I have two or three other blogs I've been meaning to write about other topics, but the whale encounters always seem to take precedence! Yesterday afternoon the sun was shining, the winds were calm, and the waters were flat - too tempting not to get out on the water. We knew transients had been seen in Haro Strait earlier, so decided to go look for them. On a few such excursions we've come up dry, but this time after a bit of searching we found them east of Coal Island heading north towards Moresby Passage.
It was the T49As - a mother and her offspring. But where was her son, T49A1? After a time I noticed another blow in the distance - he and another male, his uncle T49C were a ways ahead of the others.
|T49A1 - this picture just called out to be switched from color to black and white|
The whales were in travel mode for a while, but all of a sudden after a long dive the two groups surfaced all together and started circling around. It's possible they made a kill - often Ts can take down a harbor seal with little evidence at the surface. It definitely seemed like something in the area had caught their attention, and perhaps they were circling and sharing prey with each other.
|Surprise direction change!|
It was interesting that even though all six whales were in the same spot, the whales were still surfacing separately from the others.
Several times the two males seemed to be on a collision course with one another - in fact I'm pretty certain they gently ran into each other two or three times.
|T49C (age 17) and T49A1 (age 14)|
It was awesome to just cut our engine and sit watching as the whales circled for about 20 minutes. We were also the only boat on scene, which made it so quiet that the sounds of the blows were very impressive.
Another boat - 4 Ever Wild from Victoria - showed up right when the whales seemed to decide it was time to move on. After another dive they surfaced between our two boats, giving us a close pass while we still had our engine off.
|One year old calf T49A4 peeks over mom's back|
|A nice "ID shot" of T49A4|
|T49C (male) and T49A3 surface between us and 4 Ever Wild|
At this point we let the whales continue on their travels north, and we started up and headed back to our home port. It was another fantastic continuation in what has been a spring full of great orca encounters!
Now hopefully this weekend I'll be able to post some of my other updates - because it's never just whales around here! I've got lots of bird and flower photos to share, plus a report on an unexpected trip I took across the country.