March 7- A Family of Orcas

© Five Star Whale Watching/Andrew Lees. Image — Two transient orcas of the family T46 were seen surfacing together off the coast of Victoria on our trip today.

We had a great day witnessing some of the animals the Salish Sea is host to, including a magnificent family of orca whales! On our trip, we were fortunate enough to even see other marine mammals.

We began our journey by heading out of the Victoria harbor, in a southerly direction. We did not have to travel far, as we encountered orcas just off Victoria itself! These orcas were the mammal-eating type (as opposed to fish-eaters) and are often called Bigg’s, or transient orcas. They travel in family groups, or pods; this pod of whales was the T46 pod, consisting of a mother whale and her offspring.

It is always amazing to see these whales travelling and surfacing together, often in unison. They are very social animals, capable of very close family bonds. These whales were fairly close to shore, and this is not an unusual occurrence, as their marine mammal prey may often be found around shorelines (i.e. seals, Sea Lions).

These orcas are not found in the same location with every encounter, travelling up to 100 miles per day with their families. Usually, male orca whales remain with their mothers their entire lives.

As our journey continued, we stopped at Race Rocks Ecological Reserve to view some more amazing marine mammals. Here, we encountered numerous Sea Lions in the area. Steller Sea Lions, as well as California Sea Lions, frequent Race Rocks to haul out, thermoregulate and rest.

We truly enjoyed introducing our guests to an orca family as well as other species that help to support orcas and the Salish Sea. We headed home with fantastic memories of these marine mammals.

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

March 7th- T’s and Sea Lions

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