Friday, November 13, 2009

Zodiac Wildlife Adventure Nov 12 1pm

The weather has changed on the west coast this time of year. It is November and fall is well underway with more rain and cloud, however the wildlife is plentiful. Even if the Resident Orca are roaming further a field in search of Salmon and seen less, there are other marine mammals around. There is much more sea-bird life too on the waters these days with Common Murres , Ancient Murrelets and Bonaparte's Gulls moving in. Our 1pm Zodiac wildlife trip was a most informative one with Skipper Shaun at the wheel and guests from England, Holland, Vancouver and Alberta. We headed west from the harbour along the picturesque and rugged Vancouver Island shoreline under sunny skies. Here we saw two Bald Eagles, different colour morphs of harbour seals sunning themselves on rocks. Skipper Shaun explained to the guests the importance of the abundance of life in these waters with some 'show and tell' and hands on items, sea stars and bull kelp. A quick trip to Race Rocks Ecological Reserve gave us looks at the barking and growling Sea Lions occupying the rocks. We returned to Victoria harbour with the sun slipping behind the clouds that were building on the western horizon . It was another great Wildlife trip with ' Prince of Whales '.
Marie, Orca-Magic, photographer.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Ocean Magic Wildlife Adventure Oct 31

Our last ' Ocean Magic 2 ' wildlife adventure for this season 2009, headed out into the Strait of Juan de Fuca under heavy grey skies. It looked like we would be heading into some rain as we traveled west. There was a bit of a chop on the water as we searched for wildlife, but the skies soon cleared as our experienced Capt. Anna and naturalist on board, Derrek, took the Ocean Magic along the rugged and beautiful west coast of Vancouver Island. Much wildlife frequents these picturesque coastal shores. It wasn't long before we saw a Bald Eagle, two swimming California sea lions, many sea birds and groups of migrating Bonaparte's Gulls. Several ' bait-balls ' with many local gulls foraging were also seen, indicating the abundance of fish in these waters. A visit to Race Rocks Ecological Reserve, gave us great looks at posturing and noisy Steller and California Sea Lions. On our return to Victoria we encountered some playful Dall's Porpoise that rode the bow- wake of the Ocean Magic. The porpoise stayed with us for 10 mins while our guests observed the amazing speed of these active cetaceans.They can zig-zag around at speeds of 55 km/h. These mammals are one of the fastest cetaceans in the ocean. Although we found no whales this trip we saw plenty of wildlife. With warm sunshine and relatively calm water toward the end of our trip we disembarked from the Ocean Magic with big smiles on our face. It was another exciting wildlife trip with 'Prince of Whales'.
Marie,Orca-Magic, Clint ,Orcawizard. Photographers for POW.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Ocean Magic Adventure; Sealions & humpbacks

Todays weather was an amazing opposite of yesterday. Sunny, and once in the sun, warm. We immediately headed out into the Juan de Fuca Strait in search of our humpback whales friends. We did a large sweep but didn't find anyone. We ventured out to William Head, Race Rocks and Constance Bank but no one was home! On route some stellar sealions were wake riding our boat, that was a first for many of us, quite beautiful. Passengers also got a glimpse of some Dalls porpoise who rode along side of us. Stay tuned for photos from Marie and Clint. After passing Race Rocks ecological reserve where many pinnipeds were located, we got word of humpbacks east. We were close to the end of our trip however we made a quick turn around. We found one humpback, unknown name but thought to be either BCX1057 or BCX0870. The individual was kelping when arrived, then passed our boat very close giving passengers a thrilling encounter. The trip ended with a picture perfect tail fluke on route to a long dive.

We held our breath through the trip, holding out hope for our humpback whale friends to appear and they did. We are so grateful for them and love the fact they return year after year to feed and socialize in our back yard =)