Families are Forever… Breaching, Tail slapping, Spy-hopping, Happy Whales

As the summer moves on…my days have started when the sun rises and ends after the sun has gone to sleep…

I have been keeping my eyes and ears open for orca whales in the Johnstone Strait, tracking their behaviour and direction of movement. August 1st was a very special day on the Strait. I had been thinking about how I had gotten to see some pods and amazing orcas up close and I had gotten some video but it seemed to me… whenever they came by the hut (I am living in on the Strait)… they broke up and spread out along the strait… and I had not yet been able to capture them together as a pod… well yesterday was my day of glory! The A30′s travelling tight together out of Blackney Pass headed East stayed close together while travelling. I was able to capture most of the A30′s tight together as a family unit. (not all of them) but a good number together. Orca whales stick with their mothers for their entire life…. they mate with other pod members but live, play, hunt and travel with their mother and her offspring for life.

A Family photo. Orcas - A30's sticking together on the Johnstone Strait, Aug 1 2012. 1pm.
A Family photo. Orcas – A30′s sticking together on the Johnstone Strait, Aug 1 2012. 1pm.

We had a whirl-wind of pods colliding and reuniting here on the Johnstone. A superpod of R4s, A30s, I15s and the A36s identified so far… ;) The whales were very playful, grunting squealing and blowing like crazy…They were breaching, flailing about all over each other, spyhopping and tail slapping… We heard some really funny noises out there! It was like a dream to watch this and for most of the time… there were no boats in the water… it was just the whales themselves.

I was filming when I saw a whale jump straight out of the water and big splash! An Orca BREACHING! I managed to capture it on camera… (I will post video below…)

When Krissi (another OrcaLab assistant from Germany) and I were watching the whales frolicking about… in amazement with whale envy, we heard a gigantic CRASH!!!! And then looked to the right side of the hut and saw a humpback has just breached about 100meters away! As quickly as I could, I turned the video camera on the splash and waited… as I kept the video camera on the humpback… I saw my battery in the camera flashing…. battery… battery power getting low…. The humpback came up and tail slapped and rolled around backwards…. I jumped up keeping the camera rolling on the whale… and went to grab a new battery… in the 30 seconds I had left to get a new battery the humpback had BREACHED AGAIN!!!! I had kept the camera rolling in record mode… and when I returned, all I could see was another BIG Splashhh!!!! I couldn’t believe.it. Krissi said “You just missed it again”!!!!!!. I was jaw dropped looking at the splash and the video camera screen still said “Recording”!!!!! The battery had not yet died… I looked at Krissi and said “I think I got it on video”!!!!!!! And to my amazement… I did.

Here is a clip of the orca & humpback breaching. August 1, 2012 on the Johnstone Strait.

[vimeo 46795675 w=500 h=281]

Orca & Humpback Breaching Aug 1, 2012 – Johnstone Strait, BC, Canada from Natalie Lucier on Vimeo.

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