Captain’s Blog

Victoria Whale Watching Report: Stitch the Humpback Whale & Race Rocks Ecological Reserve!

September 30, 2019


This afternoon our group set off on the Catalina Adventure in hopes of finding some of the giants of the Salish Sea. The Salish Sea is a name that we use for the body of water around the south end of Vancouver Island and is where we spend all of our trips. The term Salish comes from the Coast Salish first nations peoples, the traditional groups that populated Vancouver Island and Washington State.

During this trip, we came across a whale well known to Orca Spirit. This was a Humpback Whale named Stitch. Stitch is known to be a whale who is a bit more curious about boats and today she proved that to be true. Stitch spent well over twenty minutes interacting with the boat, floating just under the surface alongside the boat. Guests today were able to inhale her exhale. This time of year is when we start to see some different behaviors from our Humpback Whales; the reason for the behavior change is thought to be that they are starting to make their journeys to the mating and calving grounds.

When Humpback Whales are in the cold Canadian waters, they tend to be less active because they are focused on hunting and gaining weight for their winter in the warm waters of Mexico, Hawaii or Costa Rica. While these whales are in the warm waters is when they are most active, including frequent breaching, tail slapping, and pec slapping. These behaviors are less seen in the Salish Sea because of the demand to gain weight for the winter.

After our incredible visit with Stitch, we went to an area known as Race Rocks Ecological Reserve where we got to visit with three species of Pinnipeds. Here we saw Steller Sea Lions, Californian Sea Lions, and Harbour Seals. Both varieties of sea lions migrate as the humpbacks do, but to different locations and at different times of the year.

The Stellers go north to Alaska, and the Californians go down to California in the late spring and early Summer to go and mate. They are very animated creatures when they are hauled out on the rocks at Race Rocks making for an exciting end to a fantastic trip.




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