August 21st - A relaxing day with humpback whales "Big Momma" and "Divot"
The day started off a bit chillier and with some rain, but that didn’t dampen the spirits of our adventurous guests! Keta and Cascadia left the dock at 10:30 in search of whales and after an hour or two of searching through the Gulf Islands and the Strait of Georgia, blows from two humpback whales were seen off in the distance!
Humpback whales Big Momma (BCY0324) and Divot (BCX1057) were found in the Strait cruising along slowly and doing shallow dives. Conditions were great and it was a very peaceful encounter watching these two giants spend so much time near the surface.
In the afternoon our boats went out to search again and the same two whales were reacquired! They hadn’t moved much and their behaviour was very similar - nice slow, shallow dives and a little bit of fluke action.
Both Divot and Big Momma are mature females and both have brought calves with them to the Salish Sea. It is because of females like these that we have seen such exponential growth in our Salish Sea humpback population!
Big Momma has had at least 4 calves that we know of and one of her offspring, Heather (BCY0160), has returned with at least two calves of her own. One of Heather’s offspring, Split Fluke (BCX1068), has had a calf this year! So maybe we should start calling Big Momma Big Great-grand-momma!
Divot had a calf with her last summer while she was feeding in the Strait and our boats spent lots of time watching the “little” whale learn from it’s mom. This year neither Divot nor Big Momma have a calf with them and why they are hanging out together is still a mystery!
Here are some photos taken by our marine naturalists on August 21st.