The Ocean Magic Wildlife Adventures on July 31 were amazing, each a special treat on the marine wildlife that Vancouver Island holds. Capt. Tyler slipped the 9am Ocean Magic from her berth and headed us west in search of Orca. We passed Race Rocks Ecological Reserve and headed further west and ecountered all the pods of the souther resident Orca. J K and L pods were working their way south and we were treated to sights on these Killer Whales slowly making their way down Vancouver Islands rugged coatsline. The 12:15 Ocean Magic Wildlife Adventure took us off the Victoria waterfront and we caught up with the "Super Pod". The whales were traveling easterly towards San Juan Island. It was just amazing to see so many whales grouped toghether as they made their way past. Our on board naturalists Rhonda and Arleigh filled the passengers with a great amount of Orca information and answered all the questions. Another perfect whale watching trip was had by all with Prince Of Whales!
The pure 'MAGIC' of the Southern Resident population of Orca, otherwise known as Killer Whales, is best viewed from the Prince of Whales vessels that leave the harbour hourly most days. These are some of the best trips of summer so far with warm temperatures and lots of active whales out there. The 3.30pm Ocean Magic, July 31st with Capt. Tyler, and crew members Mika, Lachelle, and Marnie took our guests toward San Juan Island where the 'Superpod', all three pods, J, K, and L were foraging for Salmon together. We had seen all these whales on two earlier trips, coming in from the west in a 'resting' formation. The late afternoon trip was able to spend time watching some great behaviours now that the Orca were much more active on the west side of San Juan Island. We saw breaching, porpoising and tail slapping as some of the family groups headed north. It was awesome to see so many Orca on this trip. Our guests were thrilled with their west coast adventure, basking in sunshine and calm conditions. Totally magical !
Clint "Orcawizard" Marie "Orca-Magic"
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Unlike yesterdays completely flat calm seas today was adventurous and dramatic on the water! We caught up with members of various pods making their way southbound along the San Juan Island shoreline spread far out into Haro Strait. Various breaches were observed as well as foraging behavior (see video). Also out was the NOAA research pooper snooper dog team (see image above).
Today's highlight came on our way back to Victoria when L12's arrived in the most energetic way, porpoising out of the water, breaching, hydroplaning under the wave crests and right next to the boat which was an incredible view for all the passengers. The animals clearly knew of our presence and yet was just feet from us, I was not prepared with a camera at this point we were in 6 foot seas, and somethings after all are for "your eyes only"... That will be in my memory for sometime to come.... What trip! On a side note, friend Maureen Gordon of Maple Leaf Adventures was on board today, having a blast as we rode home in the huge gale force swells... Thanks to Captain Kirt for such amazing navigation of those seas today, Makes you feel ALIVE!!!!!
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Is it me, or is there a lot of "belly floppin" going on these days? On the 3:30 Ocean Magic Adventure, we (Captain Anna and our awesome all girl crew with passengers) found ourselves in flat calm seas... It was so quiet we could hear the echo of the orca's breath across the water, and unforgettable sound. We began around Henry Island as L pod was heading southbound. They were very spread apart mainly traveling but as you can see some belly flops along the way. The animals were seen heading south towards Lime Kiln park where as usual, an anxious fan crowd awaited them. Animals were spread right out into the middle of Haro Strait. It was a very ZEN like trip this evening. The big male seen in these images and video is L85 who was born in 1991 making him about 19 years of age...
Prince of Whales' Wildlife Adventures are heating up as is the fantastic weather here on the west coast. It is a scorcher out there, but that doesn't affect the whales. All appears normal in these cold waters of this area. Our all girl crew today, took the 12.15pm Ocean Magic, south into the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Capt. Anna caught up with two Transient Killer whales,T 20, a male and T 21, a female. Transients are the top predators of the ocean. They are the mammal eaters, taking seals, sea lions, even small whales and porpoise as items of prey. They do not eat fish. We watched as the whales surfaced and then disappeared for a few minutes. Although Harbour Seals, Porpoise and even a Minke calf were seen close to this area, the Transients continued travelling. It appeared that they were not hungry. The conditions on the water were perfect for our many international guests on board. Everyone enjoyed themselves. Who wouldn't in this weather!
Monday, July 27, 2009
'When you combine the 'hot' BC weather with calm waters, gorgeous west coast scenery, and lots of Killer Whales, you are going to have a Wildlife Adventure like no other. That is exactly what is happening in the waters just off the Victoria Harbour these days. Each day starts with a search for these illusive animals, the 'Orca'. Most days we come up lucky and we certainly did Monday afternoon when the 3.30pm Ocean Magic headed over to Lopez island, in the San Juans. Here we encountered two very playful K pod Orca , K 21 and K 40, male and a female. They entertained us for several minutes with playful behaviours. A few members of L pod were off in the distance, displaying activities of spyhopping, breaching, and tail lobbing. Everywhere our guests looked, something was happening. It was a wonderful experience in the late afternoon sunshine, made even more memorable by the shared knowledge of our experienced crew, Tyler, Mika and Marnie.
Marie , 'Orca-Magic'
Marie , 'Orca-Magic'