July 4th - Our lucky day in Satellite Channel!
On July 4th, our boats left the harbour with no confirmed whale sightings. Our Captain and Naturalist teams were determined to find some Orca! The boats spread out with one going North and one going South to maximize the chance of finding pods. Boats from Vancouver and Victoria were also searching, but the whales were eluding all of us!
Our Southbound boat, Keta, stopped to view a couple of harbour seals just outside of Cowichan Bay. Captain Rodrigo and Naturalist Cheyenne were discussing which route would be best to take from there. It was decided that they would loop around the Southern tip of Saltspring Island and then head back up the Tachomali Channel. As they came around the island on their journey back up, a pod of orca was spotted just off of the right of the vessel. The Captain/Naturalist duo had saved the day! Their sharp-eyed passengers helped determine how many whales were on scene, and also kept a look out for more whales in the area as Captain Rodrigo sent out the word of the sighting. The area got quite busy as word got out about their location.
Before other boats showed up, Keta and her passengers had a few close passes with the pod. Naturalist Cheyenne was trying to ID who was with us, but the ocean waves were proving troublesome to get clear photos in. It was determined that T124C (Cooper) was definitely amongst the group, but being a Lone male that provided little insight to who the other whales were. Afterwards, the T46’s and T124A2 (Elkugu) were also ID’d.
The T46 pod is quite special. The Matriarch, T46 or Wake, is a great-grandmother! She also was the last live captured whale in Puget Sound’s Budd Islet, but thankfully she was released.
It is also interesting that T124A2/Elkugu was seen with the pod. Elkugu’s sister, T124A1/Bonapartes, usually travels away from the T124A pod. It seems that Elkugu may be following suit! As the VIWW boats were leaving, she was seen splitting away from the T46’s and swimming alone farther up the channel. T124A2/Elkugu may be looking at starting her own pod!
Our afternoon tour found the T46’s and T124C again on the Northern portion of Saltspring Island. T124A2/Elkugu was no longer with them at this point.
Book a tour with us today to see some whales yourself! We have had 100% success at finding whales since May 9th! Call us at (250) 667-5177 to book over the phone, or continue on the website to book online! Happy travels!