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It was an authentic West Coast day. The mist added an element of mystery and ambiance for our afternoon tour. We set out to the South and East in search of wildlife. Our search took us into American Waters just off San Juan Island. There we found a group of Transient Killer Whales. These were the T49As. The T49As are a group of mostly females and young whales.

Transient Killer Whales
Bigg’s (Transient) Killer Whales. Image taken by Naturalist Emma with a zoom lens and heavily cropped.

There is one adult male belonging to the T49As but he wasn’t with the group. He was probably taking some alone time as some males occasionally do. Male transient killer whales generally travel with their mothers for their entire lives however they will break off from the group for brief periods of time. We followed the Killer Whales northward and got a good look at them. Henry Island made a fantastic backdrop covered in a foggy mist. The majestic whales and the misty trees made for some beautiful Pacific Northwest views.

We left the whales and continued our search back towards Victoria, warm & cozy inside, drinking hot chocolate.


We headed out again in the evening and this time we went West. We went in the direction of Race Rocks looking for Humpback Whales. Humpbacks have been in the area over the past few weeks and we were hopeful we could spot some. We took a look at the Sea Lions at Race Rocks and continued our search. Before long we spotted a few blows up ahead. Then we noticed more and more blows all around and splashes to. We were surrounded by nearly 15 humpback whales. The splashes were from breaches; the whales were jumping repeatedly. It was extremely amazing to see so many humpbacks showing off their acrobatic talents. A single breach is pretty rare in this region of the world so to see so many was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, even for the crew!

Humpback Flipper
Humpback front Flipper, the whales were very energetic and acrobatic tonight, Photo by Naturalist Stefania. Image taken with zoom lens and heavily cropped.

The most exciting breach happened just a few hundred meters off the back of the boat. We were stunned. We reveled in the show of the Humpback Whales but eventually it was time to head back. We made another stop at Race Rocks and took a closer look at the seals and sea lions before returning to the Victoria Harbour under a stunning sunset.

Sunset Tour
It was a beautiful sunset on the Salish Sea. Photo by Naturalist Stefania.

What a great day on the water. Check out our Facebook page for more photos from today’s tour!

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