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Stories from the water-June 26, 2011

It was a rather cloudy day out on the Strait of Georgia, but very warm and the water was like glass. Two pods of resident orcas had been making their way North from Boundary Pass since the morning, so by the time the “Triple 8 II” had left the dock for the afternoon tour, the whales were nearly at the mouth of the Fraser River! Within 25 minutes, we were in the company of orcas! With the help of our guests photographs, we managed to identify the 6 whales we were watching to be the K7 matriline from K pod. domain generator . This family of orcas consists of three generations of whales; K13 “Skagit” is the grandmother with 4 kids of her own, and one grandson named K38 “Comet”.

Our guests were thrilled to watch Skagit’s oldest son K25 “Scoter” chase salmon right at the surface, making huge powerful lunges out of the water to pursue his prey. We watched this tight-knit family feed on Chinook salmon until they began to swim southward again, back toward the San Juan Islands. But since we were in the neighborhood, we stopped in at the Roberts Bank Superport to visit the Steller sea lions before heading back to Steveston. What a fantastic day! ~Tasli Shaw, Naturalist

Juvenile Steller Sea Lions sun bathing on the 'green can'

K25 'Scoter' in the Strait of Georgia