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Morning Tour

It was a beautiful, flat-calm morning out on the water and within 10 minutes of leaving Victoria Harbour we had spotted our first whale: a Humpback! It was carrying out shallow yet frequent dives, lazily flicking its tail out the water as it went. After watching this individual, we continued South only to come across two Humpback whales moving in unison. The Humpback whale is mostly solitary in the summer, feeding months so it is always a treat to see more than one together.

Humpback Whale
Humpback Whale. Photo by Captain Yves. Image taken with zoom lens and heavily cropped.

Even more of a treat was picking up yet another pair towards the Washington State coastline. Close up viewings of 5 Humpback whales was certainly a beautiful way to spend a Tuesday morning. We rounded off our trip seeing yet more residents of the Salish Sea at Race Rocks Ecological Reserve.

Steller Sea Lions
Male Steller Sea Lions practicing their fighting. They will fight for access to females. Photo by Captain Yves, image taken with zoom lens and heavily cropped.

Harbour seals and Sea Lions were visible both in the water and on the rocks. We watched as one extremely large Steller Sea Lion waddled its way into the water looking very much like its bear ancestor. California Sea lions also barked for attention, while a pair of bald eagles sat poised on top of a rock. A peaceful morning out on the water giving a perfect snapshot of the abundance of wildlife the Pacific Northwest has to offer.

Bald Eagles
A profile view of two Bald Eagles. Photo by Captain Yves, image taken with zoom lens and heavily cropped

Afternoon Tour

The afternoon tours did not disappoint. We headed out southward in search of the Humpback Whales from the morning. Our search brought us past Race Rocks Ecological Reserve and so we decided to go in for a quick look. There we found an abundance of Seals and Sea lions.

Sea Lion eating a salmon
A Sea Lion catches a fish for lunch! Photo by Naturalist Gord. Image taken with zoom lens and heavily cropped

We carried on our southbound search and were able to find some Humpback Whales. The whales were graceful as ever, diving and swimming along.

Humpback Whale
Humpback Whale diving. Photo by Naturalist Emma. Image taken with zoom lens and heavily cropped.

After spending some time with a few different Humpback Whales we ventured back towards Victoria where we encountered another whale species. The whales were black and white, tall dark dorsal fins breaking the waters surface. The whales were the T101 family of Transient Killer Whales.

Biggs' Orcas
Bigg’s (Transient) Killer Whales, Mother and son. Photo by Naturalist Stefania. Image taken with zoom lens and heavily cropped.

The Killer Whales were travelling as a group. When they disappeared for a bit we thought our encounter may be done. But then a group of seagulls resting on the surface suddenly took flight. The water bulged up as a pair of the whales shot up to the surface! Once the birds had cleared, the whales celebrated with a spyhop. How exciting! Perhaps the two male whales were having a bit of fun scaring the birds. Overall a great time out on the water.

Orca Spyhop
Bigg’s (Transient) Killer Whales celebrating after spooking a group of sea gulls. Photo by Naturalist Stefania. Image taken with zoom lens and heavily cropped.

For more photos from today check out our Facebook photo album.

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