Victoria Whale Watching Report: Humpback Whales & Race Rocks Ecological Reserve
July 24, 2019
This morning, our vessels headed out into Juan de Fuca in search of whales. With calm seas and sunny skies, it would prove to be another great morning of whale watching! Aboard the Catalina Adventure, our marine mammal experience started with a visit with Gherkin (MMZ0038). After some great views of Gherkin, we headed east to see what else we could find. Near Beecher Bay, we encountered another humpback whale Mogul (MMY0147) and investigates a huge bait ball.
Race Rocks was excellent as always. The number of Steller sea lions seems to be increasing with each visit! To conclude our tour, we travelled to another humpback whale. However, we were unable to identify this one. It was another great morning on the Salish Sea!
This afternoon we headed West out into the Juan De Fuca Strait.
After a bit of travelling, we spotted some Humpback Whales! There were at least five of them in the area, so it must have been a great spot for these animals to eat. They eat Krill, Pacific Herring, Pacific Sand Lance and other small schooling fish. The reason we are able to see these whales is because this area is part of their feeding grounds. In the winter they will go back to warmer waters such as Mexico and Hawaii where their breeding grounds are. We were able to get some good looks at their flukes and identified one of them as “Scratchy”. The underside of their tales are all unique, which is how we are able to identify individuals. We spent quite a bit of time with these whales and then decided to head over to Race Rocks to see some more wildlife.
Race Rocks has been an ecological reserve since 1980 because of the rich subtidal and intertidal communities here. We saw lots of Harbour Seals hauled out on the rocks, as well as Steller Sea Lions! We were also able to see an Elephant Seal on one of the rocks. These are the largest of the Pinniped species!
After leaving Race Rocks, we went closer to the shore so we could pick up some Bull Kelp to show around. They have the fastest growth rate of any organism in the world, growing up to 5 inches per day!
It was then time to head back to Victoria after a beautiful afternoon at sea.