I’ve explored all over Coastal British Columbia and I mean all over! I’ve never seen an Orca, ever! Not until July 24th and 25th and I didn’t have to go very far either!
The name of the Orca is T073B – a lone and very large male transient Orca. Reports of his visit to the Comox Valley first started coming in around July 23rd.
I loaded up my kayak on the cart and walked it down to the Courtenay estuary launch in the sweltering heat on the morning of the 24th and paddled out to hopefully get my chance to finally see an Orca.
Research suggests that Bigg’s Killer Whales (Transient Orca) have been genetically separated from all other Orca for about 750,000 years. Adult males may reach overall lengths of 8-9 meters and can weigh up to 10,000 lbs.
What is the source of this scientific information regarding this Orca being classified as a transient (tall wobbly dorsal looks like a resident variety) and also being identified as T073B (since when have scientists started iding transients, that is impressive) and what makes it a “Bigg’s” killer whale? Famed whale researcher Michael Bigg studied the echolocations of resident orca pods. I believe there are some solitary residents, and my guess would be this is one of them, and not a transient. Let’s hope transients are not making a resurgence..If seals are attacking humans……transients are apex predatory meat eaters. Not the kind of orca one wants to be kayaking around. Nice photos.
Hi Georgia, all local and reputable media sources have identified this Orca as being T073B. This hasn’t been contested as of yet and I would expect that they would consult Scientists prior to making a public assertion. Why would we not want transients of any marine mammal to make a resurgence? Thank you for your accolades regarding the photos.
Thanks for sharing your wonderful pictures. We recently saw a humpback near Quadra but it was too far away for photographs. Still exciting though. – Margy
You bet Margy, amazing experience to see these majestic creatures!
The new Marine Mammal Regulations state that all boats and watercraft must keep a distance of 200 meters from orcas. This includes kayakers and paddle boarders.
There have been several violations in this area. The harassment of this orca continues to be reported to the DFO Report Line:
Lifeforce Ocean Friends is on the water to educate boaters.
For the safety of both the orca and people please help this orca by watching the orca from land, maintaining at least 200m if on the water and report violations by those who get too close to DFO.
Thank you Peter!