Captain’s Blog

Victoria Whale Watching Report: Bigg’s Killer Whales & Race Rocks Ecological Reserve

October 16, 2019

Morning Tour

This morning we headed south to search towards the middle of the Juan de Fuca Strait for wildlife. Shortly after departing the harbor we received a call from one of our zodiac vessels searching the coastline, wildlife had been found! We flipped a u-turn and headed towards the sighting. While approaching, we were able to spot tall black dorsal fins along the colorful coastline.

With autumn starting, the foliage colors range from deep reds, rusts, and bright yellows. Seeing the large pod of orca with the crisp white exhales was a sight to be remembered forever.

We have many types of orca all over the world that all have different languages, diets, pod sizes, and residing locations. Today we were able to see the Bigg’s orca that ranges from California to northern Alaska. Their diet is made up of mammals such as seals, sea lions, porpoise, and sometimes small whales. Since this ecotype hunts mammals, they reside in smaller pods of 2-6 animals to be able to sneak up on their prey. Many pods come in and out of our area as they travel 100 miles a day on average. We were able to follow this group for a while, getting some spectacular views, before heading to Race Rocks.

Race Rocks Ecological Reserve became such in 1980, initiated by Lester B. Pearson. It had become an ecological reserve due to its high volume of life in such a small area.

Tidal and Intertidal zones create a lush atmosphere for many species here. While touring through here, we were able to see many seals, sea lions, and lush birdlife.

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