July 5th- Double species day!
July 5th was a great day out on the water! When we left Nanaimo we ended up finding a humpback whale “Divot” just on the southern side of Dodds Narrows! Dodds is an amazing place where we often get to pass through some amazing current. This area has been known to generate up to 15 knots of current when the tide is going through a large change! Humpbacks will take advantage of these currents because they can create gyres which get plankton and small fish stuck in them. That makes for an easy breakfast for Divot! Divot was surfacing only briefly before plunging back under again then we continued south where other members of our association had found a big group of transient orca!
These orca were travelling northbound up Trincomali Channel which is one of the main passageways through the Southern Gulf Islands. The group had a wide spread but we were lucky enough to get a look at a few different pods. The first group was the T46’s who are easily identifiable by T46D and T46E, two large males who have some distinct nicks out of their dorsals. There was also T86A1 who we had nearby and a bunch of others! In the afternoon the pods had split into smaller groups and dispersed from each other, but we still ended up finding the T124A’s and T124C (Cooper) who weren’t with the morning group. We also found the T037As travelling through choppy waters in the Gabriola reef. This group separated from the morning group and had continued their way north, lucky for us!
The naturalists on board managed to get some pretty great pictures of the whales and other wildlife which you can check out below!
This trip we stopped at the Gabriola bluffs where there is an active nesting site for the Cormorants which live here and we were surprised to see they were sharing the cliffs with a gull! The gull had what looked like two chicks on the cliffside. Can you spot them?