August long weekend is behind us, and y’know what that means? Humpback season! We will likely have humpback sightings regularly from now until October, and with residents and transients around the last few days, a lot of trips are turning out to be multi-species encounters! We also got some amazing photos from the weekend so stay tuned for those on facebook (spoilers: resident killer whales, humpbacks breaching, and Harry Otter!)
Today was tricky, with rough conditions all day, but we managed to pull out some amazing trips. The resident killer whales disappeared this morning, but we found some transients hanging out by Race Rocks about 9:45 am! They were a group called the T18’s and are easily identifiable thanks to a male with a very strange looking dorsal fin. It’s very wide, rounded, and wobbly; hopefully he’ll grow into it!
Mark on the 9am zodiac and Captain Scott, myself, Lindsay and Tom aboard Ocean Magic II were the first on scene with these guys as they bucked the flood tide and zigzagged through the waves. They even stopped to chase some harbour porpoise! I love watching killer whales in rough water because they are forced to surface more energetically, ensuring every surface shows off more of their face, instead of just the dorsal fin. We were able to see under the chin and eye patch every time they came up!
With time to spare we popped over to a group of 3 humpbacks travelling down the Strait. One trip was even treated to an unexpected breach! I’m pretty sure if the whales can hear us when they breach, they think the only sound humans make is “Oooooooh!!!” Even a humpback just coming to the surface is a powerful sight to behold. Matt was inspired by “humpback blows blowing away in the wind.”
Top it all off with a stop at Race Rocks (which is PACKED with seals and sea lions), and you’ve got the makings of a pretty amazing day. The rough weather did slow us down a bit, and unfortunately we had to cancel later trips because of the waves, but those that went out loved the adventure!
Zodiacs were skippered by Mark, Matt W., Bo, Torin, and Rhonda, and they all brought passengers back super soaked and totally stoked!
What will the whales and weather do tomorrow? Only one way to find out!