Sunshine and zodiac tours watching transient Orcas - what a perfect start to this Sunday!
July 10, 2011
On a wonderfully calm Sunday afternoon, Captain Brad and I (naturalist Corey), along with an intrepid group of guests, headed out into Juan de Fuca Strait. There were reports of a large group of orcas inbound near Race Rocks. We arrived on scene and immediately noticed the huge dorsal fin of a large male orca travelling with a female. The male Mystery (L85) was in an amorous mood, as he travelled with Lulu (L53). As he passed by the boat, he rolled at the surface, showing what we tour guides call a "sea snake". We could see lots of whales, spread out over a few miles. As the whale parade continued, we saw several of the L-pod calves, including the newest calf L118 travelling with its mom L55. We spent some time travelling with Crewser (L92) and as we neared the end of our encounter we saw a distant breach.
After our wonderful orca encounter, we headed to Race Rocks and its abundance of harbour seals and bird life. Today, again, we saw a mature California sea lion hauled out on the rocks. The highlight of our Race Rocks visit this time was watching the interaction between a bald eagle and a gull, who was repeatedly dive bombing the eagle. Eagles can definitely be a threat to gulls, as I have seen them in the talons of an eagle on a couple of occasions. After a quick visit with the orcas again, we headed back to the harbour.