Whales and Majestic Views

Captain Marty and his passengers set out on the beautiful day in search of whales.

Whales in front of Olympic Mountains
Whales in front of Olympic Mountains, Photo by Captain Marty

The Olympic Mountains to the South of Victoria appear to rise up against the dark blue water making a breathtaking backdrop for wildlife viewing.

Bigg's Killer Whale
Bigg’s Killer Whale, Photo by Captain Marty, image taken with zoom lens and heavily cropped.

As we ventured out along the Victoria Waterfront we encountered a group of Bigg’s (Transient) Killer Whales. We see this type of Killer Whale in our waters regularly. Bigg’s Killer Whales are marine mammal eaters. They will hunt and eat seals, sea lions, porpoises and even small whales like Gray Whale calves.

Cormorants and Sea Lion on Buoy
Cormorants and a Sea Lion rest on a navigational buoy. Photo by Captain Marty, taken with zoom lens and heavily cropped.

As we explored the Strait of Juan de Fuca we found some cormorants and a sea lion, resting on a navigational buoy. Cormorants are a foot propelled diving bird. Unlike most birds which have water repellent feathers, cormorants have water absorbent feathers. The feathers soak up water to make the bird more dense allowing it to dive deeper. Cormorants can dive up to 150 feet (46 meters)!

Harbour Seals
Harbour Seals at Race Rocks Ecological Reserve. Photo by Captain Marty, taken with zoom lens and heavily cropped.

We then headed to Race Rocks Ecological Reserve. Along the rocks at the waters edge we spotted some Harbour Seals, another prey species for the Bigg’s Killer Whales.

Race Rocks
The Lighthouse at Race Rocks Ecological Reserve. Photo by Captain Marty, taken with zoom lens and heavily cropped.

Harbour seals are not very mobile on land, they cannot use their fins to walk on land the way a sea lion can. Harbour Seals are therefore restricted to the rocks nearest the waters edge.

Sea Lions
Sea Lions at Race Rocks Ecological Reserve. Photo by Captain Marty, taken with zoom lens and heavily cropped.

Sea Lions are a close cousin of the Harbour Seal but they are able to rotate their hind flippers. Sea Lions can therefore move quite quickly on land and are able to climb up rocks and onto buoys to rest and avoid marine predators.

We are consistently wowed by the wildlife we have access to. Victoria is a great location from which to check out Canada’s majestic marine wilderness. We truly enjoy sharing amazing encounters with our passengers. Book now to reserve your seats for a whale watching tour with us!

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