8 months ago
The fall brings calmer seas and amazing wildlife to the west coast of Vancouver Island. We made our way out on the spacious Pacific Explorer, to see who else was in the Strait of Juan de Fuca. It was a short trip to find humpback whales in the chilly waters, surfacing, diving and sending up huge plumes of mist with every breath. The first humpback we seen was sporting a “barnacle hat” as we noticed a clump on the top of its head.
We cruised over to another humpback found by a fellow whale watching vessel, who was kind enough to show us its tail rise above the surface on several dives. We then checked out nearby Race Rocks Lighthouse where a Bald Eagle was perched on one of the islets, the wind ruffling its feathers. Noisy and rowdy sea lions belonging to both the Californian and Steller species entertained guests with their roars, barks and fighting on the islands. At this time of year approximately 500-600 sea lions take residence at the lighthouse, leaving some room for the local Harbour Seals to veg out on the islets as well.
The whale sightings did not end though as we found two sets of mother and calves and another single swimmer near the lighthouse. It has been a comeback year for these baleen behemoths in our area, with more sightings this year than ever before! It was astounding to see their sheer size paired with their never ending grace as they broke the surface, took a breath and dove below. The sights of humpbacks are something no one can ever forget!
View more amazing tour photos here.
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