August 14th - The killer whales are back with a bang!
What a day! Our last couple weeks have had humpback sightings galore and we've certainly enjoyed them as we marvel over their ability to propel themselves out of the water, given their size. However, with reports of orcas around, it gave us an even bigger burst of excitement that we'd get the chance to see our black and white friends again.
Cascadia took 2 trips today filled with passengers ready for some whale action, and oh boy did the whales deliver! We took off from the harbour in Nanaimo and passed through Dodd's Narrows that brings us into the Southern Gulf Islands Channel. On the journey to the whales, it's a lovely scenic ride as you get to experience the beautiful landscapes off the coast of Vancouver Island.
In the morning, the orcas were just east of Active Pass, so we went through this common ferry channel to meet up with them on the other side into the Strait of Georgia. The waters were quite calm this trip and made for some exciting views of the orcas not only travelling, but hunting, spy hopping, and slapping their tails on the surface too.
The T36 and T36A families were present, a total of 8 orcas were spotted during the tour and with some unique dorsal fins we were able to identify the pods. A few of the whales have some noticeable nicks that help us confirm their identity.
In the afternoon, the whales had travelled a bit southeast by the time we caught up with them again. Just on the northeast end of Patos Island is where we ended up. They were travelling yet again, but also porpoising as well as engaging in barrel rolls. Putting on quite a show for our guests in the morning and afternoon!
What a wonderful welcome back from the killer whales to our sightings :) check out some more photos below, including a bald eagle also enjoying a snack.