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Sunday morning came and the crew were prepped and ready for another great day in the sunshine and on the water! Out the harbour the Marauder IV went, travelling south at a steady rate. Our first stop of the day came at Race Rocks. A beautiful time of day to watch the pinnipeds lolling around on the rocks: Harbour Seals, Steller & California Sea Lions and to top it off a Northern Elephant Sea had positioned itself between two sheds on the island. Just as we were exiting the marine reserve we spotted a Bald Eagle to round things off.

Northern Elephant Seal
A Northern Elephant Seal seeking some shade. Photo by Captain Yves. Image taken with zoom lens and heavily cropped.

Continuing our adventure South and East we spotted some more marine mammals in the form of harbour porpoise. Once we saw a couple of them, they just kept on coming! One after the other, heading West in a hasty fashion. The reason soon become clear; the distinctive black fins of Transient Killer whales were visible on the horizon and indeed once we got closer we saw a family pod in hunt mode. All of a sudden a red hue pooled at the surface and we knew for one of the Harbour porpoise it was their unlucky day. It was fascinating to watch the apex predator of the ocean in its element. We were even treated to a celebratory tail lob by a juvenile in the group, obviously very proud of its contribution to the family meal, a sunday brunch.

Harbour Porpoise
Harbour Porpoise, lucky to have escaped the jaws of the Transient Killer Whales today. Photo by Captain Yves. Image taken with zoom lens and heavily cropped.

We pulled ourselves away from the Transient Killer Whales only to find not one but two Humpback whales. Watching them surface a couple of times, showing their tails was a beautiful sight. While heading for home we all reflected on what a truly special morning it had been.

Humpback Whale
Humpback Whale’s Dorsal Fin. Photo by Captain Yves. Image taken with zoom lens and heavily cropped.


We set sail with crystal clear blue skies, hoping for as good of an afternoon as we had in the morning. As we came out of Victoria Harbour, we immediately turned left and made our way east. We passed San Juan Island and continued on with our eyes peeled for any wildlife we could find.

Transient Killer Whales
Transient Killer Whales. Photo by Captain Yves. Image taken with zoom lens and heavily cropped.

We had great luck and came across a pod of Transient Orcas. These marine mammal eating animals were swimming along in a fairly dispersed group with some individuals sticking close together while others swam off by themselves. A large male was seen with its tall 2 m high dorsal fin cutting through the water. We sailed back to Victoria with smiles on our faces, enjoying the beautiful sights of the Olympic Mountains to our left and the islands of the Salish Sea to our right. Between the amazing sights in the morning and the afternoon we had a full and fantastic day!

Check out our Facebook album for more photos from today’s tours.

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