Humpbacks Dodge an Orca Bullet!

Port Angeles

2 Humpbacks including BCY0523
7 Transient Orcas
Grand Slam at Race Rocks

The skies may have been gloomy today, but our trip was anything but!   Before even leaving the dock, we received a promising report of orcas across the Strait of Juan de Fuca near Becher Bay heading west.  While we were excited at the prospect of seeing killer whales, when we arrived on scene southwest of Sooke, we discovered far more than we bargained for!  Our hearts skipped a beat as we watched two humpback whales surfacing just a few yards away from a group of transient orcas.  One of the orcas approached within mere feet!  There was a bit of splashing and rolling around and one of the humpback whales, identified as BCY0523, was trumpeting at the surface.  The humpback whales made a break toward our vessel and the killer whales started picking up speed toward the east.  As an equal fan of both species, I was glad to see the two groups go their separate ways without any casualties, but you could tell from the scars on the flukes of one of the humpback whales that it wasn’t his or her first encounter with orcas!

As the transients were now heading toward Port Angeles, we were able to follow along and view them for quite some time.  We identified four of the seven as being members of the T60 family (the same group spotted yesterday evening), but are still working on identifying the other three in the group, which included a very tiny, still somewhat orange calf.  We’ll update if we get a match, but haven’t found anything in the catalog just yet.

The orcas turned into Becher Bay so we decided to swing by Race Rocks before making the journey home.  It was well worth the trip because we scored a Pinniped Grand Slam! As we slowed through Race
Rocks, we saw harbor seals, California sea lions, Steller’s sea lions,
AND two elephant seals!  After some time for photos, we picked up the
pace and made the journey home just before the rains came – perfect
timing!  Check out some pictures below!


T60E and T60C
T60 Transient Orcas
Humpback Rolls in Eel Grass
Elephant Seals Above, Steller’s Sea Lions Below

from Blogger


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