October 15th - Humpback whales Heather/Quattro and Raptor near Porlier Pass
Another sunny fall day full of gorgeous humpback whales! Cascadia departed at 11am and met up with boats and whales around Porlier Pass in the Strait of Georgia. There was a little bit of wind, just enough to make it a fun ride and to make everyone work to find the blows!
Our boat spent an hour watching humpback whales “Heather/Quattro” and “Raptor” go on deep feeding dives and showing off their flukes. Both of these whales have been seen in our waters frequently these past couple of months so we hope that means they are finding lots of yummy food!
Humpback whales need to eat A LOT while they are visiting us up north. They don’t have teeth like killer whales, instead they use baleen (made out of the same thing as your finger nails!) to filter feed on small animals in the water column. Around here they commonly feed on krill, herring, and sandlance.
To gather their food they need to hold their breath and dive down to where the food is the densest, and then open their mouth WIDE and expand all of their ventral grooves along their throat. It’s said they can expand to hold as much water as a pick up truck! Once all of this water and food are trapped in their mouth, they’ll push the water out through the baleen while catching the little animals on the inside. Then they can use their giant tongues to scrap the food and swallow. Quite an amazing process!