Victoria Whale Watching Report: “T-Party”, An Epic Gathering Of Mammal-Hunting Killer Whales!
October 12, 2019
Our whale watching tours this October continues to be very successful when it comes to viewing wildlife. Today we were in for a treat with reports of mammal-hunting killer whales known as Bigg’s or Transient orcas, south of the city of Victoria.
We cruised in that direction and started to see the tall, black dorsal fins of a lot of killer whales. As we watched the whales move east, we realized there were more and more and more of them! This was the largest “T-Party” (T is for Transient) our crew had ever seen!
There were well over 30 different orcas from approximately six different families. We even spotted a family that are not known to be in the Pacific Northwest often, they are what we call California Transients.
Among the groups, we saw several mature males, always impressive with their six to seven-foot-tall dorsal fins. We also spotted little calves, still sporting their black and orange colouration, which means they are under one year old!
Orcas have calves every three to ten years. Their pregnancies last 17 months, so we are always on the lookout for new calves because they can be born at any time of year. They may look tiny to us but they are actually quite big, weighing in at 450 pounds at birth and measuring seven feet in length.
The whales continued to move east but they were fighting the tide, so they did not cover a far distance. With our cameras full of photos of so many different orcas, we slowly left the area and made our way back to Victoria.