Captain’s Blog

Humpback Whale and Race Rocks Marine Ecological Reserve

May 5, 2017

This morning we departed the harbour and transited along the Southwest shoreline of Vancouver Island experiencing the true Pacific West Coast experience. The vessel transited of the SW tip of Vancouver Island and proceeded slightly to the west in search of cetaceans (whales, dolphins, and porpoises). After transiting briefly the west shoreline, we turned out of the waves and surfed to Race Rocks Marine Ecological Reserve. It has the second oldest lighthouse on our coastline and on arrival a bald eagle flushed gulls, pelagic and double-crested cormorants, and pigeon guillemots off of Great Race. Race Rocks is a year-round haulout for harbour seals and a winter haulout site for Steller sea lions and California sea lions. Additionally, northern elephant seals utilize the rocks around Race Rock to molt. We spotted a single male sea otter in the kelp beds. Pacific Explorer transited East in the Strait of Juan de Fuca with passengers and crew still seeking out cetaceans on this true Pacific West Coast experience. After a brief visit with harbour seals at Trial Island, we received reports of two humpback whales. We had a brief but enjoyable encounter with the humpbacks prior to turning back to the Victoria Harbour.

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