*Bald Eagle at Ediz Hook
*Super Pod of Transient Orcas in Canadian waters a few miles offshore of Pedder Bay
*2 Humpback Whales swimming together identified as BCX1057 “Divot” & BCY0160 “Heather”
*Great tail slapping and tail throws by the Humpback Whales
The morning greeted us with sunshine and calm seas. As we passed the tip of Ediz Hook, we were able to catch a quick glance at a Bald Eagle just as it shifted its perching spot to a different beach log. Then we were off. Captain Dennis had gotten a call about Orcas across the Strait. We picked up speed and headed straight for the area. The call reported many whales together – maybe even 20. Based on the large size, the calls were coming in hypothesizing that it was the Resident Orcas coming in to the Salish Sea. As we got on scene with the Orcas, they were spread out with a few males hanging out together and a group of females and young ones gathered together. As we got closer and had a few more looks, something caught our attention. The dorsal fins of these whales did not match the typical shape of a Resident Orca – they were a bit too pointy. Indeed, they were Transient Orcas, also known as Bigg’s Orcas. It was a SuperPod of transients, meaning there were multiple families together. What a treat. Typically when we see Transient Orcas they are only traveling with their immediate family members, keeping the pod size down to about 4 members. But this was a huge pod. Seems like this is the summer of the Transient Orcas! We got some great looks at the Orcas, including some distant breaches and tail slaps.
While watching the Orcas, Captain Dennis got another call. A Humpback Whale was close by. We said goodbye to the SuperPod and headed in the direction of the Humpback Whale report-just offshore south east of Race Rocks. As we got closer the exhalation could be seen up ahead. Then suddenly a second exhalation. Could it be two Humpback Whales? Yes! It was BCX1057 “Divot” and BCY0160 “Heather” hanging out. Reports of this Humpback Duo hanging out together has been heard for the past few days. This long lasting bond is not typically seen by the Humpbacks, but it made for a great sight. As we watched, BCY0160 “Heather” really decided to put on a show. She started throwing her tail and slapping it against the surface of the water, making a really loud thud. She did it over and over and over and over again. We lost count after about 40 tail slaps! It was an amazing experience