© Five Star Whale Watching/Andrew Lees. Image — Ventral side of a Transient orca’s tail fluke in the evening sun-lit water from our trip.
T-party off Oak Bay
Today we had our last evening trip for the season; it was certainly the one to remember! We encountered T46B Transient orcas at Oak Bay Flats after going eastward from the Inner Harbour. Along with the presence of an oily red sheen on the water, the orcas were also very surface-active, indicating that they had just made a kill.
Transient orcas are marine-mammal eating orcas. Some of their favourite prey species include: Harbour seals (especially seal pups!), Harbour porpoises, and sea lions.
We left the orcas and passed through Chain Islets, a marine bird sanctuary off Oak Bay. There we also saw one of the orcas’ prey species — Harbour seals. It is likely that the orcas had feasted on a seal from the Islets — Chain Islets is, in fact, a haul-out site for Harbour seals.
Afterwards, we passed by Discovery and Chatham Islands, and encountered the T46Bs again. Seeing them leap out of the water against the golden glow from the setting sun was quite a site to see. The two adults males in this family of orcas we saw today have very distinctly nicked dorsal fins that are easily identifiable.
On our way home, our guests got to see a beautiful setting sun, ending the trip in a marvelous way!
To view more photos from our trip today, click on the following link.