Sunshine and zodiac tours watching transient Orcas - what a perfect start to this Sunday!
Articles tagged with: Haro Strait
Today some fantastic visitors to Victoria joined us to look for some of BC's finest marine mammals. We left the Harbour and travelled east along the Straight of Juan de Fuca until we reached Haro Straight and made our way north. We were approaching Darcey Island when we spotted the tell-tale sign of orcas- huge black dorsal fins! They were the T030 matriline.
This family consists of the family's mother, her two daughters, her son and one grandbaby, just recently born! This spunky calf stayed close to his or her mom, swimming in her slipstream. The slipstream is an area located just behind a whale's pectoral fin and is an area of lower resistance in the water, allowing calves to swim more easily through the sea.
We were delighted to witness one of the whales breach out of the water, an amazing and memorable sight! We soon could see the whales were in hot pursuit of some prey! ...
1PM Orca Spirit trip
No time was wasted today as we embarked on an eastward journey towards the Haro Strait. We had caught wind that there was a group of about 6 female transient orca whales. The Haro Strait is located between the San Juan Islands of America and Vancouver Island of Canada. It is an incredible area to view orca whales in the summer months as they seem to pop up there quite frequently.
As we approached the Haro Strait we spotted the other whale watching boats and headed into the area. It was here that we found the transients, and they put on quite a show. They seemed to be demonstrating forging behavior for us, and possibly trying to drown a sea mammal. We saw them spread out, converge, spyhop, tail slap, and we even caught a small breach, but because we cannot see under the sea only the orcas know what was happening beneath the surface of the strait! Transient Orca whales are very efficient marine mammal predators they hunt: harbor seals, California sea lions, steller sea lions, and have also been spotted attacking sea birds. Transients typically travel in smaller groups between 1 and 8 because of their specific diet and the need to meticulously and stealthily corner their prey. Another interesting observation found in the group we saw today was that they had a very young calf with them who could be identified by its typical juvenile orange colouring. This little transient group was quite the spectacle.