May 6th - T101's in Howe Sound

On May 6th we made the journey across the Strait of Georgia to view killer whales, the T101s, in Howe Sound. The T101s are a pod of killer whales consisting of four whales; Reef, Rush, T101B and Beardslee.

 Beardslee (left) and Reef (right) travelling together in Howe Sound. Photo by Mike Campbell.

Beardslee (left) and Reef (right) travelling together in Howe Sound. Photo by Mike Campbell.

Howe Sound is a glacial fjord surrounded by mountains and small islands where both killer whales and humpbacks are commonly found. We first spotted the orcas off of Bowyer Island and observed them traveling up the Sound towards Anvil Island. The Coast Mountain Range provided a beautiful backdrop for watching these majestic animals.

 Looking at Two Lions peak underneath sunny skies. Photo by Mike Campbell

Looking at Two Lions peak underneath sunny skies. Photo by Mike Campbell

After leaving the whales we went to a haul-out site on Christie Islet where we observed a group of harbour seals enjoying the sunshine. Harbour Seals will typically haul-out on rocks which have a shallow slope to them as the seals are not very well adapted for movement on land. Where the seals lack grace on land they make up for it with their movements within the water which aids in their survival from predators, such as the killer whales.

 Whales are big, but mountains are bigger! Beardslee surfacing in Howe Sound. Photo by Mike Campbell.

Whales are big, but mountains are bigger! Beardslee surfacing in Howe Sound. Photo by Mike Campbell.

We crossed back across the Strait and made a stop at Entrance Island, completing our tour with a visit with the very noisy sea lions. We observed both Steller’s sea lions and California sea lions hauled out on the island enjoying the warm weather and fighting over prime spots on the beach. The fighting isn’t just for entertainment though, the best spots on the beach are occupied by the most fit males, providing them with more females to mate with.

All-in-all it was a great day! If you are interested in joining us we have daily tours available.