On September 19th we saw the CA27s, a matriline we historically can go years without seeing! The whales were traveling quickly in foggy conditions, but we were able to confirm 6 of the 10 whales normally seen in this family: CA27, CA27C, CA27D, CA27D1, CA27D2, and CA27F.
CA27 is a known traveler—she famously journeyed to Glacier Bay in 1989 with CA18, CA20, and CA54 (the only time any transients have been confirmed in Alaska), and she was sighted off Washington in 1995.
CA27 was first photographed in 1988 as an adult, which means her birth year is either on or before 1978, making this matriarch at least 43 years old! She is a prolific mom with at least 6 offspring. Her firstborn child CA27A is likely around 31 years old, though her age is uncertain as sightings of this family are infrequent.
CA27C is likely around 20 years old, so just reaching physical maturity; the first photographs of him are from the early 2000s. His dorsal fin is a bit wavy with very distinguishable notches, and his saddle is atypically narrow for a Bigg's transient.
CA27D has two offspring, CA27D1 and CA27D2. CA27D1 is 6 years old, so a large juvenile. CA27D2 is only 2-3 years old!
CA27F has a noticeable notch toward the top of the bottom third of its dorsal fin.
Swipe through to see labeled photos of all whales encountered on 9/17/21, aside from CA27D2!
IDs by CKWP
Photos by Mike Kauffmann