March 20- T2C Family Encounter

© Five Star Whale Watching/ Kaegan Shephard. Image — Two Bigg’s orcas, belonging to family T2C surface, seen south of the harbour in Victoria today.

Today was a great day, as we were able to witness some amazing sights in the Salish Sea! We did not have to venture far out of Victoria to find whales, which is not always the case with these dynamic marine mammals.

We headed out on our journey, south into Juan de Fuca Strait. This is a body of water that separates southern Vancouver Island and areas in Washington State. The orcas we encountered here were of the mammal-eating ecotype, otherwise known as “Bigg’s” or “transient” orcas. Mammal-eating orcas and fish-eating orcas actually have distinct dialects among other differences; their calls, clicks and whistles differing significantly from each other

The group was soon recognized to be the “T2C” family, a known family of transient orcas. The family consists of a mother and her offspring. We instantly recognized the male son in the family, who is 14 years old, by his towering dorsal fin. Male orca dorsal fins may reach up to six feet in height!

Orca families are extremely close-bonded, and offspring, especially sons, will travel and live with their mothers their entire lives. We were fortunate to be able to witness this family of whales, playing witness to this integral social structure.

It was a beautiful sunny day on the water, and the orcas were extremely beautiful amidst the shimmering water and backdrop of the Vancouver Island wild. We truly enjoyed our amazing encounter today!

To view more images from today’s trip, click on the link below:

March 20- T2C’s South of the Victoria Harbour


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