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Morning

Once we had exited Victoria Harbour it didn’t take us long until our first stop. We came across three Humpback whales a little North and East of Race Rocks Ecological Reserve. Two were adults and one was a very rambunctious calf! The little one was very curious in the boat and despite the adults best attempts to keep it in line, the young Humpback whale swam right up to the boat.

mom and calf
Mom and calf Humpback Whales swimming together. Photo by Captain Yves. Image taken with zoom lens and heavily cropped.

The two large Humpbacks, one of them momma, let the baby have some time to explore and play. It lolled on its back showing its white underside, clumsily slapped its tail around and popped its head out of the water to have a good look at its surroundings. It was a very special and heart warming moment indeed. The two adult Humpbacks were of course never too far away keeping an eye on the vibrant youth. Once playtime was over the adults rounded up the calf and all three went for their deep dives together. The mother was identified as “Zephyr”, who herself was only a calf in 2011. Humpback whales become sexually mature around 7 years old so most likely this is Zephyr’s first calf and a friends or relative was hanging around with the new mum and baby for support. Not to encourage the baby, we too left and headed over to the Ecological Reserve.

Sea lions
A california Sea Lion (right) and Steller Sea Lion (left) on the rocks, looking a lot like their land based cousin, the bear. Photo by Captain Yves. Image taken with zoom lens and heavily cropped.

California Sea Lions and Steller Sea Lions were seen relaxing on the dock of Greater Race Island and the Harbour seals were seen poking their heads out of the water. Harry the Sea otter was even present, tucked into the Bull Kelp having a nap. A morning with wildlife in abundance!

Afternoon

Humpback Waterfall
A waterfall off the tail of a Humpback Whale. Photo by Captain Yves. Image taken with zoom lens and heavily cropped.

Again, not far out of Victoria harbour, we came across Humpback whale Zephyr and her calf. The other adult whale was no longer with them and we were witness to some quality mum and baby time. The baby was still lively and even headed up playing with some kelp as mum travelled ahead. Eventually Zephyr rounded up her vivacious young and the two continued on. We stopped by with the Seals and Sea Lions of Race Rocks and arrived to a California Sea Lion thrashing a fish on the surface of the water and a large gathering of gulls on the surface, a bait ball had most likely accumulated just under the surface.

Harbour Seals
Harbour Seals. Photo by Captain Yves. Image taken with zoom lens and heavily cropped.

Steller Sea lions perched on the land like the kings of the rock while the smaller Harbour Seals rested nearer the water, like loyal servants. A pleasure to see Zephyr and her calf twice in the same day and view yet more marine mammals at Race Rocks Ecological Reserve.

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