July 9th - 2 humpbacks traveling in the Strait of Georgia & Orcas in Haro Strait

What a day filled with marine mammals galore!

In the morning, our zodiac Cascadia set off from the Nanaimo docks in search of whales! They crossed the Strait of Georgia and made their way towards the sandheads where there were reports of humpbacks. The humpbacks were quickly identified as Heather and Raptor, by the distinctive colouration and markings on their flukes.

 Humpback going for a dive in the Salish Sea. Photo by Val

Humpback going for a dive in the Salish Sea. Photo by Val

Humpbacks are easily identifiable by their flukes, each one is unique - just like a fingerprint! Both of these whales are under the "BCY" category, meaning their flukes have about 20-80% white on them. The humpbacks were feeding during the visit and engaging in some deep dives, but their direction of travel SE in the Strait of Georgia was a treat for our afternoon guests who got to see these two as well!

Top Images: Humpback "Raptor" showing off their fluke! Photo by Val Watson.
Bottom Images: Humpback "Heather" showing off her fluke! Photo by Val Watson.
Take note of the little white patches on the ends of the flukes, the colouration that distinguishes them as "BCY" humpbacks.

Both our vessels went out in the afternoon to enjoy another amazing day on the water. With a quick stop to see the steller sea lions hauled out on buoy, we were on our way heading south down the Southern Gulf Islands.

 Steller Sea Lions hauled out on an UM Buoy, growling away while other sleep peacefully. Photo by Val Watson.

Steller Sea Lions hauled out on an UM Buoy, growling away while other sleep peacefully. Photo by Val Watson.

We had the chance to catch up with the humpbacks from the morning as well as the opportunity to see a pod of about 7-10 transients being active, and some harbour porpoises travelling. Two transient pods met up, the T124A family and the T36A family. 

 Heather and Raptor surfacing. Photo by Val Watson.

Heather and Raptor surfacing. Photo by Val Watson.

 Did you know a humpbacks blow can reach 12 ft in height? Crazy! Photo by Val Watson.

Did you know a humpbacks blow can reach 12 ft in height? Crazy! Photo by Val Watson.

 Check out the yellow tint on the young orca surfacing! Photo by Rodrigo Menezes.

Check out the yellow tint on the young orca surfacing! Photo by Rodrigo Menezes.

During the trip, the families engaged in some spy hopping, tail slaps, deep dives, and travelling southbound from Moresby Island and down through Haro Strait, just north of Sidney Island.

 An exciting surface from one of the young orcas in the pod! Photo by Rodrigo Menezes.

An exciting surface from one of the young orcas in the pod! Photo by Rodrigo Menezes.

 Family of transient orcas surfacing with a cheeky hello from the front! Photo by Val Watson.

Family of transient orcas surfacing with a cheeky hello from the front! Photo by Val Watson.

 Check out the T124A's surfacing at the same time side by side. Synchronized swimming, orca style! Photo by Rodrigo Menezes.

Check out the T124A's surfacing at the same time side by side. Synchronized swimming, orca style! Photo by Rodrigo Menezes.

Looking forward to some more trips with these beautiful creatures! Book your next trip with us :) see what all the hypes about!

Jilann LechnerComment