August 21st - Orca Soup!

Today started out with reports of orca nearby! So we left the dock and headed down south towards Galiano Island where there was reports of the T65As travelling through active pass. By the time we had got there we found them out in the Strait of Georgia. The pod was in three separate groups; the matriarch, T65A, travelling with her new calf and one other offspring, T65A2 a male travelling by himself, and two more travelling slightly behind the others. 

 Tumbo (left) and Rocky (right) travelling together. Photo by Alanna Vivani

Tumbo (left) and Rocky (right) travelling together. Photo by Alanna Vivani

 Photo by Alanna Vivani.

Photo by Alanna Vivani.

This pod is amazing to see because of how young all the whales are. It shows how healthy the transient orca population is when there are so many young whales thriving in our waters. T65A has five offspring now, the oldest being 14 and the youngest just born this year! 

 Baby photos by Alanna Vivani.

Baby photos by Alanna Vivani.

 Three orca off in the distance surfacing. Photo by Alanna Vivani.

Three orca off in the distance surfacing. Photo by Alanna Vivani.

 Photo by Alanna Vivani.

Photo by Alanna Vivani.

 Photo by Alanna Vivani.

Photo by Alanna Vivani.

Check out some of the awesome photos from the morning trip!

 T65A2 travelling at the surface. Photo by Alanna Vivani.

T65A2 travelling at the surface. Photo by Alanna Vivani.

 T65A3 and T65A2 travelling together. Photo by Val Watson.

T65A3 and T65A2 travelling together. Photo by Val Watson.

 T65A2 (right) and his sibling T65A3 (left) surfacing together. Photo by Val Watson.

T65A2 (right) and his sibling T65A3 (left) surfacing together. Photo by Val Watson.

 T65A and her daughter T65A6 (right). Photo by Val Watson.

T65A and her daughter T65A6 (right). Photo by Val Watson.

 Itchy sea lion! Photo by Alanna Vivani.

Itchy sea lion! Photo by Alanna Vivani.

In the afternoon we headed out to a brand new report that was even closer to home! Just on the other side of Gabriola Island we got to witness the T2Cs hunting in the Flattop Islands. They were being very aggressive in their hunting, actually throwing themselves up on rocks to try and grab the seals off of the little reef. 

 T2C2 surfacing with her mom, T2C. She's only a year old! Photo by Val Watson

T2C2 surfacing with her mom, T2C. She's only a year old! Photo by Val Watson

 Hunting grounds. Photo by Val Watson.

Hunting grounds. Photo by Val Watson.

 Hunting grounds part 2. Photo by Alanna Vivani.

Hunting grounds part 2. Photo by Alanna Vivani.

 Hunting grounds, part 3. Photo by Alanna Vivani. 

Hunting grounds, part 3. Photo by Alanna Vivani. 

We saw what seemed like success when gulls swooped in and grabbed at the scraps. The hunting continued for about an hour then a celebration ensued! 

 Rocky (T2C1) scaring the seals. Photo by Alanna Vivani.

Rocky (T2C1) scaring the seals. Photo by Alanna Vivani.

 Big tail slap! Photo by Alanna Vivani.

Big tail slap! Photo by Alanna Vivani.

 Tail slap by T2C1. Photo by Alanna Vivani

Tail slap by T2C1. Photo by Alanna Vivani

 Upside-down T2C1. Photo by Alanna Vivani

Upside-down T2C1. Photo by Alanna Vivani

 Fluke wave! Photo by Alanna Vivani

Fluke wave! Photo by Alanna Vivani

 Another tail slap! Photo by Alanna Vivani

Another tail slap! Photo by Alanna Vivani

Once the celebration was over we saw more hunting attempted. Hungry, hungry orca! It was very interesting to be able to watch as Tumbo, the whale in this pod with scoliosis, hung back from the hunt at first then he joined in afterwards and was with the pod during the celebration. Such close-nit family bonds are part of why Orca are such an amazing species to get out on the water. These family bonds are even more apparent when watching the T2C's. 

 Tumbo (Left) with his family. Photo by Alanna Vivani.

Tumbo (Left) with his family. Photo by Alanna Vivani.

 Fast! Photo by Alanna Vivani.

Fast! Photo by Alanna Vivani.

 Bonus Sea Lions! Photo by Alanna Vivani

Bonus Sea Lions! Photo by Alanna Vivani

Jilann LechnerComment