Written by Simon Pidcock
Spring 2018 Vancouver Island Orca Sightings
The Salish Sea is ever changing and its diversity never ceases to amaze me. Spring has arrived and the wildlife seems to be thriving this year.
This spring has been the best spring ever for whale sightings. Both Biggs killer whales and humpback whales have been showing up in great numbers in the Georgia Strait. Since we started in early March we have encountered whales on over 90% of our tours.
We have been viewing Transient Orcas or Biggs Killer Whales almost daily and were fortunate to encounter the T065A’s brand new calf. More and more of our regular Humpbacks have made their way back from Hawaii and Mexico to feed on the spawning herring and krill of the Salish Sea. The humpback comeback is strong again this year and we expect to see record numbers of humpbacks.
In the not so distant past at this time of year we would have been spending time with the Southern Resident Killer Whales. J Pod would be in the Salish Sea regularly by now and we would encounter whales on about 75% of our tours. How things change… We have not documented southern residents in our waters since late March. Hopefully it means they are finding the Chinook Salmon they so desperately need elsewhere. The mammal eaters or Biggs killer whales have taken over the Salish Sea with the absence of the southern resident fish eating population. We will continue the see the Biggs killer whale community grow and thrive due to the very abundant availability of prey for them in the Salish Sea.
We recently ran our first scheduled full day whale watching tour. This tour is 8 hours and focuses on the marine mammals, wildlife, seascapes and birds of the Salish Sea. We developed this tour for photographers and wildlife enthusiasts who want to get out there and explore areas of the Salish Sea and beyond that most people don’t get to see. Our first tour was a huge success with the highlight of the day being an epic battle between a Steller Sea Lion and an enormous Giant Pacific Octopus! Contact us for more information.