June 3rd - Two pods right outside Nanaimo!
On the 3rd we were once again very lucky to find two pods of Orca right in our own back yard! Just off of neck point we found the T46Bs and the T101s travelling together. There was lots of excitement from both pods, with lots of tail slaps, some breaching, and even some suspected mating behaviour!
You may recognize these two pods as we have been seeing a lot of both of them lately. The T101s are the pod with Reef (T101) and her three sons (Rush, Lagoon, and Beardslee). All members of these pods are large healthy whales so if there was mating that would be some good genetics to be spread!
The other pod, the T46Bs, have been gaining a lot of popularity lately because they have the white whale in their group! There are two potentially reproductive females in this group, the matriarch T46B and T46B1. If there was indeed mating it would most likely have been T46B since T46B1 just gave birth to Tl’-uk (T46B1B, formerly known as Kanaka).
Female orca typically won’t reproduce until at least 3 years after having a calf. This is due to the might amount of effort being put towards caring for a calf. They not only have to provide milk to the calf for the first year of its life but they also will be teaching the young whales hunting techniques and help provide food for them. Even with this much effort and care being put into each calf there is a relatively high mortality rare in orca. Only about 50% of calves make it through their first year. Luckily for the young ones in this pod they seem to have a very effective mother! She currently has four surviving offspring: T46B1 (born 2003), T46B2 (born 2008), T46B3 (born 2011), and T46B4 (born 2014/2015). She is also a grandmother since T46B1 has two confirmed offspring of her own.
Getting to see these two pod interacting together in such a playful way was amazing! Check out the rest of the photos taken of the whales and other wildlife below.
For a chance to see these amazing pods for yourself you can book a tour with us by calling (250) 667-5177 or book online through our website! We hope to see you out on the water.