June 15, 2009

Sunset and Whales

It was a beautiful evening and Capt. Craig, the guests and I rushed right out to be a part of it. Actually, we were rushing because there were reports of Orcas in the vicinity and they were moving away from us. We quick got the group on board and the MV Sea Lion under way and motored out of the harbor.

A small charter boat had followed two transient Orcas up the coast of Vancouver Island to Active Pass between Galiano and Mayne Islands, B.C. We caught up with them on the east side of the pass and had the amazing opportunity to watch as the whales surfaced and blew in the late evening sun. It turned out that we were relaxing with T20 and T21, two transient Orcas that are common to the area. T20 is a big male that is nearly 35 years old and T21 is a female just a few years younger than that.

As the sun set and shot stunning colors into the sky we marveled at the reflection caught on the whale's dorsal fins each time they surfaced. Interestingly, these two animals along with a third were part of the only recorded negative interaction between resident and transient Orcas. In the 1970s a photographer/researcher witnessed J pod chasing and attacking these transients and attempting to run them ashore. T20, 21 & 22 were finally able to use a boat as a distraction and escape and J pod was left milling and agitated.

There was none of that this night though and the scenes that these two whales afforded us will be stored as precious memories for many years to come. Until the next time, thank you and we will...

See You In The Islands!
~Tristen, Naturalist

Orca Whales and Wildlife Are Our Only Business. ©