August 25th - Orcas off the Sunshine Coast!

Today was a little cloudy with some light showers, but that doesn't stop the whales! We had quite the time on our morning trip zooming all around the Strait of Georgia searching for whales amidst the clouds. Both vessels took off from Nanaimo Harbour and went their own ways to cover more ground. Cascadia followed the Vancouver Island coast, going north from Nanaimo and searched around Winchelsea Islands then headed south towards Entrance. Keta travelling a little further northeast through the strait and searched around Lasqueti and the Sunshine Coast. Not long after did Keta report back that they found whales, transients travelling right near Trail Bay in the Sunshine Coast. Cascadia changed their course, headed to the area and met up with Keta. 

 Harbour seals taking a break on the algae beds. Photo by Alanna Vivani - 10:30 tour.

Harbour seals taking a break on the algae beds. Photo by Alanna Vivani - 10:30 tour.

Once on scene with the whales it was a constant game of hide and seek as the pod had separated into two groups, with quite a bit of space in between them. There were around 9 whales in total, split into two groups of around 4-6 individuals. With our heads on a swivel we were surrounded by the orcas as they surfaced all around us. No matter what side you were on, you had a good view of the killer whales! They were travelling, milling around, and even treated us to a spy hop! 

 Wide variety of dorsal fins, take a look at the little killer whale calf in the foreground. Photo by Alanna Vivani - 10:30 tour.

Wide variety of dorsal fins, take a look at the little killer whale calf in the foreground. Photo by Alanna Vivani - 10:30 tour.

We slowly followed them southeast as they continued on down the Sunshine Coast. They were quite close to the shoreline and you could see a lot of people on the beaches watching as the whales surfaced right in front of them! At one point, the whole group surfaced together and to see the wide variety of dorsal fins was a beautiful sight. Not far off from there, another pod of whales were travelling, just off of Davis Bay. So before we headed back towards Nanaimo, we stopped for a few minutes to watch them as they travelled east. 

 Peek-a-boo! Catching the beginning of a surface from the orca on the right. Photo by Rodrigo Menezes - 3:30 tour.

Peek-a-boo! Catching the beginning of a surface from the orca on the right. Photo by Rodrigo Menezes - 3:30 tour.

Our afternoon trip headed back across the Strait of Georgia and settled just off of Bowen Island, where they watched a pod of 6 orcas travelling through the waters. Lucky for them, with the search completed in the morning it was an easy ride to find the killer whales! There was a big male in the group, evident from the tall dorsal fin that broke the waters every couple of minutes!

 Look how sleek this big male looks as he surfaces. Photo by Rodrigo Menezes - 3:30 tour.

Look how sleek this big male looks as he surfaces. Photo by Rodrigo Menezes - 3:30 tour.

 3 members in the pod surface together, calf on the far right! Photo by Rodrigo Menezes - 3:30 tour.

3 members in the pod surface together, calf on the far right! Photo by Rodrigo Menezes - 3:30 tour.

You can check out some more photos below from this day's trips. We are still running daily departures at 10:30 am and 3:30 pm!

 Orca spy hops off the shoreline. Photo by Alanna Vivani - 10:30 tour.

Orca spy hops off the shoreline. Photo by Alanna Vivani - 10:30 tour.

 Male orca surfaces, showing off his sleek tall dorsal fin. Photo by Alanna Vivani - 10:30 tour.

Male orca surfaces, showing off his sleek tall dorsal fin. Photo by Alanna Vivani - 10:30 tour.

 A nice spot for a nap with some steller sea lions. Photo by Alanna Vivani - 10:30 tour.

A nice spot for a nap with some steller sea lions. Photo by Alanna Vivani - 10:30 tour.

 This angle really shows you size difference between a calf and a juvenile orca. Photo by Rodrigo Menezes - 3:30 tour.

This angle really shows you size difference between a calf and a juvenile orca. Photo by Rodrigo Menezes - 3:30 tour.

 Thats the orca calf with a big surface! Notice the slightly yellow colouration that the calf displays. Photo by Rodrigo Menezes - 3:30 tour.

Thats the orca calf with a big surface! Notice the slightly yellow colouration that the calf displays. Photo by Rodrigo Menezes - 3:30 tour.

Jilann LechnerComment