Captain’s Blog

Transient Orcas & Humpback Whales

October 1, 2018

This morning we headed up by Stuart Island, which is quite a ways east, but were lucky to find and spend some time with a couple of Transient orca called the T11 group. In this group it is only a mother and her son. The mother has a knick in her dorsal fin near the top and the males dorsal fin is quite large, these are key identifying factors to help us figure out who is who. On our way home there were a couple of humpback hanging out nearby that we had decided to stop and take a look at as well. With some help with photo identification we had figured out that it was two females known as Big Mama and Niagara.

During our afternoon trip we had headed east again near Gooch Island just off of Sidney island and were able to spot a different group of transient orca know as the T123. In this group there is a new calf, a couple of females and a young male. When identifying we look at the size and shape of the dorsal fin as well as any prominent nicks and scratches along where their saddle patch is. The young calf of this group was quite playful as their family zig zagged around the area hunting. On our way home we stopped through a place called Chain where we were able to see our abundant bird life and take a look at some harbour seals.

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