another unidentified group.
In the afternoon the T18’s were too far west to check out, and the big group of transients split in to more normal sized groups and headed our way. We caught up with them in San Juan Channel.
Zodiac skippers Mark, Rush, Matt W., Torin, Matt E., and Tyler all drove spectacular trips over to San Juan Island. We had pristine conditions all day and with no waves to slow us down, the zodiacs just flew!
We were also lucky to observe both groups of transients feeding! Harbour seals and harbour porpoise were on the menu (Check out our twitter for a crazy picture from another feeding session the other day!). We can tell they’re hunting because all of a sudden there’s an explosion of speed, followed by milling and lots of activity. They were hungry today! I personally spotted three separate bouts of foraging.
We also got to check out a few of their other prey species, observing sea lions and seals at Race Rocks and Whale Rocks.
Want to come looking with us tomorrow? I’ll be on the water!
By Jennifer Dickson