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☞ The Orca Spirit Whale Blog

Victoria, B.C. Orca Sightings & Marine Wildlife Reports — Weekly Summary

For the 2014 Whale Watching season Reports visit our Captain's Log

A Record Breaking 2014 Whale Watching Season!

alex2 croppedWe would like to thank all of our guests from near and far for joining us on another spectacular Whale Watching season.  We started off the season in April with a bang and sightings became more prolific as the months went on. The Southern Resident Killer Whales had made their presence known early this year, presumably due to higher Salmon stocks early in the season.  We witnessed some of the most incredible Transient Killer Whale hunts you can be fortunate enough to encounter and researchers reported record high sightings of the Killer Whale eco-type this season.  
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Rare and increased sightings for numerous species were spotted off our coastline this season, from pods of hundreds of Pacific White-Sided Dolphins to Sea Otters, Humpback Whales and even the very rare Right Whale. Our other sightings were certainly not shy in abundance either and included spectacular displays from Minke Whales, Stellar and California Sea Lions, Harbour Seals, Dall’s and Harbour Porpoises, River Otters, Elephant Seals, Bald Eagles, Cormorants and so much more! Every year we are amazed and humbled at just how powerful and full of life the Salish Sea can be.

large malesTypically early in the season, the resident Orcas will tease us and disappear for a while, making their presence somewhat elusive, but this year as soon as they came back to the area after a winter away, they were here to stay well into October! Not only were the Residents in full force but the Transient Orcas as well.  The Pacific Whale Watching Association reported an all-time high for sightings of Transient Orcas (Marine Mammal-eating) this season.  Some believe it is due to higher counts of Harbour Seals, with Transients keeping natural population levels in check.

Orca Spirit Adventures and Great Pacific Adventures Join Forces

Orca Spirit Adventures and Great Pacific Adventures Join Forces
Press Release - For immediate release
Victoria, BC, Canada (September 5, 2014)
Orca Spirit Adventures, the leading provider of whale watching tours and eco-marine tourism in the Victoria area, is pleased to announce the acquisition of Victoria Whale Watching Company, Great Pacific Adventures (GPA). Orca Spirit will now be able to offer tourists and tour operators more boats, capacity and departure options than any other organization in the region.
“We are very pleased to have GPA join the Orca Spirit Adventures Group.” said John Douglas, Orca Spirit General Manager and Owner. “Great Pacific Adventures is a highly respected company and one of the pioneering whale watchers in the Pacific Northwest. They bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to our team and more importantly, a shared passion for the well-being of marine wildlife and the environment. Andrew has done a fantastic job building his company without losing sight of his core values of environmental stewardship and respect.”
Victoria’s tourism industry has seen a very busy season with an increase of overnight stays and air arrivals up from last year. Orca Spirit Adventures believes that more visitors are partaking in outdoor attractions and eco-tourism adventures. “By joining forces with Great Pacific, we now have a unique opportunity to cater to a wider variety of visitors, from individual travelers and tour groups, to the corporate incentive travel market,” said Lauren Douglas, Director of Sales and Marketing.
Orca Spirit and Great Pacific Adventures regularly work together to make sure all customer needs for departure times and vessel requirements are met. Business will remain as-usual for both companies in the short term. The longer term goal is to consolidate the two organizations into a single operating unit with a broader range of qualifications and experience. “We are excited by the prospect of merging our sales and marketing team to offer customers unrivaled service and selection.” Commented Lauren. “We also look forward to expanding our fleet even further to increase the number of seats and vessel styles for visitors, and hiring additional staff to meet the growing business demand,” added John.



Introducing: Ocean Adventures Club

kids aquariumOrca Spirit Adventures and World Fisheries Trust have joined forces to create an interactive educational program, designed to introduce the marine environment around Vancouver Island to students and school groups.

The Ocean Adventures Club begins with a half-hour interactive interpretation with a marine naturalist in The Orca Spirit Education Room.  World Fisheries Trust has set-up a salt water touch tank aquarium to showcase the creatures in our surrounding ocean.  

The group will head out onto the water in Orca Spirit Adventures’ Covered Vessel, to enjoy a three-hour eco-adventure, to view whales and marine creatures in the wild.  Our University trained biologist will teach you about ocean diversity and whale behaviours in our oceans.
September is the most affluent month for marine mammal activity in the Salish Sea.  Our sightings include Orcas (both Resident and Transient), Humpback Whales, Minke Whales, Harbour Seals, California and Steller Sea Lions, Dall’s Porpoises, Harbour Porpoises, Otters and a plethora of marine birds incuding Cormorants and Bald Eagles.