August 26th - Huge group of Transient killer whales on the hunt!
Imagine being surrounded by 15 orca who are popping in and out of the waves on a breezy day in the Strait of Georgia. The water is a silty green colour, cloudy enough to hide their contrasting black and white bodies, and the animals are behaving completely unpredictably. Many times you hear a blow before you see the spout or the tall black fin. This WILD and adventurous encounter took place with our guests on August 26th!
It was one of those T-Party’s that our staff get really jazzed for - multiple pods of transient orca coming together to hunt and socialize! We had the T101s, T37s, and T34s - about 15 whales - traveling and hunting alongside our boats for about an hour.
T37 is a pretty unique matriarch because her fin is much more triangular than the average female killer whale. Her fin is so triangular she has affectionately earned herself the nickname “Pizza Fin”! She was she traveling with her daughter and two grand-whales!
Another matriarch in this T-Party was T34 “Grace”, who is estimated to be born in 1969. The lifespan of male killer whales is around 50 years old whereas females are known to get up to 70 or 80 years old if they are healthy and thriving! “Grace” is about 50 years old and had her latest calf, T34B, in 2017.
Matriarch T101 “Reef” travels with 3 full grown males who all have huge fins. An adult male orca’s fin can get up to 6 feet tall, making this pod a staff and crowd favourite!
Here are some of the best photographs taken during the tour by marine naturalists Val and Rebeka.