Captain’s Blog

Humpback Whale & Race Rocks Ecological Reserve

June 26, 2018

Calm and sunny we gently set our course for Race Rocks Ecological reserve this morning.
To our delight “Ollie” our residential sea otter was sweetly napping tightly wrapped in his belt of kelp. As we played eye spy around the rocks searching for the many wondrous creatures that call the seconded oldest light house in British Columbia home.
We watched as the two bald eagle lovers feathers flickered in the wind studiously perched on helicopter rock.

We waited for the traffic around our trips star to subside.
A sleepy humpback whale napping in the sun.
Marine Mammals must consciously breathe, so to keep from drowning they have the ability to shut one side of their brain off for rest whilst the other is active to help navigate and surface during nap times. Each time they nap they swap the side for rest.
He seemed rather lazy this morning as we anxiously anticipated the spurt of water from his surfacing. We counted 10-15 even 20 minute dives. Whale Watching teaches us people the virtue of patience and respect. After a very relaxing hour we decided on one more sighting. The previous surfacing was to our stern a couple hundred metres behind. He could have drifted anywhere, nobody expected him to arrive directly besides us. Squeals of delight, tears of joy and sore cheeks from smiling rushed around the boat.
To have an animal with a soul so gigantic and pure looking directly up you makes one heart beat faster.
He pursued his morning stretch by majestically dancing below our boat visiting the inviting eyes of every guest on board. As he surfaced spraying as all with a smelly kiss of mist from his blow hole, we all felt it was his final farewell. Children on the boat decided to name the whale Happy after the feeling we were all left with during his visit.

Content we headed back to Victoria with a story to tell.

Our afternoon tour scheduled in some rougher seas, so we decided to head straight to the sighting zones to meet a new humpback whale. As soon as we arrived we were greeted by a calf who was energetically perfecting their breaching skills. Mum was throwing encouraging tail slaps about, inspiring cartwheels to her offspring.

The journey of a mother humpback whale is superhero worthy. She must birth her baby in warmer waters as they are born with little to no fat. The five month migration to the calving ground and back to the feeding grounds sees baby humpbacks gaining 130pound of weight A DAY!
They do so because mum feeds them 500litres of milk the same consistency as toothpaste.

The entire journey mumma does not eat a thing, it is too risky of a distraction from her vulnerable calf. Female Humpbacks are much larger because of this, they lose approximately 25tonne of their body weight during this time so when they arrive to the nutrient rich waters of Alaska and Canada all they want to do is hit the 24 hour buffet…I think I would too.

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