Friday, June 30, 2006

Sea Otter / Mark Malleson

sea otter
Originally uploaded by itsablast.

This sea otter was seen on the evening trip near Oak Bay.
This is the second consecutive day sighting a sea otter. It is most likely the same animal. Bachelor males have been spotted only on a few occasions in the Puget Sound and Georgia Strait Basin as they were hunted to near extinction for their pelts during the fur trade.

photograph by Mark Malleson


K & L pods


K and L pods at Lime Kiln Park San Juan Island, USA. Jpod was not with us at this time however all 3 pods were sighted together later in the day.

The animals in this group were very communicative to one another with lots of tail slaps. Large groups traveled north and very closely together. Belly rolls, spyhops, breaches and some affectionate behavior between two orcas (see top image). Another group appeared with Mega L41 heading south bound, passing another large group heading north. There were whales EVERYWHERE! No matter where you looked, you could see dorsals and dorsals all around.

Please read the post below for more details.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

K & L pods

Mt. Baker
Mt. Baker
K & L pods
K & L pods
Flash / L73
Flash / L73
Hugo / L71
Hugo / L71
Passenger and puppy
Pow Passerger

An amazing day on the water with K and L pods. The whales were quite active with lots of percussive behaviour, aerial scans, and a synchronized spyhop by two individuals! Flash / L73 and was identified as well as Hugo / L71.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

J's & L57


Today turned out to be a gorgeous day on the water. Jpod spent most of the day around San Juan Island area traveling, milling, feeding and socializing in small family groups. This morning most of the group was traveling along the San Juan Island shorline. We found that L57 Faith was mixed into the group as in previous days.

This afternoon the same group was traveling northbound along the San Juan Island shoreline. Much of the group moved north when Ruffles J1 turned south by himself. We paralelled along side of him to find out what he was up to. Sure enough a small group of orcas emerged along with L57, they were far behind and none of us knew they were there except for J1 Ruffles. Check out the last image above of both J1 and L57 traveling together. It was almost as if he was sent back to collect those dragging way behind the rest of the group. From there they traveled northbound as the rest were well on their way and now out of sight.

This evenings trip hosted a variety of behaviors, hunting behavior, spy hops, tail lobs and some belly rolls infront of a group of kayaks. A few breaches went off in the distance, but sorry I was not able to catch those. Another beautiful journey on the Ocean Magic.


The trip was truly amazing! We had such a great time and saw two or three resident pods of whales. We stayed with them for at least an hour in each direction. Thank you for setting that up for me, I would not hesitate to recommend such a fantastic trip. Kathy - Tourism Whistler


We had such a wonderful time and will definitely recommend this tour to anyone in the future – in fact I have already sold my mother on taking a tour sometime soon! Kudos to your team as well for doing an amazing job. Their expertise and enthusiasm for what they do was great! Lynnette - Tourism Whistler

I would like to take this opportunity in thanking you for giving me the chance to have one of the most delightful experience in my life. The staff both here in Vanc. and Victoria where well informed, helpful, prompt and curiously.
Yasmine - Best Western Downtown

Wow! That’s all I can say. It was amazing, the weather, the guides (extremely amazing) and of course the WHALES (so many)!!! We got an extra treat at the end, a bald eagle swooped down and scooped a fish. It was perfect!
Reggie - Outdoor Adventures Marketing, Whistler

ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC!!! I had a great day with Tyler & Nicola. Mike - Tourism Whistler

Our trip with Prince of Whales was fantastic, more than we expected. The vessel is most impressive and Brandon, Jill, and Tyler were all very kind, professional, and fun. We were fortunate to see whales to and from Victoria. Things ran very "smoothly" and I couldn't think of a single thing to mention in the bad column. I have only nice things to say about you, yours, your tours, and boats. Thank you very much for the experience and life long memory I have with my girlfriend. Jay - Sandman suites

Monday, June 26, 2006

Sunny Skies & Clam Seas

J & L pods
Captain Mike
J & L pods
Chantelle / Orcagirl

Today was another gorgeous day on Prince of Whales’ Ocean Magic II. We met up with J and L pods off Henry Island under sunny skies and calm seas. They were traveling slow and grouped up in a resting formation. As they crossed over toward Stuart Island they picked up speed and started to show spy hop, tail-lob, and pectoral slapping behaviours.

Friday, June 23, 2006

J & L pods

J & L pods by Chantelle Tucker


Photos by Ocean Magic captain Brad Armstrong. Edited by Chantelle Tucker

Photo of L57 / Faith by Rachael Griffin

Today was probably the best day of summer so far! Flat calm, warm, blue skies, no cloud in sight. J and L pods were traveling north along San Juan Island USA. We got two very good looks at L pod as they past north of Lime Kiln Park. Family groups including a breaching calf traveled past tail lobbing along the way. Caught an excellent glimpse of L57 / Faith as well. Saw a few of the sprouters passing closer to the shoreline. It's always interesting trying to figure out who everyone is!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

J, K, L pods / Chantelle Tucker


Today we traveled into Boundary pass where a large group of southern residents (J's, K's and some L's) were making their way into the Georgia Strait. Small and tight groupings of killer whales traveled very close to the shoreline giving many lookers on Pender Island the view of a lifetime. The various groups of whales made their way while giving us the odd tail slap and even a breach! It was beautiful today. On our way home we enjoyed a scenic cruise past Sidney Island and through the Haro strait. We stopped off at Trial Island (Juan de Fuca Strait) to take a look at the several harbour seals who were basking in the warm sun before returning to beautiful Victoria.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

K pod & humpbacks / Chantelle Tucker


Today we traveled to Lime Kiln park located on San Juan Island USA. Along the way we saw several harbour porpoise milling (in the Juan de Fuca). We also were treated to some rather epic passes of some huge cargo ships. The mixture of (but not all of) southern residents pods were traveling northbound and fairly close to shore. The animals focused on traveling however we managed to spot two calves, one extremely young and still orange, playing with a slightly older calf. By looking at the review screen on the camera, I could see that they were eating salmon and even had one drapped over it's head while spy hopping! Some playful tail slaps from the tiny calf along with a pec fin. There were a few breaches today as well not to mention one right infront of a group of lucky kayakers!. Passengers got a lovely view of adult k pod male Cappucino / K21. We left the group who continued northbound of Battleship Island and crossed Haro Strait to find a humpback whale milling close to Discovery Island Oak Bay. We watched the animal surface about 4 times before heading off into the sunset. Who could ask for anything more? Today is the summer solstice!