There were a few different groups of Biggs orca around the Canadian Gulf Islands yesterday. In the morning we were with the T46Bs, the family consisting of T46B1B, a rare gray orca calf! In the afternoon, we were with the T65As and T77s, who were traveling together but split up shortly before we arrived. Our afternoon trip not only saw two different families of orca, but a sneaky yet curious humpback whale as well!
We had at least eight individual humpbacks spread out in the Juan de Fuca Straight between Race Rocks and Port Angeles, Washington yesterday! BC Luna spent a good amount of time with BCX1251 "Orion" as he stayed close to the surface. Orion has a history of showing curiosity towards whale watching vessels, which was evident as he repeatedly circled the boat and popped up right next to us multiple times.
On our way back to Victoria, we stopped by Race Rocks to view the Steller sea lions, harbour seals, and a bald eagle!
Another calm afternoon spent with the T34s, T37, and T37Bs! We've been seeing this group a lot the past week as they've been hanging around Port Angeles up to the mouth of Puget Sound.
We also watched a mother humpback whale and her very active calf! More humpback whales have been coming into the Salish Sea as they travel from Hawaii and Mexico towards Alaska for their summer feeding.
On Sunday we were down near Port Angeles! We were with the T34s, T37, and T37Bs. In the morning, we watched as they hunted and then celebrated their kills. By the afternoon, they were in travel mode, working their way west.
On July 5th we saw the T34s, T37Bs and T77A traveling off Dungeness Harbor.
Cloudy skies and calm waters create such a beautiful, calming atmosphere while watching whales. These Biggs killer whales were traveling with a very young calf. The calf was spotted less than a month ago, and it is still not clear who the mother is! He/she bounced between swimming alongside T34, T34A, and T37B.
As the females and calves traveled together, T77A, a lone male who occasionally travels with different families, stayed close to the Graveyard Spit as he made his way in the same direction.
After spending time with the Biggs in the east, we headed west to Race Rocks. On the way, we came upon two humpback whales going in circles and feeding. At Race Rocks, we got a good look at a giant Steller Sea Lion and a dozen harbor seals resting.
Sunshine isn't always necessary for amazing trips to view wildlife!
On our trip on July 3rd we had beautiful conditions as we watched the T46s, T124A2s and T124C traveling northeast. During our encounter, we witnessed them feed! The 6 year old T124A2A was seen making a surprise pass by our boat hanging onto a piece of their meal.
We have had many groups of Biggs killer whales in our waters this summer. It is very cool to see different families come together to hunt and socialize with each other.
The lone wolf of the Discovery and Chatham Islands. He has been living alone on this island presumably since 2012. We were fortunate enough to see him resting in the sun near the water yesterday!
Yesterday we were with the T46s and T46Bs off of Sooke!
We were in the presence of a family containing 4 different generations. T46 is a great-grandmother who travels with 3 of her offspring, while the other mature females have gone off to travel with their own families. However, they often will meet up and travel together. That was the case this day as T46B brought her family to travel with her mother.
In this family is the famous T46B1B, an orca calf who has a pigmentation that makes him gray! He’s also known as the ghost whale. He definitely looked like one as he blended in with the water during the overcast on this day.
We were able to spend a lot of time with them as they traveled East past Race Rocks. It was a gift to be able to see so many individual Biggs killer whales together.