© Five Star Whale Watching/Katie Smith. Image — An adult Transient Killer whale swimming in the Strait of Juan de Fuca today.
Transient Killer Whales & Humpbacks Whales
We headed southwest after leaving the Inner Harbour today and encountered Transient Killer whales near Race Rocks Ecological Reserve. Transients are marine-mammal eating eco-type of Killer whales. Their main preys include: Harbour seals, Harbour porpoises, California and Steller sea lions, and even other whales. They travel in groups of 3-5 individuals, which helps them sneak up on their marine mammal preys.
We saw a mother-calf pair today and the two always travel together. The son had a very tall dorsal fin(pictured above) compared to his mom. We saw them scouring the waters for prey. The nearby ecological reserve where we went later on has an abundance marine mammals that the Transient Killer whales can devour. We saw Harbour seals, sea lions, and a sea otter there today. When searching for prey, Transients are very quiet in order to prevent alerting their preys.
Later we also spotted blows in the area. The blows were resulting from Humpback whale coming to the surface of the water to breathe. It was amazing to see their massive tail flukes as they dive. Humpbacks are making a comeback to the Salish Sea and now, more and more of them are spending entire summers here to feed.
To view more images from today’s trip, click on the following link.