May 16, 2011

Transients in Rosario

Monday found us out in Rosario Straight.  The wind was picking up and there was a little bit of swell and chop, but it didn't deter us from spotting a very spread out group of Transient Orcas.  They were headed south at what seemed like a pretty good speed. There was one big male about 500 yards from us and two smaller whales another 600 or so yards from him.  They had consistent, 4 minute down times and would surface even farther from us every time.  The wind made it a challenge to keep up  and we realized that the whales were hardly moving, just keeping up with the opposing current.  We were the ones drifting and getting blown farther away.

The big male continued to surface every 4 minutes or so.  Even at 500 yards it was impressive every time.  The very top of his towering dorsal would surface first and cut through the water like a shark for a few seconds.  Then, slowly, he would rise until the rest of his enormous body was at the surface.

Finally it was time to go.  We peeled off and headed for calmer waters.



Naturalist, San Juan Safaris