August 4, 2015 – What a beautiful day out on the water today! All our boats headed out this morning with the hint of a group of Transient Killer Whales near Race Rocks. We haven’t seen Transients in a while, so we were all really excited! Transient killer whales are the subspecies of killer whale that hunts marine mammals, so seals, sea lions, porpoises and even larger whales!
When we got on scene with the animals, we saw about 6 of them swimming side by side very close to each other in a westerly direction. There seemed to be about 5 females and one fairly large juvenile male. The males dorsal fin hadn’t gotten that distinct tall triangular shape yet of a fully grown mature male killer whale. The Transients seems very intent on travelling as they were moving quite quickly. After a while, one of the passengers spotted a huge fluke rise into the air off in the distance. It was a humpback whale! Humpback whales are occasionally hunted by Transient killer whales, so this humpback stayed well away from the orcas we were watching. It swam very quickly away from where we were. On the way back to Victoria we stopped at Race Rocks and watched a large colony of massive Stellar Sea Lions bask in the sun, with the enormous dominant male guarding his spot on the highest rock.
In the afternoon, the wind had picked up but it was another great trip with the same Transient killer whale group. They seemed much more chilled out as they were swimming much slower and occasionally stopped altogether, and relaxed on the surface for a bit. The humpbacks seemed to have left the area; they got a little bit too nervous!
Everyone loves the Resident killer whales of course, but it was great to see some our Transient killer whales back in the area!