Captain’s Blog

Humpback Whale, Transient Orcas, Resident Orcas

August 31, 2018

On the morning of August 31st, the crew and passengers boarded the Orca Mist and set off into the Strait of Juan de Fuca in search of local wildlife. We decided to go west, scanning for humpbacks amidst the rolling waves. It was a wonderfully clear day so it was ideal for spotting blows or fins on the surface. We spotted a juvenile humpback very close to shore, just off of Beecher Bay, swimming amongst the bull kelp. The little whale was very quick and erratic, and after playing hide and seek for a few minutes we decided to pursue a radio call that some transient orcas had been seen near the Race Rocks Ecological Reserve. We spotted the telltale black dorsal fins of T147 and T148. These marine mammal predators swam quickly along the coastline, giving us great views for our 30 minute time limit. We cruised over to Race Rocks to finish up our trip with an amazing view of the Olympic Peninsula and some Stellar Sea Lions.

Our afternoon and evening trips provided lots of excitement as well with the return of our J-Pod Southern Resident Orcas. The group had been offshore in search of Chinook Salmon. We were able to identify Mike and Blackberry (J26 and J25) as well as Onyx (L87) who has joined J-pod. We spent our time with the pod and were able to also catch some last minute humpback flukes before catching the sunset on the drive back into Victoria Harbour. Thank you for enjoying a wonderful day on the water with us!

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