Captain’s Blog

July 19, 2017 – Humpback Whales & Race Rocks Marine Ecological Reserve

July 19, 2017

10 am Excursion

We departed the dock on the MV Orca Mist and proceeded south in the Strait of Juan de Fuca in search of cetaceans (whales, dolphins, and porpoises). In the middle of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, we encountered a pair of humpback whales. We observed multiple surfacings with the individuals and observed multiple fluking, as the individuals dove down further to forage in the water column on schooling bait fish or zooplankton. Following this sighting, we proceeded to Race Rocks Marine Ecological Reserve. It has the second oldest lighthouse on our coastline. Race Rocks is a year-round haulout for harbour seals and a winter haul-out site for Steller sea lions and California sea lions. We observed both the Pacific harbour seal and two sub adult male northern elephant seals around the boat ramp on Great Race. Northern sea lions were observed as well on helicopter rock. Additionally, we saw a single male sea otter in the bull kelp beds and had an opportunity to see some Steller sea lions. A beautiful but choppy morning on the water.

2 pm Excursion

We departed the dock on the MV Pacific Explorer and proceeded south in the Strait of Juan de Fuca. In the middle of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, we encountered two humpback whales. We had multiple good sightings of the individuals, so we then proceeded to Race Rocks Marine Ecological Reserve. It has the second oldest lighthouse on our coastline. Race Rocks is a year-round haulout for harbour seals and a winter haul-out site for Steller sea lions and California sea lions. We observed both the Pacific harbour seal, Steller sea lions, and two sub adult male northern elephant seals hauled out on the boat ramp on Great Race. Additionally, we saw a single male sea otter in the bull kelp beds and had an opportunity to see some Steller sea lions. A beautiful but choppy afternoon on the Strait.

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