Victoria Whale Watching Report: Killer Whales, Humpbacks & More
May 31, 2019
After boarding the Catalina Adventure this afternoon, we made our way North East around Vancouver Island! Going this way brought us past the Oak Bay Golf Course, Trial Island Lighthouse and Ecological Reserve, and Discovery Island.
The islands we passed on our trip were made up of the San Juan Islands, which are American owned, as well as the Southern Gulf Islands which are Canadian owned.
One of the islands we passed is Spieden Island, an American island, that was known to be a big game hunting island in the mid-1900s. There were a variety of animals brought to the island including, Lions, Giraffes, Sika deer, Fallow Deer, and Muflon Sheep. The sheep and the deer are the only animals that remain of the exotic group.
When we arrived at our destination we were greeted by a group of Killer Whales. Bigg’s Killer Whales are the mammal-eating variety of the Pacific Ocean, and will dine on seals, sea lions, porpoises and dolphins! There were 5 of this type of whales we got to spend the afternoon with, T065B born in 1993, T065B1 born in 2011, T075B born in 1994, T075B2 born in 2015, and T075C born in 1998. We spent the time watching them interact, tail slapping, and spy-hopping.
It was time to continue on and go see a different type of mammal regular to our area!
We were now with a Humpback Whale!
These animals can get up to 30 tons, and about the size of a school bus in length! They are considered the gentle giants of the ocean and are known to be the most empathetic animals next to humans. We got to watch this whale for a while as it came to the surface to breathe and show off its fluke. When we get to see a Humpback Whale fluke we can guess that it is going to be under the water for a longer time.
Humpback Whales and Killer Whales are different in a few ways, while both are considered Cetaceans, Killer Whales are Odontocetes meaning they have teeth, and Humpback whales are Mysticetes meaning that they are “missing teeth” and have baleen instead.
With sun-kissed cheeks, and whale-kissed hearts we made our way back to Ogden Point, ready to enjoy the rest of the beautiful day in Victoria.