One of those 'we are so lucky to be in such a beautiful city' type of days! http://t.co/pmkVhOHZ44
September 12, 2011
This morning we set out on the Pacific Explorer with the sun warming our backs. The morning light shining on the lighthouse of Trial Island was beautiful as we travelled past. We were heading East towards the San Juan Island of Washington state, crossing over the Haro Straight. As we approached the island we slowed to take a scan, but just at the same moment, our Captain Liz got a report that the orca were a little ways south along the island! Once we got to the whales, we knew right away that they were in high spirits! They began to display fun behaviour such as tail flapping and spyhopping! Not long after we arrived a young calf breached for us! And then it breached again! And then again! In total the calf must have breeched about six times in a row and plenty more throughout the rest of our time with the whales! Just like any young animal, when the orca calves get a burst of energy, they love to just keep having fun! The whales all continued to have a "whale" of a time, so we decided to drop our hydrophone into the water to see if they were vocalizing. And sure enough, they were! We listened to the whales for a little while as they gave us some great examples of different chirps and squeaks that they make. After a lovely time with our cool black and white buddies, it was time to make our way back to west Victoria concluding another great tour with the orca!
In the afternoon, we had a small yet enthusiastic group. Some had experienced the orca before, but others hadn't. On our way out the seas were a little bumpy but luckily for us, they calmed down as we approached the orca not far from the spot we had left them in the morning. The first sightings we had were of 4 orca that were rolling around and playing with each other. It was really neat to see their bellies and pectoral fins! They continued their playful behaviour from the morning trip, as we saw many breaches again from a small calf! One orca even popped its head out of the water, which we call spyhopping, to take a look around at the boats on the water. Once again we decided to drop the hydrophone in the water to listen to the fantastic sounds of the orca. They were even more chatty this afternoon, and listening to them vocalize with each other and also to listening to them as they came up for air, was amazingly spectacular. Each resident whale pod speaks the same language but each have a different accent. We could hear the distinct ups and downs of J-pods accent! Many guests seemed in absolute awe of the sights and sounds they were lucky enough to be seeing and hearing this afternoon. We were lucky to get to spend a wonderful amount of time with the whales, with lots of really incredible moments, but unfortunately we had to turn and head back for Victoria. On our way back we stopped at Trial Island and caught some glimpses of some cute little harbour seals that were basking in the low afternoon sunshine. What an amazing trip with lots of really great questions and stories!