Captain’s Blog

Humpback Whales, Seals, Sea Lions & Bigg’s Killer Whales

August 5, 2018

Today, our Salish Sea adventures took place aboard the Catalina Adventure. Our morning tour traveled south into the Strait of Juan de Fuca in search of orcas and humpback whales. The first stop of our tour was Race Rocks, as we searched for Bigg’s killer whales and the four different species of pinniped that call the area home. We saw all 4 this trip: California sea lions, Steller sea lions, as well as a northern elephant seal and harbour seals! Some early morning fog gave Race Rocks a true west coast appearance! After Race Rocks, we continued our search for cetaceans and encountered at least 3 different humpback whales!

By the afternoon, the fog had lifted and shortly after leaving the harbour, we received a report of Orcas near Oak Bay! We arrived on scene to witness a group of 4 Bigg’s killer whales hunting off Ten Mile Point. It was an incredible encounter as we witnessed some spectacular hunting behaviour, tail slaps and even an amazing spyhop! The group of orcas was well known to our crew – the T18 group. This group consists of two mature females and two large males. A big bull orca, T19B is one of the largest orcas in the area. The sight of his massive dorsal fin is always a thrill and we had an amazing pass with the group. It was another magnificent marine experience on the Salish Sea!

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