In keeping with the theme for the 2010 Vancouver Olympics ,''DO YOU BELIEVE", well we certainly do !! We struck Gold, Silver AND Bronze today on the 1pm wildlife trip. Our intrepid Skipper Mark, 'Mallard' just knew where to locate those illusive whales after a morning phone-tip! We headed east and then north up Haro Strait once out of the harbour. It was a picture perfect day. We encountered a large resting group of 'Orca ' off Prevost Island, in Swanson Channel. The lighting conditions were awesome. We could see each and every misty 'blow' of the whales. It was an ethereal experience. J Pod was there and a few members of K pod. These are the fish eating Resident, Killer Whales that are not often seen in the winter months. We watched in awe as they travelled slowly passed and out of reach on their way north. Our return trip added more excitement as we passed Island View Beach. Suddenly more misty, '' blows '' were seen by our keen eyed, and very knowledgeable Skipper. The big male, L 41, affectionately known as ' Mega ', was ID first so we knew we had some members of L Pod, traveling south. We hadn't seen these whales since the Fall. There was so much excitement on board. What a thrill of a lifetime for our international guests from Australia, Holland, South Africa and Victoria BC. This adventure was all about ''The Spirit of BC '', and WOW what a trip it was!
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Monday, February 22, 2010
With the increased daylight hours and more sunshine around, this combo makes for fantastic conditions to explore the variety of bird and marine life in these waters. Guests from all over the world continue to seek out a thrill in our 12 seater, yellow Zodiacs. Our very knowledgeable Skippers, 'Mark ' and "James" took visitors from Australia, Germany, Netherlands,Norway, USA and some local Canadians out to explore the fabulous scenery and hopefully find some 'ORCA'. We travelled over to the Olympic Mountain side of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and followed the coast, then crossed back to the rugged shoreline of Vancouver Island. No ' Killer Whales ' were seen this trip, but plenty of bird and marine life was evident with good looks at Bald Eagles, Black Oystercatchers, Cormorants and Surf Scoters. Even a skittish River Otter made an appearance among the steep cliffs. Plenty of Harbour Seals lazed in the sun as did a large Elephant Seal at Race Rocks. Several big male Steller Sea Lions frolicked in the water to keep cool. It is always amazing to see the abundant life forms clinging to the surface of rocks as the tides ebb and flood. Conditions were just perfect to observe all the natural beauty that the west coast has to offer. Another great 'Prince of Whales 'wildlife adventure.
Marie "Orca-Magic", Clint "Orcawizard"
Saturday, February 20, 2010
The Canadian '' 2010 Olympics '' are bringing international travellers from far and wide to see this beautiful province of British Columbia. There's fun and excitement to be had in Vancouver and Victoria, on and off the water. Visitors to see the Olympics, took time out today to enjoy the thrill of seeing some of Victoria's wonderful wildlife, and surrounding, picturesque scenery. Under perfect weather conditions our guests included the Snow Board Team from Austria, as well as visitors from the Netherlands, Scotland and Spain. Our Skipper James, took the yellow Zodiac south into the Strait of Juan de Fuca in search of marine wildlife. Although we searched for the Killer Whales that had been seen the day before, they remained illusive. We did however see 2 Harbour Porpoise, an Elephant Seal, many Steller Sea Lions, and Harbour Seals on rocks at Race Rocks Lighthouse. Four migrating Brant Geese from Mexico were seen on their way north to their breeding grounds in the high Arctic. With sunny skies above and calm water all around, our Prince of Whales wildlife adventure was most enjoyable for our visitors.
Thursday, February 11, 2010
The Ocean Magic vessel left the Victoria Harbour with Capt. Gord at the wheel, first mate Mark and Derrek, our Naturalist on board. We were headed out in search of marine wildlife that is found in abundance in these nutrient rich waters. Our guests included visitors from Melbourne, Australia, England, France, USA, and Chemanus. Our trip took us south into the Strait of Juan de Fuca. We hoped we would see black dorsal fins and misty ' blows 'of ORCA, but they remained illusive today. Our visit to Race Rocks Ecological Reserve gave us views of 3 huge Elephant seals and smaller Harbour Seals lazing on rocks. Several Steller Sea Lions were swimming in the water. A sub adult Bald Eagle was poised to fly from its lofty perch on a rock. Our return trip took us past a green marker with roosting Pelagic Cormorants. Although the day was rather grey and cold, the sea was relatively calm. There is always something to see along the scenic, rugged coast of Vancouver Island. Today our guests appreciated the diversity that this area has to offer.
Thursday, February 04, 2010
There's no better way to enjoy the fabulous wildlife the west coast has to offer, than to take a ride in a 12 passenger yellow Zodiac. Our experienced and knowledgeable Prince of Whales skipper, Mark. 'Mallard' took the 2pm zodiac out of the harbour and headed us south and west. We were on course to meet up with the big group of Transient Killer Whales( the marine mammal eaters) that had been reported earlier, just off shore. It wasn't long before we could see many misty ' blows ' and black dorsal fins rising above the surface of the water in the Strait of Juan de Fuca. To encounter such a large number of whales traveling together was most unusual. Usually they are seen in small family groups of 2-6 individuals, and sometimes only one. We found them in a resting formation initially, but soon started to zig-zag in every direction. They eventually split up and headed off to the east in smaller groups. Our return trip took us along the rugged coastline of Sooke and Metchosin to view Bald Eagles, and a Great Blue Heron. At Race Rocks Ecological reserve we viewed a group of Steller Sea Lions and 4 Elephant Seals on rocks. Our international guests on board from Brazil, England, Holland, Germany, Scotland, Manitoba and BC experienced a true west coast wildlife tour this afternoon and loved every minute of it. Even a little rain and chop on the water added to the excitement.
Marie , Orca-Magic.
Marie , Orca-Magic.