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MORNING TOUR

A calm, crisp summer morning was a precursor to a good day. We cruised through the harbor and continued south into the open waters of the Salish Sea. Within 30 minutes we were lucky enough to spot some Transient Killer Whales directly off our bow. Once in sight, we watched the animals display some unusual behavior. It was like watching a hunt but in slow motion. Lackadaisical tail slaps, intermittent porpoising and circling swim patterns, all carried out at half the expected speed. Our best reasoning for this behavior, although only the Whales know for sure, was they were perhaps carrying out a training hunt for the young ones in the pod.

Captains Log Transient Orca Whales
Photo of Transient Orca Whales taken by Captain Yves with a zoomed lens and heavily cropped.

After spending time observing the Killer Whales we continued the adventure further south towards the Olympic Peninsula. A Humpback Whale was found travelling to the west, a two Whale species day! It was taking long deep dives, perhaps looking for some nutrients. We left the Whale to its natural behavior and changed our course of direction to head north. We arrived at Race Rock Ecological Reserve and were greeted by Pelagic Cormorants perched on the rocks.

Captains Log Humpback Whale
Photo of Humpback Whale taken by Naturalist Emma with a zoomed lens and heavily cropped.

A surprise was in store as we turned the corner, a Northern Elephant Seal bathing in the shallow water at the base of the boat ramp. He entertained the crowd by comical splashing himself with cool water. This event was punctuated by the telltale sound of squeaking Pigeon guillemots. In the kelp bed was its local guardian, Harry the Sea Otter. Floating on his back, strapped in by the kelp, he rubbed his face with his fluffy little paws melting the hearts of all on board.

Captains Log Sea Otter
Photo of Sea Otter Whale taken by Naturalist Emma with a zoomed lens and heavily cropped.

AFTERNOON TOURS

The sun was shinning, and with a full boat, we headed out into the Straight of Juan de Fuca full of adventuring spirit. The crew was keen to catch up with some of the wildlife that we spotted on the morning tour and rumor had it some of the larger marine mammals had been travelling east when last spotted. We decided to act on that information and cruised along the Victoria coastline.

Captain Log Transient Orca Whales
Photo of Transient Orca Whales taken by Captain Yves with a zoomed lens and heavily cropped.

In the channel between Discovery and Chatham Islands we spotted some harbor seals on a low shallow rock and splashing around in the water. Rhinoceros Auklets were diving under the surface for food, one was particularly successful with two fish lolling out of its beak. Large flocks of seagulls were also gliding across the water when all of a sudden a large group of cormorants made a break for it.

Captain Log Seals
Photo of Seals taken by Captain Yves with a zoomed lens and heavily cropped.

Soon after, a very large, black dorsal fin cut through the water soon followed by some smaller curved black fins. The females and sub-adults had joined the big bull; perhaps they were searching for lunch. It was breathtaking to see this other family group framed by the two islands and Mt. Baker gleaming in the distance. Everyone on the boat was silent taking in the scene and listening to the impressive marine mammals exhale on the surface. Adding two more family groups of Transient Killer whales to the daily count certainly made Friday a whale of a day!

Captain Log Transient Orca Whales
Photo of Transient Orca Whales taken by Captain Yves with a zoomed lens and heavily cropped.

We hope you had a great day and book a tour with us soon.

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