September 22, 2016 – This morning, Marauder IV left Victoria and headed south as we heard a humpback whale was spotted close to the Inner Harbor. It didn’t take long before we found it, a young individual swimming around and regularly diving to get some food. Humpback whales generally feed on small schooling fish or krill. In the Salish Sea, they very often feed on herrings as we have a lot of those around. We stayed with it for a few minutes then we continued our cruise toward the south of San Juan Island, in the USA. We found a family of the L Pod of the southern resident killer whale population. It was family L54 that we often see in the zone. They are generally feeding on Chinook salmon, the biggest species of salmon in the area. We enjoyed them for about 20 minutes then we started heading home. Just before we arrived in Victoria, we found the same humpback whale we saw earlier today. She showed her beautiful tail, pointing it up before diving. Fantastic!
In the afternoon we left the harbour and again headed east with the idea of finding some of the resident killer whales we saw in the morning. We found L54 in the same area. We enjoyed their company for a while then headed north along San Juan Island to see if we could spot the rest of L Pod. We found another family of five individuals hunting salmon along the coast. We followed them as they were going down the island toward the L54 family. It is always a pleasure to observe the families of this much-endangered population of orcas. Sadly, there are only 82 individuals left of the Southern Resident killer whales. It was then time to return to Victoria for a well-deserved dinner.