Captain’s Blog

Victoria Whale Watching Report: Transient Killer Whales, Harbour Porpoise & Humpback Whales

June 30, 2019

MORNING TOUR

Today was glass flat water as we headed out of the Harbour to the West.

We soon ran into a massive group of harbour porpoises! Not much is known about their social structure as a group though they do prefer to travel in small pods of 4 – 5 porpoises and rarely intermingle with other marine species. Today was amazing because we got to witness 40-60 individuals all foraging in the tideline. We also witnessed some breeching behaviour that is rare for this species!

Most hunting occurs near or at the bottom of the water in shallow waters. In larger deeper waters they can be observed hunting fish at mid-level. During extended hunts, these marine mammals have been observed staying submerged for up to 5 minutes before resurfacing for air and making dives of up to 720 ft. deep.

We continued West and observed what Race Rocks marine protected area had to offer in the form of seals and Ollie, our resident sea otter. We then got lucky with tall blows in the distance.

It was two humpback whales! These whales create this spout because of the air that it is releasing via the blowhole. Due to the massive temperature differences, a condensation effect occurs, causing the air being breathed out to turn to water vapour. We watched these gentle giants for some time before we got another sighting that Biggs orcas were also in the area!

What a great day out on the water!

AFTERNOON TOUR

This afternoon we were lucky with both weather and wildlife!

Right as we left the harbour there was a pod of Transient Killer Whales! This pod was identified as the T37A family. We are able to identify individuals by looking at their dorsal fins and saddle patches. This combination is entirely unique, just like a fingerprint! After observing them swimming along Ogden Point, we headed South to find some more wildlife.

As we were travelling to our next location, we were able to see some Harbour Porpoises come up a few times beside the boat. They are common to our area, but they tend to be fairly shy and disappear quickly!

After a short time, we arrived with a Humpback Whale! All around our boat there were several of these whales in different spots, with a beautiful backdrop of the Olympic Mountains. We identified two of them as “Divot” (BCX1057) and “Hemlock” (MMY0080). For Humpbacks, we use the underside of their flukes to identify individuals. Throughout our time with these whales, we were able to hear them breathe and saw them show their flukes multiple times. We spent some time with the Humpbacks and then left them to go and find some of our Pinniped species.

Along our way to Race Rocks this afternoon, we had some surprise guests come aboard from another boat that requested some help. The more the merrier! We continued our tour to Race Rocks and were able to see an Elephant Seal and several Harbour Seals on the rocks. This area has been an ecological reserve since 1980 due to its rich intertidal and subtidal communities. It is also home to the second oldest lighthouse in the Canadian Pacific, built in 1860.

After an incredible jam-packed tour, we then made our way back to the dock.

View more fantastic tour photos on our Flickr page.

Social

Tags

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