Sunshine and zodiac tours watching transient Orcas - what a perfect start to this Sunday!
June 27, 2011
On today's Orca Spirit Adventures whale watching trip, we cruised out of the harbour with overcast skies and a light sprinkling of rain. Fortunately, as we headed east on the Juan de Fuca Straight, the rain tapered off and the waters were like glass! We had a report that the whales were north of Turn Point. We cruised at top speed so that we could get to the whales; they had made it all the way to South Pender Island! As we scouted out the situation, we identified Blackberry (J-27) and a female slowly swimming offshore. We made our way over to a different group swimming very close to the rocky shores of the island. The whales were slapping their tales and splashing around lots as they hunted for salmon as a group. Slapping the surface of the water creates sound waves below the surface that can actually stun fish, allowing orcas to lunge in for the catch. We were excited to see an adult male swim on his back, exposing his white belly and 6 foot long pectoral fins! Onyx (L-87) was among the group, charming the ladies of J-pod...as usual! :) We also saw a mother and calf, and Lobo (K-26) swimming around some small rock islands, making sure to pass through the bull kelp patch for some drive-by tickling by the seaweeds! One of the males at the end of our tour treated us to some half breaches. It was an interesting and exciting day to watch the whales as they filled their bellies in the Salish Sea!