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October 13, 2017 – Humpback Whales & Transient Orcas

4 weeks ago

The whales have been phenomenal this fall, and today we spent time with both humpback whales and orca. This morning we made friends with a humpback whale just south of Victoria. Keep in mind, these encounters are rare and all “Be Whale Wise” regulations were followed. We parked the boat and watched an active humpback tail lob for many minutes when it disappeared, then reappeared right behind our boat! This humpback went from one side of us to the other, checking us out. These magical encounters do not happen frequently and it’s important that the boat operators are shut down completely and remain so until the whale is well clear of the vessel. This humpback continued to thrash its tail around and wave its pectoral fins in the air for about 45 minutes. After leaving our new favorite humpback, we caught up with the T11 matriline of Transient Killer Whales hunting a Harbour Seal! It’s amazing to see these animals work together as a team to capture their food.

This afternoon we met up with the T11s again, and watched as this mother and son duo scanned the Juan de Fuca Strait for unsuspecting prey. We got a couple good looks at T11A also known as “Rainy” who is famous for his big size. The humpbacks from the morning were still all around Race Rocks and we got to witness a few tail lobs and distant breach! Race Rocks is really exciting this time of year, as all 4 species of pinnipeds are using the area to haul out and feed. California and Steller Sea Lions as well as Harbour and Northern Elephant Seals all cover the rocks, creating a loud and rather stinky ecological reserve!

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