Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Well folks, there comes a time when all good things must come to an end BUT with that comes new beginnings!. This is the end of this blog. But don't fret because something bigger and better is here! Click the banner up top to follow to our new blog. Thanks to everyone for putting all the wonderful effort into this - it's been awesome!
NOTE: This blog will stay online as it holds many archives for our passenger trips so not to worry, this blog will always be here!
Saturday, September 11, 2010
September seems to be a rather unsettled month so far with the weather however, the wildlife out on the water is consistent and abundant. With Gray, Minke, Humpback and Killer Whales seen fairly regularly, this is a great time to seek an adventure on the Ocean Magic vessel or in one of the Prince of Whales Zodiacs. Capt. Anna and her crew, Mika, Branden, and Dan headed the 12.15pm Ocean Magic, Sept.9th, south and east to seek out the fast moving Pacific White-sided Dolphins that had been reported. We were fortunate to find these rarities and delighted in their amazing speed as they followed in our stern wake. These charming and rarely seen dolphins in this area, stayed with us for many minutes. They eventually changed direction and followed a zodiac in the same area. Several Deep -Sea vessels were observed sharing the waters of the Strait of Juan de Fuca. We soon headed over to San Juan island, Washington, where we saw members of L Pod, L 55 and family. A chance sighting of a Gray Whale among the kelp off Discovery island and circling military helicopter, completed our fantastic adventure.
Thursday, September 09, 2010
Today's Ocean Magic 3:30 trip found us only minutes from the Victoria inner harbour. Turns out that members of L & K pod were on the move across the waterfront eastbound towards San Juan Island. At first they were very spread apart, but did group up and started traveling quickly speed porpoising out of the water, it was an awesome sight! Big males porpoising out of the water together is such a momentous encounter. The animals crossed Victoria and continued past Discovery Island. Some breaches were seen by 1 big male (see photos) as well as more awesome group porpoising including one little wee one who would pop out of the water on their own (see video).
While repositioning the vessel, we stopped to look at a Stellar sealion who was busy feeding on some fish, and would also fling the fish around and tease the seagulls. We then caught up for another look at the last group of traveling killer whales, there were many whales in the area. After having a wonderful time with the killer whales, we ventured south west into the strait in search of humpbacks! Low and behold we found my favorite humpback whale (known as Bart who has a split fin) who was probably with his mother together lounging about. It's amazing for me to see my favorite baleen cetacean and to know that he has returned again - this will be his 4th year in our area. Awesome trip!
Our Capt. Scott headed the 3.30pm, Ocean Magic this Sunday afternoon, east and north up Haro Strait to encounter members of the Southern resident Orca, that were heading south from Turn Point at Stuart Island. It had clouded over somewhat for the afternoon but the Orca were out there, spread far apart across the Strait as they foraged. J1 'Ruffles' 59yrs, and J 2, ' Granny ' 99 yrs, appeared to be the leaders of this group travelling south. We identified a female, J 8 , 'Spieden ' 77ys old from J Pod. Several mothers and their young calves were also seen. It was a slow leisurely pace, not only for the whales but also the Marine traffic. The whale research boat, with its yellow flag was out there too, checking on identities of the foraging whales. Our crew members, Casey, Rhonda and Dan, shared their experiences with the guests. It was a lovely encounter with these mysterious and charismatic whales once again.
Tuesday, September 07, 2010
Our 12:15 Ocean Magic Wildlife Adventure set into calm seas and sunshine. Our Captain Scott headed us East to a report of Killer Whales. Our trip took us past Trial Island, past the Oak Bay waterfront and off to Saturna Islands Monarch Point. Here we caught up with Orca. These were members of J and L pods, resident killer whales. They were working their way west through boundary pass. We enjoyed viewing these magnificent mammals as they past by, the water was flat calm and the sun shinning. We could hear the whales as the came up for a breath, and watched them part the placid water. This was a great day on the water with Prince of Whales.
The 9am Ocean Magic Wildlife Adventure took us East to Hein Bank. Here Capt. Scott spotted Minke whales, not one, two or three but four, These fast moving baleen whales were feeding, working the shallow waters of Hein Bank. These are the second smallest baleen whale, measuring up to 35 ft., typically 23-24 feet long. It was great to see so many in such a small area as we gently drifted in the flat calm water. Our Skipper then took us South West of Victoria and put us on scene with a pair of Humpback Whales. These gentle giants appeared to be in a resting phase. Gently rising to the surface for a breath then gliding back under the clam water. Just another wonderful adventure with Prince of Whales.
The shortening days are beginning to arrive as we head into the late summer/Autumn season. However, there are still plenty of whales around most days and ample good light in the late afternoon for the Prince of Whales, zodiacs and Ocean Magic vessel to head out to seek the abundant wildlife to be found in these rich waters. Saturday Sept. 4th, the 3.30pm Ocean Magic headed east and then north up Haro Strait to seek out the Southern Resident Orca, mostly J Pod that were found near Turn Point. We encountered several members foraging for their favourite food, Chinook Salmon. We saw several large males, including J 26 , J 27, J 30 and L 84, who seems to enjoy travelling with J Pod more than L Pod. Females and their little calves were also seen much to the delight of our guests. Capt. Scott, and crew members, Mika, Rhonda, Brendan shared a wealth of marine knowledge with those on board. With bright sunshine and a light breeze we all got to enjoy the west coast scenery as we returned to the harbour.
Marie ,' Orca-Magic ' and Clint, ' Orcawizard '.
Marie ,' Orca-Magic ' and Clint, ' Orcawizard '.