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Morning Tours

Our first stop was with a solo Humpback whale level with Race Rocks. The beautiful animal surfaced and dove with big, heaving breaths in between. We continued travelling south to find a pair of Humpbacks diving together and then another pair! We ended up being sandwiched in between the four with two off our bow and two off our stern. We didn’t know where to look! To add to that we found another pair just south of Race Rocks bringing our total to seven Humpback whale viewings in the one trip! This pair were taking long, deep dives lasting approximately 10 minutes and as they went they lifted their tails fully out the water to give them the leverage.

Sea Lions
Steller and California Sea Lions at Race Rocks. Photo by Naturalist Emma. Image taken with zoom lens and heavily cropped.

Our final stop was at the Ecological Reserve where our marine mammal species count was significantly increased. Harbour Seals, Sea Lions and old faithful, Harry the Sea Otter had made a comeback after being absent for a while. It was a morning packed to the brim with wildlife!

Harry Otter the sea otter
Harry Otter, the Sea Otter. Photo by Naturalist Emma. Image taken with zoom lens and heavily cropped.

Afternoon Tours

There was a treat in store for us when we headed South and leveled off near Race Rocks Ecological Reserve, it was the Transient Killer Whale group the T46s again!

Transient Orca
Bigg’s (Transient) Killer Whales, the T46s. Photo by Naturalist Emma. Image taken with zoom lens and heavily cropped.

Fast becoming local faces around the Strait of Juan de Fuca its always a pleasure to see this large family group travelling together. There was a slight distance between the older males & juveniles and a maternal pod. They eventually fused together and their characteristic appearance of a mesh of fins at the surface is always a treat to see. After viewing the Killer whales we stopped in at Race Rocks. The smell of stinky Sea Lions hung in the air and their presence was made known with their barks and growls.

Sea Lion
Sea Lion climbing up onto the ledge. Photo by Naturalist Emma. Image taken with zoom lens and heavily cropped.

A highlight was seeing a male California Sea Lion with an adorable looking juvenile and watching a California Sea Lion make the effort of hoisting itself up onto the dock. The Harbour Seals were soaking up the last of the evening’s rays as we exited the reserve and headed back to Victoria.

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