June 13th - We found the T86A's and T124A1 in Trincomali Channel!

 This curious whale popped it's head a bit higher and we were able to see the entire white eye patch and the white lower jaw! Photo by Natalie Reichenbacher

This curious whale popped it's head a bit higher and we were able to see the entire white eye patch and the white lower jaw! Photo by Natalie Reichenbacher

Our lucky guests on board Cascadia were treated to a private encounter with the Transient Orcas in Trincomali Channel! The conditions were ideal as we left the Nanaimo harbour in search of whales. As we approached Dodd's Narrows, unusually high waters from tidal activity was easily observed, thanks to Spring Tides.

 The whales surface after a long dive. Photo by Natalie Reichenbacher

The whales surface after a long dive. Photo by Natalie Reichenbacher

Contrary to what their name suggests, it doesn't happen exclusively during the spring season, instead it happens at each new and full moon every month. This phenomena is actually a result of the Earth, moon, and sun all lining up in a relatively straight fashion, with the moon in between the Earth and the sun. The gravity caused by the sun reinforces the moons gravity, thus creating a change in tidal activity. The high tides are higher than normal and the low tides are lower than normal.

 Some lucky folks on Galiano Island would have been able to watch from shore! Photo by Natalie Reichenbacher

Some lucky folks on Galiano Island would have been able to watch from shore! Photo by Natalie Reichenbacher

Heading south through the Trincomali Channel, one of our guests spotted a pod of Transient Killer Whales at the south end of Wallace Island. The orcas were headed north and we followed them up along Galiano Island then through Porlier Pass. On the outside of Galiano Island and into the Strait of Georgia, the orcas successfully completed a kill and were sharing the food under the water. We didn't see anything gory, but some gulls picking up scraps confirmed the kill!

 The whales swam through some turbulent waters in Porlier Pass! Photo by Natalie Reichenbacher

The whales swam through some turbulent waters in Porlier Pass! Photo by Natalie Reichenbacher

The T86A's are comprised of a mother, Eider, and two of her calves, Nahanni (2001) and Tyndall (2011). T124A1 is a 22 year old female who travels separately from her original pod. It is trickier with the females, but by looking at the shape of the dorsal fin and any scars that are in their saddle patch, we can identify individual whales. 

 Photo by Natalie Reichenbacher

Photo by Natalie Reichenbacher

Jilann LechnerComment