August 28th - T99's hunting near Nanaimo and again in the Strait of Georgia
You know it's going to be a great day when..... killer whales are found at your doorstep!
August 28th started with a report of killer whales just outside of Nanaimo harbour at the Duke Point ferry terminal. Both Cascadia and Keta set off the dock at 10:30am to investigate, and before Cascadia had even made it out of the harbour, Keta found the T99's!
For about an hour our guests were treated to watching this family catch some breakfast. It was confirmed by another vessel that these 4 killer whales had a harbour seal with them and were taking their time to kill it. We saw lots of movement, splashing and tail slaps as the whales circled their prey close to the shoreline.
In the T99 pod there are 4 whales, one mother and her three offspring. A couple of the offspring are younger whales and still have a lot to learn about hunting from their mom. Killer whales live in matriarchal societies; the oldest female is the whale in charge and over the years she has to pass on all of her learned skills to the next generation. Hunting for prey with sharp teeth and claws takes practice and strategy, and will take the juvenile whales some years to learn.
On our afternoon tour we headed out into the Strait of Georgia to catch up with this family at Halibut Bank. They had moved quite a bit in between our tours! When we arrived on scene it quickly became obvious that this family was hungry again. Another hunt!
Here are some of the best photos our crew took that day, including some spectacular spy hops!