July 27, 2017 – Humpback Whale, Seals & Sea Lions
July 27, 2017
It was a windy start to the day, but that does not deter whales, so we set out to find them! Leaving the Capital City behind us, we started our search south and west in the deep blue waters of the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Even amongst the whitecaps, we spotted the tall, bushy blow of a humpback whale! With massive lungs and two blow holes, these cetaceans pump out a mighty mist each time they breathe!
Cruising near the surface, and not keen on diving deep, our humpback appeared to be sleeping. Whales have a special form of sleep where they shut down half of their brain at a time, preventing them from drowning. They are still able to navigate, swim, and take those ever important breaths while one side of their brain gets a rest. They can alternate which side of their brain is asleep and which side remains awake until they are fully rested! Nature’s master multi-taskers!
We then visited the 157 year old lighthouse, Race Rocks, where many different species of pinnipeds, seals and sea lions, rested on the islets. The huge honey-brown Steller sea lions rested on Helicopter Rock, while Harbour seals spread out across all the islets. Two huge bull Elephant seals made space for themselves at the base of the boat ramp, soaking up the sun.
On our way back to the harbour, we came across another humpback who also appeared to be sleeping- they must be teen-aged whales! Another beautiful day on the water with nature’s most fantastic creatures!