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Celebrate World Whale Day with us on February 18th and save $5, plus receive a gift!

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The day started in the Pacific Northwest tradition; cool, rainy and grey. The fog hung over the still busy Victoria Harbour. That did not stop the keen passengers onboard the Marauder IV and our high speed zodiac, FasTide. They set out in the afternoon in search of some mammals. There were rumors that some Killer Whales had been spotted in the waters to the East, so that is where Captain Ian headed!

Transient Killer Whales
Transient Killer Whales, Photo by Naturalist Emma, Image taken with zoom lens and heavily cropped.

With other whale watching boats in the area, we were certain there were whales nearby. The sight of a few dorsal fins confirmed that we were on scene with some Bigg’s (Transient) Killer Whales. With a few photos taken, crew on board established that the passengers were seeing a hunt in action.

Transient Killer Whale Porpoising
Transient Killer Whale showing off its speed as it pursues its prey. Photo by Naturalist Emma, image taken with zoom lens and heavily cropped.

The whales appeared to be hunting a Harbour Porpoise. Harbour Porpoises are small marine mammals that we often see on calm days. Their six-inch dorsal fins and shy demeanor make them a difficult species to observe. They usually disappear beneath the surface as quickly as they appear.

Hunting Killer Whales
Transient Killer Whale hunting a Harbour Porpoise. Photo by Naturalist Emma, image taken with zoom lens and heavily cropped

The Killer Whales showed off their acrobatic skills, splashing and launching themselves out of the water in pursuit of the Harbour Porpoise. Bigg’s Killer Whales will use a stealth technique while hunting. Bigg’s Killer whales hunt marine mammals like porpoise, dolphins and seals which all have very good underwater hearing. To avoid detection the Killer Whales will stalk their prey silently underwater until they have made their first strike.

Biggs Killer Whales kill porpoise
The Bigg’s Killer Whales make a successful kill, marked by the pink colour of the water. Photo by Naturalist Emma, image taken with zoom lens and heavily cropped

As quickly as the activity began the water was soon coloured pink with blood. The Killer Whales had a successful hunt. After their meal we watched as the whales lay on their backs full and satisfied. What an amazing way to see nature in action!

Transient Fluke
After a meal one Bigg’s Killer Whale lifts its tail flukes out of the water in celebration. Photo by Naturalist Emma, image taken with zoom lens and heavily cropped.

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