Sunshine and zodiac tours watching transient Orcas - what a perfect start to this Sunday!
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!