August 13th - Humpbacks everywhere and Orcas too!
Today was a great day with some of our favourite Humpbacks and a lone Orca male.
We had an early report of a lone male Orca west of Bowen Island so we jumped in the boats and headed straight for him. By the time we had crossed the Strait of Georgia he had made his way just south of Vancouver, but we didn’t quite reach him before we got stopped by a humpback! We showed up just in time to get a beautiful fluke shot and find out we were watching Zigzag, one of our favourite humpbacks. We hadn’t seen her calf surface yet but kept our eyes peeled and sure enough Scuba showed up being her usual playful self.
She started off with a lazy tail wave and we realized they were just milling so the boats all shut down to watch what they would get up to. Zigzag started doing some deeper dives while Scuba stayed at the surface to entertain everyone with her usual antics. Our Naturalist Rodrigo was lucky enough to be guiding on his birthday and Scuba gave him a great birthday present! Showing off with some barrel rolls, pec waves and tail waves, being a curious calf circling boats and enjoying a sunny morning.
Scuba is Zigzag’s first known calf, born this past winter. Scuba will rely on her mom’s pink milk for at least the first 5 months of her life, but potentially up to 1 year. Humpback milk is very high in fat, roughly 35% and a Humpback calf will drink up to 150 gallons of this milk (up to 10% of their body weight) every day. This milk is essential to a calf’s growth, as a Humpback calf will roughly double in size during it’s first year, from 13-16 feet at birth, and approximately 1 tonne, to 26-32 feet long and 2 tonnes by the end of their first year.
Check out some of the photos from this incredible tour!
After spending time with Zigzag and scuba we headed south to catch up with that lone male Orca we had heard about. We found him heading south east past Richmond and followed him as he began making his way across the strait.
T65A2 has been on quite the adventure over the last week or so, making almost daily trips up and down the East coast of Vancouver Island. A few days ago he was spotted in the Victoria harbour and caused several sea planes to be delayed due to a whale on the runway!
In the afternoon we raced for Active Pass to catch up with Ooxjaa as he went south. We found him hugging the shore line of Mayne and watched him as he traveled towards Samuel island. He made a short stop to play in some kelp, but quickly got back to his travels. After leaving Ooxjaa we headed back towards Nanaimo, but not before running into Heather and a mystery humpback outside Porlier Pass. These two were doing very deep dives, so we couldn’t stay long but they were beautiful watch in the setting sun.
In addition to our beautiful Humpbacks and traveling Orca, our lucky guests got to see:
Great Blue Herons
Steller Sea lions (pictured Left)
A California Sea Lion
Cormorants (Pictured Left)
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