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August 22, 2017 – Bigg’s Killer Whales, Humpback Whale & Race Rocks Marine Ecological Reserve

3 months ago

10am Excursion

We departed the dock on the MV Catalina Adventure and proceeded southwest in the Strait of Juan de Fuca in search of cetaceans (whales, dolphins, and porpoises). We spotted the blow of a single humpback whale. However, the individual was spending significant periods at depth, so we left the individual to travel towards the reports of westbound Bigg’s (mammal hunting) killer whales. On route to the killer whales, we observed a surface active humpback whale just outside of Race Rocks Marine Ecological Reserve. We were treated to tail slaps and a single breach. After several surfacings of this individual, we proceeded to the group of Bigg’s killer whales. Several individuals of these killer whales were surface active with tail slaps, headstands, and rolling at the surface. After several sightings of this group, 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, northern sea lions (Steller), and California sea lions were spotted on various islets in the reserve. It was a beautiful morning on the strait.

2pm Excursion

We departed the dock on the MV Pacific Explorer and proceeded south in the Strait of Juan de Fuca in search of cetaceans (whales, dolphins, and porpoises). We encountered three humpback whales in the middle of the strait. Following a couple of surfacings of these individuals, we proceeded across the strait towards the Olympic Pennisula. We encountered a large male Bigg’s (mammal-hunting) killer whale surfing the chop and swell from the west. After watching the power of this individual, we proceeded home while soaking the vessel in a true Pacific Northwest of Canada fashion.

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