June 29th - T37A Family near Gabriola!

What a fun day with the T37A family! We stayed in the Gulf islands archipelago for the entire day while travelling with these whales as they headed north past beautiful Gabriola island.

 Here's T37A, she's the matriarch of her pod and is 24 years old. See the nick in the middle of her dorsal fin? Photo by Val Watson

Here's T37A, she's the matriarch of her pod and is 24 years old. See the nick in the middle of her dorsal fin? Photo by Val Watson

 T137A surfaces close to our vessel while our engines are shut down. Photo by Val Watson

T137A surfaces close to our vessel while our engines are shut down. Photo by Val Watson

Transient (Bigg's) orca live in matriarchal societies, which means they travel with their maternal family. However, once a female has her own offspring, she typically begins to spend less time with her mother and begins to travel separately with her own sons and/or daughters. 

The T37A family is a great example of this occurence. Now that she has several of her own offspring, T37A usually travels separately from her own mother (T37).  Why do transient (Bigg's) orca do this? It's thought that smaller groups make for stealthier hunters! So it's likely that branching off into family groups with fewer members allows these whales to keep quieter while hunting their prey.

 Orca are very tactile animals, and we often witness them nudging playfully against eachother. Photo by Val Watson

Orca are very tactile animals, and we often witness them nudging playfully against eachother. Photo by Val Watson

 Breathing in that crisp Salish Sea air! Photo by Val Watson

Breathing in that crisp Salish Sea air! Photo by Val Watson

Thanks to those who joined us for this spectacular experience with the T37A pod. We've had great success watching healthy pods of orca like this family, and we can't wait to see what the rest of the season brings!

To join one of our daily tours, give us a call or make a reservation online to book your seat!

Jilann LechnerComment