It’s been a few weeks since I’ve gotten to crew out on the water & that break allowed me to rediscover my appreciation for being out there, and all the natural beauty and peacefulness we experience on almost all of our tours. It’s a good reminder once and a while. It was calm seas and sunny skies as Captain Brett and myself headed out on Goldwing; with word that the Orcas were relatively close by we decided to head out to Race Rocks marine estuary to view some of the pinnipeds that have returned to haul themselves out on the rocks. As we lazily drifted through Race Rocks passage I talked about Harbour Seals and California and Steller Sea Lions, while Brett shared some of his knowledge about Elephant Seals, neat to see all these different mammals congregating in one area.
From there we made the trek across the waterfront and past Discovery Island to the southern end of San Juan Island off Pile Point where SUPERPOD (all 3 pods gathered together in the same area) where at maximum spread foraging and feeding. With 88 whales in the area it was hard to look in any direction and not see at least several Orcas. We found several groups of 5-10 whales and moved around spending significant time with each of them, watching them display their various behaviors. We were graced by several close passes off our vessel, as well as significant breaching, spyhopping and vocialization activity. Phenomenal!
As a last stop on our way back to the harbour we made a quick stop in Ross Bay, along the waterfront, to spend a couple passes with the juvenille Gray Whale. He was in quite shallow waters, close to shore scooping up giant mouthfulls of mud, and small krill, crabs etc. As we were watching him surface and dive, he seemed to realize just how shallow he was, and started displaying behavior not usually seen, thrusting his whole head and first third of his body out of water, giving all guests on board a great view of the barnacles and sea lice which live on his skin. He made his way into slightly deeper waters though and seemed to settle back into his foraging pattern.
Another rough day at the office; a spectacular tour demonstrating the wide array of marine diversity that inhabits our local waters. Hope you come out to join one of our daily tours departing at 10, 11, 230 & 330 soon!Katrina Brook (Crew/naturalist) Eagle Wing Whale Watching Tours Beautiful British Columbia, Vancouver Island, Victoria Rated #1 whale watching adventure tour company in Victoria on Trip Advisor!
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