June 26th - Fins of all sizes around Galiano Island!
The water was flat calm and the sun was out when both Keta and Cascadia set off in search of orca or humpback whales. The vessels were heading south towards a report of orca when Captain Rodrigo on Keta found his own pod of orca much closer to Nanaimo! A pod of 4 whales were going on long dives in Trincomali Channel, making it a little hard to keep track of them. There was one adult male in the pod, T124C (Cooper), whose fin was the most obvious to spot when the whales would resurface. Traveling with him were his relatives the T124A2s, an adult female and a couple of youngsters. We had fins of all sizes!
We followed the whales out of Porlier Pass and into the Strait of Georgia where they continued to travel north. We left them heading north into the vast Strait, hoping that we’d be able to require them for our afternoon tour. And what do you know, they were found again in the exact same spot at 3:30!
This time they headed south back through Porlier Pass and into Trincomali Channel. They hugged the bluffs along Galiano Island - it’s amazing how close they get to shore! We heard news that there were a couple more pods of orca 5 miles south of us, heading north to where we were. Cascadia headed south to have a look at the T124As and T124A1 before returning to port. Keta stuck around and had a quick peak at the new group as they joined up with the other pod. How long had these whales been communicating with each other to join up? How long did they travel together afterwards? There are still so many mysteries when it comes to understanding orcas!
Here are some of the best photos taken from the tours on June 26th by marine naturalists Cheyenne Brewster and Natalie Reichenbacher.