Sunshine and zodiac tours watching transient Orcas - what a perfect start to this Sunday!
Articles tagged with: humpback whales
Today some fantastic visitors to Victoria joined us to look for some of BC's finest marine mammals. We left the Harbour and travelled east along the Straight of Juan de Fuca until we reached Haro Straight and made our way north. We were approaching Darcey Island when we spotted the tell-tale sign of orcas- huge black dorsal fins! They were the T030 matriline.
This family consists of the family's mother, her two daughters, her son and one grandbaby, just recently born! This spunky calf stayed close to his or her mom, swimming in her slipstream. The slipstream is an area located just behind a whale's pectoral fin and is an area of lower resistance in the water, allowing calves to swim more easily through the sea.
We were delighted to witness one of the whales breach out of the water, an amazing and memorable sight! We soon could see the whales were in hot pursuit of some prey! ...
Today we left Victoria with the sun shining and calm waters to start. We began our search for marine life by heading west along the coast of Vancouver Island. After nine miles of sea passed us, we ended up at the historical Race Rocks Lighthouse. This area has been designated a marine reserve as it is home to a vast and abundant array of marine species from sea lions and seals to rockfish and sea stars. Here we found female Elephant Seals basking in the sun atop one of the rocky islands. This is the furthest point south that Elephant Seals haul out on land to molt. We also saw some big-eyed Harbour Seals, many of them plump pregnant females. The large Stellar’s Sea Lion males were either swimming around the islands or lying out on the rocks to warm their bodies in the sun.
After a great look at the lighthouse and all the marine mammals that call it home, we set out towards the south with word that 2 humpbacks were in the area. The wind had picked up, so the ride over to the whales was an adventure to say the least! But the trip over was worth it as we got to spend the remainder of our trip watching 2 humpback whales, likely a mother and her calf, riding the waves as they let the current push them east. Typically we have to wait for humpbacks to do longer dives in between surfacings, but these two baleen whales would duct just below the surface where we could see their dark shadow below. We even got to hear the humpbacks trumpet, a loud sound they can produce when exhaling. It was a fantastic way to spend an afternoon with some of the most beautiful gentle giants in the sea!