As we traveled along the shoreline of Wallace Island, I noticed a distant dorsal fin that was either heading towards or away from us. As we slowed the boat and made our way over to the area I had last seen the orca, he suddenly surfaced close to the boat and continued down Trincomali Channel the way we had just been. The single male turned out to be T124C, an adult marine mammal eating Transient orca born in 1992. More of loner, he tends to travel away from his family.
As we neared Bold Bluff Point, I was surprised to see a lots of blows and dorsal fins far up ahead of us. As we passed a beautiful waterfall and got a little closer, we could see that the orcas were split into two groups, one leading and one trailing. Both groups were mostly traveling quickly, sometimes even porpoising. As we neared the trailing group, we could see that, besides a female, a juvenile, and calf, it also contained three males. I recognized one of the males immediately as T102, which meant the other two males were probably his younger brothers, T101A and T101B, and that their mother, T101, was most likely in this group or the leading one. However, there was obviously another matriline around besides the four T101's. We soon were paralleling the trailing group at a respectful distance to find out who the other matriline was.
At one pontt, as we motored along at 7 knots, waiting for the trailing group to come back up from a deep dive, the orcas decided to suddenly pop up right behind us in our stern wake and surf the waves. In an attempt to stay at least 100 yards away from the orcas, we tried to discourage them from riding the wake by turning the boat slowly and gradually bringing our speed down. The orcas got the message and surfaced outside our wake and continued on their way, following the leading group for Saanich Inlet.
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