June 4th - T-Party near Halibut Island!
On the 4th we were fortunate to find not one, not two, but three pods of orcas near the South tip of Vancouver Island! We found the T65Bs, T75Bs, and the T75Cs milling around off the shore of Halibut Island.
We were very fortunate to witness a close pass by as the pods headed into US waters. This was one of our longer trips distance wise, but the show the whales put on was more than worth it.
While we did not notice it at first, after reviewing photos we were surprised to see a little harbour porpoise face pop out from admist the orcas. Can you see its little nose, poking up in front of the middle orca’s dorsal fin? It appears we witnessed a hunting session without even realizing it! Harbour porpoises are not the main food source for Transient Orcas, but they will feed on them if given the opportunity!
The pods were very curious of us as we watched, tail splashing and milling around the boats. We had one whale spyhop as seen in the picture below. Spyhopping allows the whale to get its eyes up and out of the water. That way, they get to have a look at us as we are viewing them!
On the photo below, you can see deep scars along this orca’s back. These marks are known as rake marks. Rake marks can be caused by a variety of reasons, from complications in birth to attacks. Orcas live a matriarchal lifestyle, meaning the mothers or grandmothers are the top of the pod. If a youngster is acting up, the matriarch may come by and remind them who’s the boss!
Besides orcas, we saw a variety of other sealife including an Oyster Catcher and some Harbour Seals! The Salish Sea is rich in ecodiversity, so it is always great to be able to catch that on camera.
If you would like your chance to personally witness these majestic creatures, you can book with us by calling (250) 667-5177 or online through our website! We hope to see you out on the waters!