Victoria Whale Watching Report: Rare Grey Whale Sighting
May 6, 2019
Today we set our course west of Victoria in search of whales and other wildlife. We cruised on calm waters and looked out onto the beautiful scenery of Vancouver Island and the Olympic Peninsula.
After an extensive search of both offshore and nearshore waters, we headed into picturesque Becher Bay where we enjoyed the local rugged landscape.
As we headed towards Race Rocks Lighthouse, we ended up surrounded by shy Harbour Porpoises that were focused on feeding, which allowed us to get a few great shots of these tiny cetaceans.
We then cruised in the Marine Protected Area and Ecological Reserve called Race Rocks Lighthouse.
Ollie was adorable as the lone sea otter in our area, rolling in the kelp and cracking shells on his chest. Basking on the edge of the waterline were huge Elephant Seals, including a few youngsters born this past winter at Race Rocks.
Steller and California Sea Lions shared the best sunning rocks while Harbour Seals kept to their own on the tiny islets that surround the lighthouse. We ended with sightings of Bald Eagles both on one of the islands and soaring high in the sky.
It was an amazing day on the water.
Rare Grey Whale on the Banks of Olympic National Park!
It was a beautiful day and glassy day on the water as we were leaving Victoria.
However, the middle of the Juan de Fuca Strait had a surprise for us – 4 to 9-foot swells that were steadily rolling in! Luckily our experienced Captain Jordan manoeuvred the boat over the swells with easy and made it a very enjoyable ride.
We made our way over to Crescent Bay where we came across a very rare whale sighting – a juvenile Grey Whale feeding on the banks of Olympic National Park with the backdrop of the Cascade Mountains.
These sandy and silty banks of Olympic National Park sustain a plethora of marine invertebrates that the Grey Whales are specialized to feed on. They capture these invertebrates by sucking sediment into the side of their mouth and filtering out their prey with their baleen. At low tide, you can see the pits created the Grey Whale benthic feeding behaviour.
After spending some time with the Grey Whale, we made our way over to Race Rocks Lighthouse where we saw Seals, California Sea Lions, and Stellar Sea Lions taking in the suns rays after a long day of foraging.
We also came across our famous Sea Otter Ollie who was busy cracking open shells while hanging out in the kelp bed!