June 4th - Spectacular views in Howe Sound with the T101's and T86A's
The trip on June fourth took us once again into the scenic glacial fjord of Howe Sound. There we watched as two pods of Orca, the T101's and the T86A's travel together in the sound. Howe Sound seems to be a favourite spot of the T101's as we often find them here but today was special to find the T86A's travelling with them. Pods of transient Orca are often found travelling together but the reasons behind it are mostly unknown. Although the populations of Orca found in the waters of BC are some of the most studied in the world there are still so many things we don't know about them.
Travelling to Howe Sound to whale watch is always an amazing experience as the Coastal Mountains provide beautiful backdrop for photos and they act as a reminder of all the powerful forces that have shaped British Columbia's landscape over time. Howe Sound, and the area surrounding it, were shaped by glaciers during the last ice age over 12,000 years ago. The movement of the glacier through the area carved out the mountains and the landscape, leaving behind the sound as we see it today.
We continued to travel with the two pods down the sound watching them move through the water and listening to the power sound of their breath.
After we finished watching the whales we travelled back across the Strait of Georgia to one of our favourite places to view Sea Lions, Entrance Island! Entrance Island is a year round haul-out site where we commonly see Steller Sea Lions and Harbour Seals, and California Sea Lions when they have returned to BC waters. Watching the Steller Sea Lions is usually very amusing due to how expressive they are when interacting with each other and with us when they're hauled out. The large males are easily distinguishable from the females, first by their size, and secondly by their mane of fur around their neck. This thicker fur is in place for protection when males are fighting each other for the best spots on the beach.
While at Entrance Island we also got to check out some Harbour Seals that were hauled out on the rocks. Harbour Seals are experts at camouflage! They use their blotted colouration to blend into the intertidal zone.
Overall it was a fantastic day out on the water! If you want to come out and share this amazing experience we have tours that leave from Nanaimo daily at 12 and 1 pm. We look forward to seeing you on a trip!