Sunshine and zodiac tours watching transient Orcas - what a perfect start to this Sunday!
This morning an excited group of whale watchers boarded the Orca Spirit and we headed out for an early trip. The weather was a little grey, but the water was very smooth as we reached the entrance of the harbour and turned right heading west. We had been traveling along the shoreline of Victoria for about five minutes when we started to slow down; we had found orcas! As we approached the pod we got confirmation that we had found L pod, one of the three pods that make up the Southern Resident Population of Orcas. L pod is the biggest of the three pods, with a total of 41 members, two of which are calves that have been born in the last two years. As we approached a group of female orcas we were able to spot one of the calves, most likely the youngest as it still has quite a bit of orange colouring on its white patches, indicating it is less than a year old. We were able to see many members of the pod as they swam by us parallel to the boat and the shore; they were traveling very fast today. We saw a few large males and many females as they continued their journey west along the shoreline. After many photos, we left the orcas and headed to Race Rocks, the second oldest lighthouse on the Canadian Pacific, and only nine miles from our harbour. As we passed slowly through the rocky islands around the lighthouse, we spotted a large group of Harbour Seals sunning themselves on the rocks. Further up on the rocks we found a few Elephant Seals, much larger than the Harbour Seals below. We also found one lone California Sea Lion lying below the lighthouse on Race Rocks Island. Finally, we started to make our way back to the harbour heading along the Victoria shoreline once again. We had almost reached the harbour when we slowed down, as the captain had spotted a bald eagle perched on the top of one of the trees. It stayed just long enough for us to snap a few photos before taking off, flying above the tree tops. Soon after we reached our dock, reminiscing about our exciting morning on the water.