September 20, 2016 – It was a beautiful morning as Marauder IV left Victoria and headed east in search of whales. We passed both Trial and Discovery Island, catching a group of Harbor porpoises on the way. We continued our cruise toward the south of San Juan Island, in the USA. There, we found the L Pod of the southern resident killer whales. These killer whales feed mostly on Chinook salmon, the biggest species of salmon in the area. There was a big male, a few females, and a little baby. The killer whales were looking for food. We enjoyed them for about half an hour then we started heading home. Midway, we stopped at Chain Island to look at the very cute Harbor Seals, smallest species of seals on Earth, and we pulled some Bull Kelp on board to explain to look more closely at this species of fast-growing brown algae.
In the afternoon the Marauder IV left the harbour and then again we headed east with the idea of finding L Pod again. And yes we found them really close to San Juan Island. We recognised one of our favourite families: the L11’s. A big male, Mega, and his two sisters, Matia and Calypso, as well as Matia’s and Calypso’s offspring: Cousteau, Joy, and 1-year-old Windsong. The killer whales were hunting, so we observed a lot of action. What a fantastic time we had with them. We were lucky to see a few other individuals of the L Pod. Then, we started heading home but first, we stopped at Trial Island and its very beautiful lighthouse, one of the last manned lighthouse of Canada. We also pulled some Bull Kelp on board to explain to the passenger how important this species of kelp is for the Salish Sea and all the animals that live here. Most passengers even ate a piece of this very nutritious algae.