September 28, 2012
Transients and calves play in Canadian waters
We caught up with a group of Transients today near South Pender Island, British Columbia (48°44.01N 123°18.00W). Initially we paralleled the path of a group of 4 whales, which included 2 large bulls. At one point we were traveling 10 knots to keep up with them! The group slowed and synchronized their dives as they approached a second group of transients milling near a shoal. The whales suddenly became very active on the surface with several partial breaches, tail-lobbing, spyhopping, and one breathtaking full body breach. We heard a vocalization above the surface while watching two rambunctious youngsters playing near their mothers. One of the calves appeared to be the length of a newly born calf, about 7’ long. When we left the group, they were continuing to move in a southwesterly direction toward Gooch Island. We capped the tour with a cruise by Spieden Island where we witnessed a stately bald eagle, and abundant Mouflon Sheep, Fallow Deer (including a few completely white individuals with huge racks!), and a few Sika deer as well. As we rounded Green Point, we came across 3 Steller’s Sea Lions logging about amongst a raft of Bonaparte’s and California Gulls.
Naturalist Andrew, San Juan Safaris