August 4th - Humpback whale mania! And orcas to boot!

What an exciting day! A friend was at Neck Point, a beautiful park just north of Nanaimo, and spotted humpback whales from shore! We headed to search in that vicinity and were extremely fortunate to pick up 5 humpback whales. That's right - FIVE!

 The dorsal fin of a humpback as it surfaces. Photo by Jenna Keen.

The dorsal fin of a humpback as it surfaces. Photo by Jenna Keen.

 Get a load of that humpback length! You can see where the blowhole is in relation to the dorsal fin. Photo by Jenna Keen.

Get a load of that humpback length! You can see where the blowhole is in relation to the dorsal fin. Photo by Jenna Keen.

 What a fun shot!! That massive pectoral fin popping out of the water for a wave. Photo by Val Watson.

What a fun shot!! That massive pectoral fin popping out of the water for a wave. Photo by Val Watson.

For the most part, humpback whales travel solitarily while in their northern fishing grounds, or they'll occasionally join up with a friend to forage and travel together. The relationships between multiple humpback whales associating in the Salish Sea is still a huge mystery to us and to scientists so we are thrilled at every chance we get to witness these interactions!

 Two humpbacks surfacing simultaneously. Photo by Jenna Keen.

Two humpbacks surfacing simultaneously. Photo by Jenna Keen.

 The tail end of a breach by this gentle giant! Photo by Val Watson.

The tail end of a breach by this gentle giant! Photo by Val Watson.

Humpback whales "Geometry", "Anvil", "Heather", "Split Fluke", and "Zorro" were identified by various boats throughout the day. Thanks to Keta and MERS, two non-profits that work hard to record humpback data and catalogue different flukes, we were able to identify these individuals and learn more about their histories.

 Zorro (left) showing off the fluke and a sneak peek at a pectoral fin on the right. Photo by Val Watson.

Zorro (left) showing off the fluke and a sneak peek at a pectoral fin on the right. Photo by Val Watson.

The afternoon tours were even more fortunate. Not only did they get to see all of these humpback whales, they also got to watch a family of orcas! The T18's, a family of 4 whales that had been seen earlier in the week, were also seen from shore at Neck Point. Whale soup just outside of Nanaimo!

 T19C surfacing in the water. Photo by Jenna Keen.

T19C surfacing in the water. Photo by Jenna Keen.

 Three members from T19 pod surfacing together. Photo by Jenna Keen.

Three members from T19 pod surfacing together. Photo by Jenna Keen.

 T19B (left) and T19C (right) surfacing together. Photo by Jenna Keen.

T19B (left) and T19C (right) surfacing together. Photo by Jenna Keen.

 Heather showing off her fluke as she goes for a deep dive! Photo by Jenna Keen.

Heather showing off her fluke as she goes for a deep dive! Photo by Jenna Keen.

 Just a couple of whales hanging out. Photo by Val Watson

Just a couple of whales hanging out. Photo by Val Watson

 Mid pectoral slap with another humpback! Photo by Val Watson.

Mid pectoral slap with another humpback! Photo by Val Watson.

Jilann LechnerComment