Blackberry (J27) Breaching in the Salish Sea

July 16, 2016 – Today was another fantastic day for Whale Watching in Victoria, with plenty of sightings and sunny skies!  This morning our Covered Ocean Cruiser, Marauder IV, left Victoria’s Inner Harbour alongside two of our High-Speed Zodiac Vessels.  Our boats made their way toward False Bay on San Juan Island where they immediately found some members of J Pod, one of the 3 pods of Southern Resident Killer Whales in the area.  They came on scene with two females who were hunting a mile offshore, and watched them make a few catches. They then made their way closer to shore to find a female and juvenile male getting frisky! The female did some very entertaining side lunges (sort of like a breach, but sillier-looking) which delighted all the guests on board. We headed south from False Bay and encountered a large group of ten or so whales travelling together, including J26 (Mike), his siblings, and their calves. A few of the little ones were having a grand time breaching and tail slapping, but unfortunately it was time to head home. On the way back to Victoria, Marauder IV stopped by Discovery Island and grabbed a piece of bull kelp to show and tell (and snack) about this cool seaweed that provides oxygen and much more for our ecosystem.

The fun continued int the afternoon as two more of our Zodiacs made their way out of the Harbour back onto the beautiful Salish Sea.  The Zodiacs headed towards San Juan Island.  Skipper Ian onboard FasTide made his way to the southwest side of San Juan, where they found members of both J and L Pods!  What a treat.  From there, Ian and his passengers headed further offshore in search of Humpbacks.  They came across a group of six Humpback Whales and watched the gigantic mammals making their way through the seas.  The other Zodiac group, on board RipTide with Skipper Marty, made their way to Eagle Point on San Juan Island where they spotted a mother Killer Whale and very young calf.  RipTide spent a good 25 minutes watching the pair before making a bit of a move to a find Blackberry (J27) (read more about Blackberry J27 here!), who was happily feeding along a tideline.  The Zodiac hung around with Blackberry for the next three quarters of an hour as he fed and showed a keen interest in our boat.  On their way back, both Zodiac tours got to see some other great wildlife such as seals at Trail Island and Harbour Porpoise!

Again, an awesome day for us out on the water.

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