July 20 - Transient orca at the bottom of Haro Strait

Cascadia and Keta traveled set out on the morning of the 20th into some gorgeous sun in search of either transient killer whales or humpback whales. Both had been seen earlier in the week and conditions were nice. Unfortunately, even with all of those eyes on the water, no one was able to find whales that morning.

 Photo by Rodrigo Menezes

Photo by Rodrigo Menezes

 Photo by Rodrigo Menezes

Photo by Rodrigo Menezes

By afternoon some reports of transient orca had surfaced. Our boats set off on a long journey south into Haro Strait, near the San Juan Islands in Washington. Two pods of killer whales were traveling together, a total of about 8 black fins moving sleekly through the seas. The T46's and T137's were the two families and our guests were able to see them work together side by side throughout the trip.

 T46E has a distinctive tall fin with a nick 2/3 of way down. Photo by Val Watson

T46E has a distinctive tall fin with a nick 2/3 of way down. Photo by Val Watson

T137 ("Loon") is the matriarch of the T137's and travels with her three offspring T137A ("Jack"), T137B ("Tempest"), and T137D ("Wright"). Jack is quite distinctive because of his extremely tall fin with two nicks in it. The oldest daughter, Tempest, was born in 2006 and is at the age now where in the next few years we could see her with her first calf! 

 Two mature males T137A and T46E travel side by side. Photo by Val Watson

Two mature males T137A and T46E travel side by side. Photo by Val Watson

 Exhales sparkling in the sun! Photo by Val Watson

Exhales sparkling in the sun! Photo by Val Watson

With lots of harbour seals around and some lingering sea lions, these guys have plenty of food to stick around for. We have tours running daily at 10:30 and 3:30 from downtown Nanaimo.... book a tour for your chance to see these marine mammal hunting killer whales! 

 Two family pods traveling together. Photo by Val Watson

Two family pods traveling together. Photo by Val Watson

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 A close pass from T46E shows us the incredible girth of these animals! Photo by Val Watson

A close pass from T46E shows us the incredible girth of these animals! Photo by Val Watson

Jilann LechnerComment