Captain’s Blog

Resident Orcas, Seals & Sea Lions – August 21, 2015

August 21, 2015

We began our day with yet another spectacular sunny morning. Once departing the Victoria harbour we took a left turn towards San Juan Island in hopes of finding Killer Whales! As we approached the Southern shores of the island, several blows could be seen in the distance. Resident Killer Whales! These amazing animals were spread out, feeding on their favorite food, Chinook Salmon. After observing these graceful creatures zig and zag through the water in pursuit of their prey, we embarked on our voyage home. In transit we enjoyed the beautiful sights of Discovery Island, also stopping in the Chain Islands to say hello to the plentiful seals hauled out on the rocks.

For our afternoon trip, we headed out west. Shorty after passing Race Rocks, we encountered over 40 Resident Killer Whales coming into the region along the Juan De Fuca Strait!! The whales were exceptionally playful and curious this afternoon, tail slapping, breaching and cartwheeling as they traveled in family groups. One of the many highlights of the trip was getting to observe the J16 matriline. Anytime you get to watch one, let alone two baby Orca’s is always very rewarding. We completed our amazing afternoon with a great stop at Race Rocks, where guests enjoyed the Stellar and California Sea Lions. Could not have asked for a better afternoon!

Our evening tour aboard the Orca Spirit II encountered a large group of resident orcas near Constance Bank. We were thrilled to encounter a large group of L-pod orcas, including two huge males L84 (Nyssa) and L88 (Wavewalker). This group of L’s have not spent much time in these waters this summer, and it was amazing to see these spectacular animals. We spent several minutes enjoying the company of these spectacular animals before heading south to see what else we could find. While we were looking for humpback whales, we encountered another large group of resident orcas. Consisting primarily of J-pod orcas, this group was more social. We witnessed some breaching, tail lobs, and a truly spectacular spyhop. It was another spectacular evening on the Salish Sea.

See more amazing tour photos taken by on-board Biolgist Alex here.

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