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. 

 A surfacing of six orca at the same time! Amazing! Photo by Val Watson.

A surfacing of six orca at the same time! Amazing! Photo by Val Watson.

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. 

 Peaking out of the water during the hunt. Check out those scared seals in the background. Photo by Val Watson.

Peaking out of the water during the hunt. Check out those scared seals in the background. Photo by Val Watson.

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. 

 Lunging out of the water during the hunt. Photo by Val Watson

Lunging out of the water during the hunt. Photo by Val Watson

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. 

 Travelling together. You can check out those nicks on the dorsal fins. Photo by Val Watson.

Travelling together. You can check out those nicks on the dorsal fins. Photo by Val Watson.

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!

 Group travelling away through the smokey haze. Photo by Val Watson.

Group travelling away through the smokey haze. Photo by Val Watson.

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. 

 Little fluke sticking out of the water! Photo by Val Watson.

Little fluke sticking out of the water! Photo by Val Watson.

 T36A1 Tierna sporting a new nick on their dorsal. Photo by Val Watson

T36A1 Tierna sporting a new nick on their dorsal. Photo by Val Watson

 Bald Eagle munching on some scraps. YUMMY! Photo by Val Watson.

Bald Eagle munching on some scraps. YUMMY! Photo by Val Watson.

 Snack Attack! Photo by Val Watson.

Snack Attack! Photo by Val Watson.

 Against what it looks like this eagle is indeed eating this chunk of meat, not barfing it up. Photo by Val Watson.

Against what it looks like this eagle is indeed eating this chunk of meat, not barfing it up. Photo by Val Watson.

Jilann LechnerComment