Sunshine and zodiac tours watching transient Orcas - what a perfect start to this Sunday!
August 22, 2011
This afternoon was a wet and rainy one, but the rain was not going to stop us today from having a great trip out in the Juan de Fuca Strait. We had a great group of ESL students who were very excited to see some Canadian west coast wildlife, as well as a few other groups from various places around the world, near and far! With the rain, often comes fog, so as we set out south into the strait we were quickly surrounded by it. Today we had heard that a humpback whale was in for a visit! We made our trip past Race Rocks and into the centre of the large body of water that separates Vancouver Island from the Olympic Peninsula of Washington state. Just as our captain Lyle slowed the boat, a few of our guests spotted a large grey blob in the foggy distance. It turned out to be our humpback friend! Typically humpbacks will take a few breaths about 30-60 seconds apart then take a deep breath and make a longer dive which could range from 5-20 minutes. But lucky for us today, the humpback was sticking quite close to the surface and was only taking 3 or 4 minute dives, so our guests got some really great views of this most amazing creature! Humpbacks on average can be up to 40-50 ft long which is almost as long as the Pacific Explorer, the boat we were cruising in! After some great sightings of the happy humpback we set back towards Victoria, making a stop at the very busy Race Rocks. Many stellar sea lions were lined up along the rocks barking and growling at one another. As we made our way through the islands, a couple of sea lions were playing off of our stern and jumping and splashing out of the water! When we got back into the harbour, the rain started up again, (it had pleasantly stopped while we were viewing the wildlife!) but the guests didn't seem to mind as they were too excited about the wonderful trip we had just had!