One of those 'we are so lucky to be in such a beautiful city' type of days! http://t.co/pmkVhOHZ44
With all our guests aboard the Orca Spirit we headed out onto the Salish Sea to look for a variety of amazing animals. We began by searching Constance Bank where deep water upwellings bring food in the form of zooplankton and phytoplankton. These microscopic organisms feed small fish and baleen whales. The small fish feed larger fish and birds, and the larger fish attract seals, sea lions and whales! The food chain is a dynamic and complicated system in the world's oceans. After spotting Rhinoceros Auklets, seagulls and a few Harbour Seals, we moved west to see what else might be out there. We cruised into Becher Bay where the waters were calm but the high tide may have been preventing the seals and sea lions from lying out on the rocky shores. They tend to like to fish when there is a high tide. Our boat whisked us away to Race Rocks Lighthouse, a marine reserve, and home to many marine species. We first saw Elephant Seals lying on top of one of the islets. We also saw 5 male Elephant Seals, two lying on the boat ramp, two basking on the seaweed covered islets and one bouncing his way up the concrete ramp towards the lighthouse's buildings! We had more Elephant Seal males at Race Rocks today than any other day in the past three seasons! It did not take long to spot the California Sea Lions below the Lighthouse, as their barking attracts from attention quickly! These 1500 pound males impressed everyone with their chocolate brown coats and funny walking skills! The Harbour Seals littered the edge of many of the islets, a few new pups visible amongst the big-eyed onlookers! The adults are cute enough, but the pups will melt your heart with one look of those eyes and long whiskers! After a great visit at Pacific Canada's second oldest lighthouse, we headed east to see if we could find any other animals. We enjoyed the nice weather, but eventually had to head back to the harbour. Whales were elusive in the straight today, but other marine mammals were exciting to see!