August 11th


Today was pretty amazing! While pondering which of two resident orca groups we should meet up with (both being a suitably long distance away from the SV Tuan), a small group of transient orcas materialised in front of us. We followed the transients as they foraged close to the shoreline hunting amongst the bull kelp forests for harbour seals. The Dall's porpoises that we had been watching only minutes before had quickly disappeared from the scene (for they are also predated by transient orcas). The passengers on the afternoon tour were lucky enough to view both the transient and resident orcas, seeing firsthand the different foraging techniques used and the behavioural variation between the two groups. Where the transients were unpredictable, changing direction and speed frequently, the residents seemed to be much more relaxed and methodical in their foraging, vocalizing freely and often. These unique encounters were too much for one visitor who was overwhelmed and reduced to tears by the shear beauty of these animals.