September 2nd - Another day of Humpbacks and Orcas!
In the morning of September 2nd, we set out in search of whales. We started heading northeast of Snake island, where we found a Humpback whale. We identified this humpback to be BCX0870 “Scoop”.
Our humpback whales are preparing for their migration back to warmer waters in a few weeks. To make sure they have enough fat stores built up for the migration south and back, they have to eat up to 5000 lbs of fish, plankton and krill every single day they are here. We’ve been seeing our whales doing lots of deep feeding dives lately, which means lots of flukes!
Orcas are actually the largest member of the Dolphin family. We often get asked, what is the difference between a dolphin and a whale? Do you know the difference between them? And where do porpoises fit in?
This is a diagram of the Whale phylogeny, showing how different whales are related to each other
All Whales, dolphins and porpoises belong to the Order Cetacea, and are broken into 2 groups, Odontoceti, or toothed whales, and Mysticeti, or Baleen whales. Our humpbacks belong the Mysticeti group, which is split into 4 families. The group, Odontoceti, is split into 9 families, Orcas fall into the family Delphinidae, with other oceanic dolphins and our Harbour porpoises fall into the Phocoenidae family.
but what's the difference?
The main difference between the 2 groups, is that Baleen whales have 2 blow holes, and baleen plates for filter feeding, and toothed whales, dolphins and porpoises have 1 blow hole and teeth. Telling the difference between a porpoise and a dolphin is a bit harder. Dolphins tend to have longer “beaks” and cone shaped teeth, are larger in general, and have larger curved dorsal fins. Porpoises have smaller mouths, spade shaped teeth, and smaller triangular dorsal fins.
In other words, all dolphins are whales, but not all whales are dolphins.
During our afternoon trip we found the T123’s hanging out near the Sannich Inlet. This pod consists of 4 whales, the Matriarch, Sidney, Born around 1985, Her eldest son, T123A, Stanley born in 2000, Her oldest daughter, T123C, Lucy born in 2012, and her youngest daughter, T123D, Darcy born in 2018.
Below are some more great photos our naturalists got throughout the tour.
Would you like a chance to experience these beautiful animals in their natural environment?
Join us on our next tour! Daily tours at 10:30 and 3:30 on our open vessel (yes it has a bathroom on board!).
See Orcas or Humpbacks or your next trip is free!
Call our office at 250-667-5177 or book online to save your seats!