May 4th - Two young humpbacks in the Salish Sea

May 4th, 2018

It was a beautiful and sunny afternoon when we departed on “Cascadia” to search for the whales! We left Nanaimo harbour and travelled south on the Georgia Strait until two Humpbacks whales were found travelling together.

 A young Humpback whale born in 2016. Alanna Vivani

A young Humpback whale born in 2016. Alanna Vivani

They were two calves born in 2016, one of them had been identified as “Google”, a calf of BCX1188 “Jigger”, and the other one might be a newcomer to this area. We keep track of individual humpbacks that are seen and give our sightings data to various NGOs such as Keta Coastal Conservation.

 One of the most unique characteristics of Humpbacks are the tubercles on their face. Photo by Alanna Vivani

One of the most unique characteristics of Humpbacks are the tubercles on their face. Photo by Alanna Vivani

Keeping a sightings log will help us to learn about the migration of these amazing giants of the seas. Humpback whales arrives in our northern waters in the spring and spend the summer feeding in cold water seas. In the fall they start their long travel south to Mexico and Hawaii where they usually breed, and then return to the BC coast again in the springtime.

 "Google" (a calf of BCX1188 “Jigger”) travelling together with other calf who might be a newcomer. Photo by Alanna Vivani

"Google" (a calf of BCX1188 “Jigger”) travelling together with other calf who might be a newcomer. Photo by Alanna Vivani

This is probably the first time that these calves made their migration to the Salish Sea by themselves. Humpback calves stay with their mothers for just a year, so it’s very exciting to see that they made a successful journey! We hope to continue to see more individuals from this growing population.

 A young Humpback whale exploring the Salish Sea for the first time without his mother. Photo by Alanna Vivani

A young Humpback whale exploring the Salish Sea for the first time without his mother. Photo by Alanna Vivani

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