It was a great day for both Zodiac tours today! The 9:30am group encountered a single Gray whale, off the shores of Sooke. Gray whales are a rare sight during off-season, but currently the are starting to migrate from the warmer southern waters to the frigid Arctic waters to feed. It was an exciting, unique and very special sighting for the morning group! Awe-inspiring and thankful were the descriptions used by guests thereafter! The tour also visited Race Rocks where sea lions were seen basking on the lower and upper volcanic rocks but, as usual, the youngsters drove into the water as the Zodiac approached and then popped their heads out of the water for above water visuals. The younger seals are often more nervous than the knowledgeable adults that know the boats are not a threat and merely move on soon enough, without interrupting their basking.
The Afternoon group were just as lucky, with “glassy-like” waters because the wind was so calm, as they headed out. They were able to encounter a small pod of ~6 Transient killer whales with one big male. These marine mammal eating specialists were taking unusual 8 minute drives at a time. It is hard to say why? But they were probably hunting, and the glassy waters made it more difficult to attack at the surface, and therefore, they attacked from below. The pod stuck around and were very relaxed, as the Zodiac group sat silently and in awe of these whales. The group was thrilled to encounter Transient Killer Whales – once in a lifetime experience! – because they spend their entire lives constantly moving to hunt, with no real territory. A fantastic encounter indeed!!