March & April
Its been a crazy start to our Spring season with numerous interactions with Bigg's Orca, Resident Orca and Humpbacks.
In March, we had a lot of Resident Orca encounters, primarily with J Pod - along with a few encounters with a couple of Humpbacks. However, throughout April I do not believe we had any encounters with the resident orca pods at all!! April encounters belonged to Bigg's orca (mammal hunters) and humpback encounters.
One amazing encounter well worth of mentioning is the unique interaction with J27 aka Blackberry, whom is a large adult bull from J pod.
Set the scene ~ it was a calm day in the Juan De Fuca where we had reports of J pod foraging as they slowly traveled west. We picked up J27 who was cruising parallel to us with about 120m distance between him and the vessel. Then as he surfaced to breath he suddenly turned aggressively, which is a clear indication that he has locked onto some prey (Chinook salmon). At this point the vessel was shut down. Blackberry then continued to chase the salmon towards the boat over and over again for a few minutes before finally catching his lunch and continuing on his way westward bound. Check the short video below, which was the last few moments before he caught his lunch.
We are expecting sightings and encounters to increase as we gradually head into late Spring/early Summer. An exciting note is that Humpback interactions are almost a daily occurrence now with their numbers beginning to return from their migration ritual from tropical waters back to their feeding grounds along the Pacific NorthWest.
Stay tuned for more updates on sightings and weather conditions!! ~ Capt. Tom