One of those 'we are so lucky to be in such a beautiful city' type of days! http://t.co/pmkVhOHZ44
September 13, 2011
This morning started out a little grey, but we didn't let that stop us. We took our nice group on the Pacific Explorer and headed out on the beautifully calm Juan De Fuca in search of the Mighty Orca! About half way on our journey we found a lone Humpback who we enjoyed the company of for a couple of surfaces before continuing our quest for 'black and whites'. The Orca's were far but Captain Liz did not fail us! Finally we saw them - J and K Pods! We knew this because we identified Onyx (L87) a male member of L-pod. Confused? This young man actually travels with the older ladies in J-pod (particularly J8 Spieden) as he sees them as mother figures since his own sadly passed. Orca's are hugely family orientated and will stay with their mothers their whole lives. The whales were spread out and on all sides of the boat; the guests didn't know where to look! These amazing animals delighted us with spyhops, breaches and cartwheels - we were even lucky enough to see a calf breach, as well as incredible vocalizations! We had travelled as far as Point No Point so it was a long journey home, but filled with hot chocolates, excited chatter and photo id-ing! We identified Blackberry (J27), Tsuchi (J31), and one guest even got a photo of naturalist Amy's adopted Orca - Rainshadow (K37), making the trip extra special for Amy! As we arrived back at the dock, the sun was already out and our guests went off to enjoy the other exciting sights and sounds of the beautiful Victoria!
Our afternoon trip found us heading West once again in search of Humpbacks! - We'd heard 'tail' of five in the area! We first found two Humpy's (as we lovingly like to call them) South of Race Rocks. This fascinating pair gave us some lovely surfaces and fantastic fluke shots! We can identify an individual Humpback Whale by taking photographs of the markings on the underside of his or her fluke as these markings are different for each whale. As if that wasn't enough, one of them actually breached clear out of the water, leaving everyone frozen to the spot in shock, watching entranced as he or she crashed back down to the surface of the water in what seemed like slow motion. This was then quickly followed by squeals of excitement and cheers of joy! One lucky guest actually caught this on camera! - and we avidly await her email with the photo :)
After this spectacular encounter we started back towards Race, only to be surprised by a Minke Whale just 'chillin' and then a second group of Humpy's! After leaving the Cetaceans, we ended our fantastic afternoon with some 40-60 Seals and Sealions at Race Rocks. The species of Pinnipeds here include Stellar Sealions, California Sealions and Harbor Seals, and they are always such a delight to see! What a fantastic day in the Salish sea!!