Captain’s Blog

Victoria Whale Watching Report: Humpback Whales

June 29, 2019


Today was a day that we would call humpback soup! Everywhere we looked there were humpback blows and whales surfacing. The body of water we were in for the duration of the afternoon is known as the Juan De Fuca Strait. This is about 95 miles long and starts at the open Pacific Ocean, and is about 18 miles wide from Vancouver Island to Washington State.

Throughout our trip, we got to spend time with 6 of the individuals that were in the area. These whales are known as MMZ0041, MMX0167 commonly known as Stitch, Seabird who doesn’t have a scientific number yet, MMY0144 commonly known as Trooper, MMX0012 commonly known as Tulip, and MMY0079 commonly known as Scratchy.

When Humpback whales are given ID numbers it is meant to reflect the amount of white or black on their flukes. If a whale has a mostly black (less than 20% white) fluke they are ID’d with an X, if it is 20-80% white then it is ID’d with a Y, and if it is over 80% white then it is ID’d with a Z.

Humpback whales have just recently started returning to our waters! Historically they lived here in quite high numbers but whaling around Vancouver Island was rampant and both killed off a large number of whales and scared the remaining ones off. From the 1990s to 2015 there were a very small amount of whales that spent their summers here.

2016 is the year that we know as the “Humpback Comeback” when over 100 new individuals showed up in the cold waters around the island. Since then their numbers have been steadily rising. This means that every year we see more and more new whales!

The whales and the sunshine combined for a great day on the water!



It was a beautiful Saturday evening in Victoria! Tonight we headed South through the Juan De Fuca Strait towards Washington.

We were almost in Port Angeles when we arrived with Humpback Whales. There were too many to count, but more than 20 were in the area with us! We were able to identify two of them as “Corporal” (BCX1238) and “Hemlock” (MMY0080). The underside of a Humpback’s fluke is what we use to identify them because each one is entirely unique!

Several of these whales came right up to our boat, giving us amazing views of these gentle giants. We were even able to see one of them feeding up by the surface of the water, showing us its mouth several times. A couple of times, one of them also raised its pectoral fin up out of the water. These pectoral fins are 1/3 of their body size. Throughout our time with all of these amazing animals, we were also able to see their flukes frequently.

Anywhere we looked around our boat we could see Humpback blows. What an incredible night!

After our time with these whales, we headed back to the Cruise Ship with beautiful sunset scenery.



aboriginal peopleAboriginal People BCalbino orcaaquariumsbald eaglesBamfieldBC west coastBC whale watchingbe a touristbear watchingbehaviourbigg's killer whalesblack bearBlackberryBlackfishbreedingBritish Columbia Whale Watchingcalifornia sea lionscalvescanada daycaptain mickcaptivitycareerscoast salishCorey VinkCorkycruise adventuresCruiser TourCruiser whale watching toursDall's porpoiseDawn Brancheaudealsdivingdolphinsecholocationelephant sealsfalse killer whaleFamous Killer Whalesfamous orcafeedingfeeding & foragingfirst nationsfirst whale watchingfood chainGlobal Ghost Geargrannygray whalegreat white sharksgrey whaleHarbour AirHarbour porpoisehuman encounters with killer whaleshumans and orcashumpback whalehumpback whalesIkaikiinteresting sh!*InvisibiliaJ PodJ-2J-Pod namesJ-Pod resident orcasJim DarlingK PodKasatkakiller whale factskiller whale vs great white sharkskiller whaleskiller whales huntingkiller whales in the wildL Podl pod orcaslpod orcasLuna the Whalelunge feedingMickMick Millermigration patternsminke whalenatural habitatnaturalistNootka SoundNorthern Elephant Sealnorwegian cruise lineoldest killer whale on earthOrcaOrca Adventuresorca attacks sharkorca communicationorca encountersorca familiesorca feeding habitsorca historyorca kayak videoorca languageorca lessonsOrca photographyOrca SpiritOrca Spirit Naturalistsorca whaleorca whale encountersOrca whale fightOrca Whale Toursorca whalesorcasorcas and humansorcas and peopleorcas in captivityorcas in whytecliff parkorcas of j-podPacific Salmon Press releasePorpoises Vs. Dolphinsport renfrewrace rocksrace rocks ecological reserveRace Rocks LighthouseRachael Merrettresident j-pod orcasresident orcasResident orcas of J-Podresident whalesresidentsresidents orcassalmonscholarshipsea ottersea otterssealionsealsSeaWorldSeaworld OrlandoSeaworld San DiegoSheenah DuclosSightingssouthern resident killer whalesSpringerstaff profilesstellar sea lionssteller sea lionsSummer Whale Watching VictoriasuperpodTaylor ChapdelaineTilikumTillikumtransient orcastransientsTumboUlises Killer WhaleUniversity of AlbertaVacation IdeasVancouverVictoriaVictoria Whale WatchingVictoria whale whatchingWest Coastwest vancouverwhalewhale evolutionWhale Watcher's ScholarshipWhale Watchers Scholarship 2018 Contestwhale watchingwhale watching experienceWhale Watching VancouverWhale Watching Victoriawhaleswhytecliff parkwild renfrewworld's oldest orcaZodiac TourZodiac ToursZodiac whale watching tours
Show more tags

Leaders in responsible Eco-Tourism

Close Menu Book Tour