Posted by: onboardtourswhales | August 25, 2011

Residents West-Transients Visit

August 22, 2011 Monday

An unusually cooler, wetter spring and summer this year brought another rainy day today. The Southern Resident Killer Whales last sighted heading west toward the Pacific Ocean. That’s not unusual, as the summer Chinook Salmon runs finish and autumn runs begin, the whales may be going to meet them. Not surprised to hear Transient Killer Whales are in the Salish Sea! It’s been suggested the communities have a cultural treaty agreement; Residents and Transients rarely share the same water. We were happy to travel in a light ebbing tide toward Sucia Island, one of the marine parks. The rain stopped and we saw T-18 (37 year old female), who travels with T-19 (42 year female) and her son T-19B (16 years old) and T-19C (10 years old). They were close together as they swam near shore, heading northwest around the island, hunting for seals and porpoise, (who all seemed to be gone- hiding out!), although we did see one seal pop out of the water a distance away. Transients tend to be very quiet, stealthily hunting near rocks and shorelines, not wanting to alert their prey. Not sure if they succeeded, but we did see gulls fly in and snatch tidbits of something from the water surface. The last time I saw this family of whales was August of 2009. T-19B had a huge dorsal fin then and it’s even wider and taller now, so heavy it leans back and left! We haven’t seen if T-19C is a boy or girl, but also has a big dorsal, so I suspect male. We were awed from about 3:30pm to 4:15pm, and as we started to head home west, the whales north, T-19B did a half body vertically out of the water spy hop!! It started to rain again, the sun was melting some of the clouds, creating a rainbow!

T-18 and T-19’s Transients

T-19B (16 year old Big Boy!!)

T-19C

T-18 and T-19’s Transients

 

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