Captain’s Blog

Transient Orcas, Seals & Sea Lions – August 20, 2015

August 20, 2015

This morning, we left the dock aboard the Orca Spirit II with reports of orcas off the Victoria waterfront earlier in the morning. By the time we encountered them, they were west of Race Rocks near Beecher Bay. As soon as we arrived on scene, it was a simple task to determine that they were a group of transient orcas known as the T18 group. The easily identifiable male T19B with his huge dorsal fin was seen early in our encounter. Most of our encounter with the orcas was spent watching his mother T19 and his younger brother T19C as they traveled together about a half mile away from T19B. On our return towards Victoria, we stopped at Race Rocks. The number of sea lions is increasing with every visit and is definitely a highlight of every tour out west.

With this morning’s group of orcas out of range, our afternoon trip took us to Mandarte Island, east of Sidney to view a group of orcas known as the T10’s. It is a group of three orcas, the mother T10 and her two adult sons, T10B and T10C. It was an excellent encounter to see the family group surfacing in near unison. The large male T10B was truly a striking sight. After our encounter, we traveled along the west coast of Mandarte Island and showed our guests the spectacular cormorant colony. Several pelagic cormorants nest along the steep cliffs. It is a location we do not get to visit often, and it is always a pleasure to show our guests the tremendous diversity in marine life in the Salish Sea.

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