July 4th - Two family pods in the Gulf Islands

Happy Independence Day to our neighbours just south of the border! Another beautiful day out for our guests who enjoyed the scenic views of the gulf islands while watching two different pods of transient (Bigg's) orcas.

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In the morning, we set off from the harbour and made our way south through the Gulf Islands off the coast of Vancouver Island. Along the way our guests spotted some harbour porpoises swimming alongside the vessel, with quick glimpses of their dorsal fins surfacing. 

 The scenery around here is too stunning to resist a peek! Photo by Alanna Vivani

The scenery around here is too stunning to resist a peek! Photo by Alanna Vivani

 Whales surface with UBC and the coastal mountain range in the background. Photo by Alanna Vivani

Whales surface with UBC and the coastal mountain range in the background. Photo by Alanna Vivani

 Photo by Alanna Vivani

Photo by Alanna Vivani

 

 

 

We arrived at the southwest end of Active Pass where we were greeted by two transient families. Active Pass is a beautiful channel that connects the Trincomali Channel to the Georgia Strait. Situated between Mayne Island and Galiano Island, it is the channel used by BC Ferries servicing the Tsawwassen terminal to the Southern Gulf Islands and Lower Vancouver Island. This is an incredible channel of water providing viewers with remarkable coastline panoramas and tons of wildlife too!

 A juvenile orca does a backflop in front of our guests. Photo by Alanna Vivani

A juvenile orca does a backflop in front of our guests. Photo by Alanna Vivani

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 Peek a boo! Orcas have great sight and this one seems to be taking a sideways glance while surfacing. Photo by Alanna Vivani

Peek a boo! Orcas have great sight and this one seems to be taking a sideways glance while surfacing. Photo by Alanna Vivani

Between the two families, there were 8 orcas spotted, grouping the T99's and T36A's. One of the mothers, T36A, was born in 1990 making her 28 years old! She has a noticeable nick on her dorsal fin that allows us to identify her much more easily!

 So many whales! Photo by Alanna Vivani

So many whales! Photo by Alanna Vivani

During our time with the orcas, they were engaging in some deep dives but lots of surfacing for us to enjoy. As we took off in search of other wildlife, the whales were heading Northwest, which worked out perfectly for our afternoon trip to meet up with them a little later!

 Photo by Alanna Vivani

Photo by Alanna Vivani

Our afternoon guests enjoyed these orcas just Northwest of Porlier Pass, a channel of water in between Valdes Island and Galiano Island. We were treated to some excited orcas engaging in tail slaps, spy hopping, and even some half breaches!

 Curious onlookers! Photo by Alanna Vivani

Curious onlookers! Photo by Alanna Vivani

On our journey back to the Nanaimo, we stopped off at Entrance Island to view the steller sea lions and a juvenile bald eagle perched on a rock!

 A juvenile bald eagle perches on an abandoned log. Photo by Alanna Vivani

A juvenile bald eagle perches on an abandoned log. Photo by Alanna Vivani

What an exciting day! Don't miss out on your chance to see some of the amazing wildlife the coastal waters have to offer, book an upcoming tour with us online or over the phone and see what it's all about!

 

Jilann LechnerComment