One of those 'we are so lucky to be in such a beautiful city' type of days! http://t.co/pmkVhOHZ44
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.
After leaving the Haro Strait we headed westwards past Discovery Island and the Trial Islands. Here we saw a bald eagle, a few harbor seals, and a harlequin duck flying by. Of course we also observed the abundant population of glaucus-winged gulls! All in all it was a successful day for wildlife viewing.
“When one tugs at a single thing in nature he finds it attached to the rest of the world” - John Muir