August 27th - T99s around Saltspring Island!
On the morning of the 27th we left the harbour in search of whales! not to far into the trip we got a shore report of a pod of orca travelling along the coast of Saltspring Island so off we went to see if we could find them from the boat! We travelled through the southern gulf islands to Saltspring where we picked up 4 Orca, the T99s.
The T99s are a relatively young pod which consists the matriarch, Bella (T99), and four of her offspring; Holly (T99B), Baracat (T99C), and T99D. The offspring are too young to determine the age of yet, as the easiest way to tell the gender out on the water is by looking at the dorsal fin.
The dorsal fin of the male orca when they go through sexual maturity will grow and stiffen, reaching a max height of 6 feet tall! The females don't get that large dorsal so when the whales get older and don't develop that you know they are female.
Sometimes you can get lucky and get a picture of the underside of the whale and use that to determine gender but that hasn't happened with this pod.
One of these whales sports some pretty noticeable nicks out of their dorsal fin, which makes them easy to identify.
We also got to go out and watch the T99s in the afternoon trip where they were still around Saltspring, just on the other side. We got beautiful views of these whales as the sun was setting over glassy calm waters. Here are some of the pictures from this trip. Hope you enjoy!