April 30, 2013

T20 and T21 Tour the Victorian Waterfront

We last spotted T20 and T21 on Friday near Active Pass, north of Mayne Island, British Columbia. Today we found the Transient pair enjoying the Victorian Waterfront.  Initially the Orcas appeared to be in resting mode, making slow northerly progress. Then they turned the opposite direction, heading toward the majestic, snow-capped Olympic mountains and the wide-open Strait of Juan de Fuca. The sea state was calm today, with sweeping views in all directions, signaling the beginning of sunny weather trend predicted to continue into the week. We completed our circumnavigation of San Juan Island by scooting through Cattle Pass, stopping to appreciate the sea lion gang that hangs out on Whale Rocks at this time of year.

An interesting side point that I didn't mention in my previous blog:

The Transients observed today are the same individuals who were involved in an aggressive encounter with the resident J pod killer whales in 1993, in which they were harassed by the residents and escaped only after a high speed chase.  Interaction between transients and residents is rarely observed.  When they do find themselves within a few kilometers, they seem to follow a strict treaty of avoidance.

Naturalist Andrew, San Juan Safaris