One of those 'we are so lucky to be in such a beautiful city' type of days! http://t.co/pmkVhOHZ44
June 23, 2011
It was a little bit bumpy as we sailed out of the harbour in the morning but it was well worth it when we got to San Juan Island. The entire J-pod and a portion of the K-pod were spread out along the coast feeling enthused by the waves. We caught up with the bulk of the group and drifted off shore as they passed us. Black dorsals were spied several times before some the whales went all out and breached! They were having a wonderful day and treated us to some spy-hops as well as a tail slap or two.
In the afternoon we saw a large male who we identified as L87. His mother (L32) died in 1995 so he has taken to traveling with the J-pod. He was proving his individuality by swimming a little ways apart from the rest of the group, popping up where least expected. After a while he angled back in to shore and re-joined his comrades, who were splashing only feet from the rocks where waves were crashing and breaking. The whales were rolling and diving so close to the shore that it was hard to imagine the choppy water not pushing them into the rock faces, but they are obviously well equip to manoeuvre effortlessly in seas that would be very dangerous for a human.
We followed the magnificent Orcas for some time before turning and heading back to Victoria. On the way back we snuck through the Chain Islands and around Cadboro Point. A Bald Eagle was spied swirling over Chatham Island and we got a good look at its nest out on top of one of the islands. It was an exciting day, the sun even popped through the clouds from time to time and by the afternoon the waves were starting to level out. We were busy with plenty of first-time whale watchers and not a few whale-watching veterans, all who could now check 'watching the Orcas' off their bucket lists.
The Pacific Explorer was carrying guests eager to see killer whales on today's evening whale watching trip. We had seen whales on the two previous trips today, but the whales were traveling north...would they still be in range? We traveled to the northern part of San Juan Island, WA to an area known as Kellett Bluff. It was a great evening to spot black dorsal fins slicing the surface of the water, as the wind calmed down over the day, and the waves were minimal. Off our bow, guests spotted whales! Excitement spread all over the boat as guests got to see Blackberry, one of J-Pods mature males and his family. The group was traveling in a tight knit formation, surfacing all at the same time. We were lucky to see that the group included a young whale, possibly Blackberry's younger brother, Mako. Calves are always amazing to watch as they are dwarfed by their much larger family members! The whales were initially traveling close to shore, but sharply angled away from the island. Guests and crew were ecstatic by an amazing pass by the group as they headed offshore! Heading back towards Victoria, we all enjoyed the setting sun and much laughter aboard the boat! It was another memorable evening on the waters of south Vancouver Island!