August 23rd - Transient Orca and Humpbacks!
We had an amazing day on the 23rd where we saw three pods of transient orca throughout the day and a whole bunch of humpbacks!
In the morning we headed out towards a report of the T100’s, a pod of four orca. T100 “Hutchins” is the matriarch who travels with three of her offspring T100C “Laurel”, T100E “Tharaya” and T100F “Estrella”. These four animals were travelling south down the middle of the Strait of Georgia. After we left those whales we stumbled across a pair of humpback whales who turned out to be a couple of our favourites, Zigzag and Scuba! these two were doing lazy feeding dives for a while then we headed away from them back to the harbour.
In the afternoon the T100s had swam out of our range, but another group had come into it! It was the T034s and the T037s who we saw in the afternoon. When we first got on scene there was quite the sight to behold. There was a group of 2 humpbacks interacting with the orca, and we thought it seemed like they were either chasing or being chased by the orca! Humpback whales have been known to defend other animals from being hunted by the orca or other predators, which we thought might be happening here. Capturing the moment was very difficult because of the fast movement of the whales and the chaos that was happening.
Eventually the orca left the humpbacks alone (or vice versa) and they went on their separate ways, heading back down the Strait towards active pass. This group consisted of 8 animals with a brand new calf this year (T034A1) and two two-year-olds. it was pretty fun to see them travelling through the water with a young whale flipping their tail out of the water excitedly!
There was lots of excellent photos captured by our naturalists during this day so take a look at them below!