Sightings Report - September 3rd 2019

We found interesting groups and mixing of different Biggs families. We first spent time with a group consisting of T60, her son and daughter T60C and T60F, and her newborn calf, T60G!. While two of her sons, T60D and T60E, were not around, two lone females, T2B and T59, seemed to take their place. Considering T60 had a new calf to care for, it is possible the two females stepped in to assist her while her juvenile sons went off with another group to give them space.

After leaving the group, we headed west following a report of Minke whales. On the way, we ran into another 3 dispersed groups of Biggs orca. Among them were the T36s, T37As, T99s, and T60's two juvenile sons, T60D and T60E! T37A also had a new calf! Soon after we arrived, one of the groups decided to swiftly dart west in the direction of where the Minkes were spotted. In the distance, we could see hunting behavior as the orcas and minke came fully out of the water. All the nearby groups became excited and started heading towards the hunt. The Minke ended up having a stroke of luck and got away!

This tour was full of many different things to see and experience. Two new calves and a minke hunt are not seen often, especially in the same trip!

Capt Tom
Sightings Report - August 30th 2019

A few days ago, there was a T-Party down near Puget Sound! The T34s, T37s, T46s, T60D + T60E, and the T100s spent most of Wednesday socializing and staying all together in the same area! We were able to witness different surface behaviors, especially from the younger juveniles and males!

Biggs orcas usually travel in small groups of 2-8 consisting of family. It is common for two families to meet up and travel together temporarily. However, it is less common for multiple family groups to come together all at once, but when they do, it's exciting for everyone! On this particular day, there were about 20 individual Biggs orcas!

Capt Tom
Sightings Report - August 28th 2019

Yesterday the T10s and T109As were traveling together in the Juan de Fuca. The T109A family consists of females and young juveniles, so having the company of T10C, a 20 year old bull, can provide great help in hunting larger prey such as sea lions.

These families mixing also gives T10C the opportunity to mate with the mature females of the T109As. With T10, his mother, being post-menopausal, and him being her only surviving offspring, she will want to ensure her genes are passed on through him! She is in charge of who he can mate with and will assist him in finding females willing to breed with him.

The two groups passed through Race Rocks and then spent time around Becher Bay looking for seals close to shore.

Capt Tom
Sightings Report - August 27th 2019

Sunday morning was spent with the T10s, a mother and son duo, and over a dozen humpback whales in the Juan De Fuca Straight.

The T10s were once a group of 4, consisting of mom T10 and her 3 sons T10A, T10B, and T10C. Sadly, T10A disappeared in 2002, and T10B disappeared in 2017. T10, who is an estimated 55 years old, has now gone through menopause and will not have anymore offspring. T10C being her only offspring left, they are incredibly closet.

After leaving the T10s to continue their course west off Sooke, we entered humpback land! A trio consisting of MMZ0020, MMX0096, and MMY0074 surprised us as they popped up right off our port side! MMY0074 specifically took interest in us as he rolled over while going beneath us.

Capt Tom
Sightings Report - August 22nd 2019

Earlier this week we spent a majority of our trip around Race Rocks. We usually stop by this ecological reserve on our tours for the different species of pinnipeds, and the T109As decided to do the same on this particular day!

We were able to see a lot of playful behavior from the youngsters of the group. We also saw quite a few on-edge sea lions swimming in the water nearby.

Southeast of Race Rocks, BC Nova also spotted a large humpback indulging in some bull kelp!

Capt Tom
Sightings Report - August 16th 2019

The T101s passed by Victoria earlier this week! This family consists of T101, a 50 year old female, and her three sons. One of her sons, T102, was likely adopted by her.

The group of 4 passed Sooke by noon and were around San Juan Island by the evening! Biggs killer whales can travel up to 100 km in a single day. Where they travel to cannot be predicted; all we know is they make their travel plans primarily around food.

We also saw a variety of wildlife at Race Rocks and were able to spot a few humpback whales south from there!

Capt Tom
Sightings Report - August 12th 2019

It’s humpback land out in the Juan de Fuca straight right now! Dozens of individuals have been feeding and socializing within a few miles of each other. The other day, we caught a glimpse of some playful behaviors! MMX0085 Zeppelin had draped some bull kelp over his dorsal, then around his fluke!

We’ve still been seeing Steller and California sea lions crowding up Race Rocks! Being able to travel south to the humpbacks gives us the opportunity to go by this ecological reserve to view these giant pinnipeds, along with the other variety of wildlife visiting Race Rocks!

Capt Tom
Sightings Report - August 10th 2019

T65A2, a 15 year old Biggs killer whale, made a visit to downtown Victoria Harbour yesterday morning! It is an extremely rare occurrence for orcas to enter the harbour, so this was quite the surprise!

T65A2 recently started traveling with his aunt, T65B, and her family while spending some time away from his mom, T65A. The past few days he's been on his own sticking close to land. In the afternoon, we caught him heading north off Oak Bay. Perhaps he's going through his rebellious teenage years and spending some time on his own to figure things out :)

The Steller and California sea lions have also returned to Race Rocks in huge numbers! In one direction you could see two males fighting over the comfiest spot on the rocks, in another two were playfully fighting in the water, and all over there was cuddling and snuggling!

Capt Tom