Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Resident Orcas & Transient Orcas! July 22nd, 2012

We headed out this morning towards San Juan Island after receiving reports that Resident Orcas had been sighted near Eagle Pt. When we arrived on scene the Orcas were already by False Bay and quickly moving North.

As we watched we could see a number of the Orcas Porpoising (high speed swimming), always a dramatic site! Orcas can reach speeds of over 30 mph or 50 kph.
We then noticed more Orcas off-shore and as we got closer suddenly realized that we had J-pod but also some members of K-pod including K21 “Cappuccino”:)

This afternoon we headed west towards William Head where we encounter a pod of Transient Orcas, the T60′s! This is the same  pod of Transient Orcas that we had encountered yesterday evening and had been sighted again just before we were due to leave on out afternoon tour:)
We followed The Transient Orcas from William Head to Race Passage and then east of Race Rocks. We believe we witnessed at least one kill whilst we were observing the T60′s. To identify Orcas we use their Dorsal Fin and Saddle Patch, each one is as individual as a fingerprint. This was a huge discovery in the early seventies by a Biologist named Michael Bigg.
Apart from the Orcas we also stopped off at Race Rocks and saw Steller & California Sea Lions, Harbor Seals and Northern Elephant Seals, which are the largest Pinnipeds in the Northern Hemisphere:)

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