The morning started out beautifully. We had a full fleet out including open high speed Zodiacs, and Marauder IV and SpringTide I covered vessels. On SpringTide I we departed the Victoria Harbour and headed South West towards Race Rocks. The seas were glassy and flat. Reflections of the blue and white sky and clouds made the water a bright colour. Light coloured water can make it easier to spot a the dark back of a whale so we were hopeful we would find something.
As we neared Becher Bay we saw some dark dorsal fins. It was the T109As. These Transient (Bigg’s) Killer Whales have been in the area for a few days now. It is neat as a marine biologist to observe their behaviour over multiple days. They were moving quickly, with purpose, perhaps hunting or searching for a meal. We even spotted as few harbour seals on the rocks, trying very hard to blend in. These were smart seals to stay out of the water as the Transient Killer Whales eat Harbour Seals.
After we watched the T109As for a bit, we left the family of whales and carried on our search. We headed through Race Rocks and then ventured south. We had seen a blow in the distance on our way out and wanted to see if there was a Humpback Whale still there. As we ventured out we found a Humpback Whale going down for a dive. While we waited for the Humpback to resurface for another breathe we saw three more whales in the distance. The calm ocean conditions made the viewing easy and even from afar we could see the whales lift their graceful tails as they dove. We had another visit from our nearby Humpback Whale before it was time to venture back to Victoria. What an amazing morning.
After travelling south-east, mirroring the Metchosin coastline we came across the Transient Killer Whale family pod T109As in Pedder Bay. Historically this bay was used for the live capture of Orca so it was poignant to be able to watch this family of Killer whales carrying out their natural behaviours free from constraints. They were particularly boisterous this afternoon treating us to spy hops, tails slaps and full breaches!
There was a good chance the Pedder Bay ecosystem was supplying them with lots of nutrients to cause such behaviour. We said goodbye to the family of Transient Killer whales and moved south to find two Humpback whales! Always great to see two species of whale on a trip, we hung around the graceful animals and watched them both fluke their tails before going for a deep dive. Our tour was rounded off with a trip to Race Rocks Ecological Reserve where the Pinnipeds were the stars of the show and Harry the Sea Otter lazed around in the Bull Kelp. In addition, we had a surprise appearance from a Peregrine Falcon just to remind you that everyday is different and you never know what you may find!
What a great day on the water. Check out our Facebook page for more photos from today’s tour!