August 22nd - Humpbacks Big Momma and Divot, and the T49As!
On the morning tour of August 22nd our boats encountered the same humpback whales as the day before - Big Momma and Divot! Both are mature females who have brought calves back with them to the Salish Sea. Big Momma’s calves have had calves and she is now a Great Grand whale!
We spent about an hour watching these whales travel together and we even got to see a breach! We get asked a lot why whales breach (propel themselves fully out of the water and fall with a huge splash!) and the answer is that we don’t know for sure. Scientists theorize that it probably helps with getting sloughing dead skin and parasites such as barnacles and sea lice off of their bodies, or that it can be used as a means of communication with other whales in the area, or that it could be just for fun!
In the afternoon our boats encountered transient orca in Sansum Narrows in the Gulf Islands. The family pod T49As were busy hunting for marine mammals such as seals, sea lions or porpoises while making their way north. The eldest offspring of T49A, T49A1 (Noah), is a mature male with a HUGE fin! While we love seeing any whale, the tall fin of a bull orca is always a show stopper.
Here are some of the best photos taken by our marine naturalists on August 22nd.