December 30 2016 – We set out on a beautifully crisp winter’s day under sunny blue skies. Transient Orca (T77A and T49A2) had been spotted heading through the Haro Strait between Saanich and the San Juan Islands so we travelled eastwards around the coastline of Oak Bay in hopes of spotting them.  Whilst we were zipping north across the waves we unexpectedly found a completely different group of Transient Orca!  It was the T124’s!  This group of Orca were first identified in the waters off Southeast Alaska before they were regular visitors to the Salish Sea and the waters around Vancouver Island.  They were meandering in tight groups as they moved slowly around Henry Island at the northwest corner of San Juan.  Suddenly a tiny baby surfaced tucked against its mom, and then another!  Killer Whale calves may spend up to 4 years nursing, though unlike the Resident Orca who stay with their mother and their matriline group all of their lives, the young of Transients may either stay with their mother or join another group at maturity.  It was a wonderful treat to see these Transient Orca with babies, absolutely great news for their population, and a perfect end to another wonderful year of whale watching here at SpringTide!

transient orca
Transient Orca near Victoria BC
transient orca with babies
Baby Transient Orca with Mom near Victoria BC
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