One of those 'we are so lucky to be in such a beautiful city' type of days! http://t.co/pmkVhOHZ44
August 20, 2011
This morning, we headed north into Haro Strait. We had a report of whales in Georgia Strait at 7:30 in the morning and were hoping that the whales would be coming in through Boundary Pass. As we journeyed on the Orca Spirit through some unbelievably calm seas, we noticed lots of marine life, including harbour seals, harbour porpoise and lots of seabirds. However, we were determined to show our guests orcas. As we neared the beautiful Turn Point Lighthouse, our hopes were realized as we saw the first dorsal fins rounding the point. It turned out to members of K and L-pods, and they were spread out foraging in small family groups. We had a great encounter with a number of orcas, including Baba (L26) and Scoter (K25). We were able to eavesdrop on some wonderful vocalizations and heard lots of echolocation. It was a calm day, with virtually no wind. The blows of orcas could be heard over several hundred yards. It was a breathtaking experience. After leaving the whales, we travelled back to Victoria and had a scenic trip past Mandarte, D'Arcy and Sidney Island. It was an excellent wildlife adventure through some of the most beautiful scenery on the coast.
By the afternoon trip, the orcas had made their way south to the northern end of San Juan Island. It was an exceptional afternoon of whale watching, as we encountered members of all 3 pods. Most of the orcas were travelling near the steep, rugged island as they neared Lime Kiln Lighthouse. Guests saw an impressive array of behaviours from the orcas, including spyhops, breaches and porpoising! After the incredible display, we started to travel back towards Victoria when we noticed more whales to the north. Included in this group were J8 (Speiden) and L87 (Onyx). Speiden is an interesting whale. We can actually recognize Speiden just by the sound of her breath. She has a distinctive wheeze when she exhales. However, the highlight of the trip was an exhilarating pass from Onyx. Now 19 years old, he is a huge young male and an impressive animal. After the orca encounter, we travelled back to Victoria, but not before a stop at one of our favourite wildlife locals, Trial Island. Like our passengers, many harbour seals were enjoying their time in the sun.