April 22 - Several Pods of Transient Orcas (T123s and T100s) in The Strait of Georgia

April 22nd, 2018

We took to the seas in our semi-covered vessel "Quick Change II" in search of whales and other wildlife. It was almost an hour before killer whales were reported in the Strait of Georgia. When we arrived we found there were two families of Transient orca travelling together, which has become a more regular whale watching sight than it used to be.  And we're not complaining, the more the merrier!

 Members of the T100 pod coming up for air in the sunshine. Photo by Alanna Vivani.

Members of the T100 pod coming up for air in the sunshine. Photo by Alanna Vivani.

The pods of whales were identified as the T123 family and the T100 family. There may have even been some others in the mix! 

 The nick in T123A "Stanley's" dorsal fin makes him easier to identify, but we're not sure who's rolling around beside him! Photo by Alanna Vivani.

The nick in T123A "Stanley's" dorsal fin makes him easier to identify, but we're not sure who's rolling around beside him! Photo by Alanna Vivani.

 T100C, a 16 year old male, catching some sun in the Strait of Georgia. Photo by Alanna Vivani.

T100C, a 16 year old male, catching some sun in the Strait of Georgia. Photo by Alanna Vivani.

 T123A "Stanley" shows off his eyepatch while surfacing. Photo by Rodrigo Menezes.

T123A "Stanley" shows off his eyepatch while surfacing. Photo by Rodrigo Menezes.

So why were these families travelling together? Killer whales stay with their maternal family, often for life. However, they mate outside their pods, and this can occur when separate families join up and travel together temporarily. These meet-ups potentially allow reproductively mature whales to mate with individuals in other pods. 

 Mom's in the middle, with a kid on each side! T100C is the big male in front, and the little one is T100F. Photo by Rodrigo Menezes.

Mom's in the middle, with a kid on each side! T100C is the big male in front, and the little one is T100F. Photo by Rodrigo Menezes.

We had tons of fun catching up with these whales, and on our way home we checked out HUNDREDS of Steller and California sea lions at one of their haulouts near Gabriola island, and even found a bald eagle!

 Tons of Steller sea lions at Entrance island, and can you spot the bald eagle? Photo by Alanna Vivani.

Tons of Steller sea lions at Entrance island, and can you spot the bald eagle? Photo by Alanna Vivani.

Stay tuned for more whales next time!

Jilann LechnerComment