August 3rd- Travelling T46's and T137's headed South

They're back! We visited our friends the T46's and T137's out near Bowen Island in the morning and watched as they headed south at high speed. These two pods are frequently seen together and were last seen on July 30th as they were heading North. 

 This male is called "Jack," also known as T137A, who was seen surfacing near Bowen Island. Photo by Jenna Keen. 

This male is called "Jack," also known as T137A, who was seen surfacing near Bowen Island. Photo by Jenna Keen. 

With a few larger males in the group, identifying these pods is a breeze! T137A, T46D and T46E all have those iconic tall and straight dorsal fins that are easy to spot, in addition they also display some distinctive nicks in their fins. These nicks can be from their prey when fighting back. So when our naturalists on board snap photos of the dorsal fin and saddle patch, we can identify each individual whale! This method, photo identification, was first used by Dr. Michael Bigg in 1976. Since then, this technique has been used worldwide and provides a safer, less invasive way of keeping track of population change and behavioural patterns. 

 Four orcas surfacing simultaneously, could it get any better? Photo by Jilann Campbell. 

Four orcas surfacing simultaneously, could it get any better? Photo by Jilann Campbell. 

Not only do we get to watch humpbacks and killer whales in our seas here, but we also have quite a variety of other marine life that keep our guests engaged and excited throughout the trip! Often, we see the cormorants in large population sizes around Gabriola Island, just east of the Nanaimo Harbour. Here, they nest in the rocky facade on the island and gather in mass amounts that is always a treat to see. 

 Cormorants taking in some sun near Gabriola Island. Photo by Rodrigo Menezes. 

Cormorants taking in some sun near Gabriola Island. Photo by Rodrigo Menezes. 

There's lots for you to see on one of our whale watching trip, so don't hesitate and book now! We'd love to show you how incredible the ecosystem is here :) check out some more photos from this day's trips below!

 T137A, "Jack", surfacing, so nice to see not only the nicks on the dorsal fin but his eye patch as well! Photo by Jilann Campbell.

T137A, "Jack", surfacing, so nice to see not only the nicks on the dorsal fin but his eye patch as well! Photo by Jilann Campbell.

 Nope! You're not seeing double, this is T46E (notice the different nicks) surfacing. Photo by Jilann Campbell.

Nope! You're not seeing double, this is T46E (notice the different nicks) surfacing. Photo by Jilann Campbell.

 Three orcas at different stages of surfacing. Photo by Jilann Campbell.

Three orcas at different stages of surfacing. Photo by Jilann Campbell.

 Always a treat when the orcas surface together, check out this shot of 5 pod members up at the same time! Photo by Jilann Campbell.

Always a treat when the orcas surface together, check out this shot of 5 pod members up at the same time! Photo by Jilann Campbell.

 The mother, T46 (right), surfacing just in front of one of her offspring, T46F (left), who is 6 years old. Photo by Jilann Campbell.

The mother, T46 (right), surfacing just in front of one of her offspring, T46F (left), who is 6 years old. Photo by Jilann Campbell.

 See the cormorant on the right with the stretched out wings? That's a technique used by this species to help dry them off in the sun and wind! Photo by Rodrigo Menezes.

See the cormorant on the right with the stretched out wings? That's a technique used by this species to help dry them off in the sun and wind! Photo by Rodrigo Menezes.

 T46E, the 15 year old male in the pod showing off his enormous size as he surfaces. Photo by Rodrigo Menezes.

T46E, the 15 year old male in the pod showing off his enormous size as he surfaces. Photo by Rodrigo Menezes.

 You can really see the size difference in dorsal fins as the orcas surface at the same time. Photo by Rodrigo Menezes.

You can really see the size difference in dorsal fins as the orcas surface at the same time. Photo by Rodrigo Menezes.

 Photo by Rodrigo Menezes.

Photo by Rodrigo Menezes.

Jilann LechnerComment