Saturday, October 24, 2009
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 =)
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Today's trip was very interesting! We headed out in a typical overcast day to find a very large school of harbour porpoises milling in the Strait of Juan de Fuca. This was exciting for me as I had not seen any all year, and especially for Captain Anna Hall who is studying these little cetaceans. See video above for that. Not far from this large school were 2 humpbacks. When we first arrived, we found what we thought was "Heather" (will provide the number soon) with "Bart" traveling rather quickly. Heather was logging while traveling, so she swam quite a distance not fluking or diving but keeping her dorsal fin exposed the whole time. They were joined by a curious sealion who also checked us out (see photos). When the animals were together there was lots of activity; head stands, fluking, pec slapping, rolling, etc. At one point the animals past our stern and breached 2 times! The first one is "Bart" the second one I think could be "Heather". At one point we witnessed Bart swimming backwards when playing with the sealion! After an incredible viewing of the humpbacks, we checked out our favorite ecological reserve; Race Rocks. Many of the pinnipeds were hauled out on the rocks. The growling Stellars and the barking Californians. Today's trip left a perma grin on everyone's faces!
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Monday, October 19, 2009
With Capt. Tyler in the wheel-house and Biologist Mika on board the 12.15 'Ocean Magic'
we were sure to find some of those black and white marine mammals that hadn't been seen lately. It was flat calm on the water today, warm with some sunshine so finding wildlife should be easy if around. Sure enough, two Orca surfaced south of Victoria, near Constance Bank. These two apex predators, Transient Killer whales were identified as T 87, a male and T 88 a female travelling together. They were probably mother and son. It was learned that they had already made a kill before we encountered them, so we watched them as they zig-zagged around taking long dives. There were groups of sea lions swimming around which is one of the Transient Orca's main food source, but these two whales, didn't appear to be chasing them. During our trip we saw a huge bait-ball where hundreds of gulls congregated. California and Heermann's gulls were two species identified. A visit to Race Rocks gave us good looks at California and Steller Sea Lions as they jockeyed for position on favourite rocks. An interesting small craft caught our eye near this location with its bright yellow paint , solar panels and small wind turbines set aloft. Was this someones answer to going 'Green?' Conditions were perfect for our guests to enjoy a most informative wildlife trip once again.
The following was captured by Orca Girl;
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Friday, October 16, 2009