September 9th - FIVE humpback whales and one orca!
On the afternoon of September 9th we headed out into the Strait of Georgia and it didn’t take long until we were with 2 humpback whales. These two were being very mysterious, doing deep dives and not fluking, so we left scene to hang out with some other humpbacks nearby. Three humpback whales, Fader, Tempest and her calf, were fluking and doing deep dives in the middle of the Strait abeam near Porlier Pass.
The number of humpback whale encounters we’ve had this year has been mind blowing! For years we’ve been experiencing what the media have called "the humpback comeback” and we are happy to say this is still the case. The North Pacific population of humpback whales was hunted to the brink of extinction before they were protected in the late 60’s. Whales were hunted to obtain whale oil from the blubber which was in demand to be used as a lubricant for machines and as an illuminant for houses and streets. Parts of the whales were also used as materials in things like perfume, soap, clothing, fish hooks and as meat.
Now, over 50 years have passed since their protection and we are seeing moms bring new calfs to the area each season!
After the humpback whales, we encountered one transient killer whale named T49A3 “Nat”. He was born in 2011 and for whatever reason, on September 9th he was traveling separate to his family pod. We watched him hunt and travel, going down slowly for deep dives. We had perfect conditions and the back drop of the trees starting to change colours was stunning!
Here are some of the best photos taken on that afternoon tour by marine naturalist Rebeka Pirker.