Captain’s Blog

Transient Orcas – August 22, 2015

August 22, 2015

Aboard the Orca Spirit, we encountered a large group of J and K pod orcas near Battleship Island in north Haro Strait. The tour was a spectacular tour spent watching the whales, in two huge groups, surfacing and diving in unison. Despite the resting pattern that they were exhibiting, they were making good time. They were traveling about 6 knots! We left the whales as they got to Stuart Island. A quick wildlife stop in the Chain Islets to watch the many harbour seals concluded a magnificent morning.

By the afternoon, the resident orcas had moved out of range as they made their way north towards the Fraser River. However, this time of year, transient orcas sightings always increase dramatically. This afternoon would be no different! We encountered a large group of transient orcas in Boundary Pass north of Turn Point. It turned out be a relatively large group of transients, with at least 8 orcas from at least two matrilines present split into two groups. At least two family groups, the T37A’s and T65A’s were present including a few cute calves. We watched the animals forage in the calm waters. At one point, it looked like the orcas were going to get a harbour porpoise right near us, as a harbour porpoise surfaced near our vessel about a 100 yards from a group of transient orcas! Fortunately for the porpoise, it was either ignored or not noticed. We traveled with the orcas as they made their way south through Haro Strait and then made our way back to the harbour.

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