Victoria Whale Watching Report: Humpback Whales Galore!
October 4, 2019
Humpback whales were everywhere in the Juan de Fuca Strait this morning! We cruised by the Ogden Point Breakwater with hopes of seeing something, but we got more than we could imagine! As we set course west, we saw blows in the distance. As we slowly approached a pair of humpbacks, we noticed blows in all directions!
Humpbacks are here to feed on krill, herring and other small fish. They are looking quite rotund at this time of year as they need all the energy they can pack on to complete their annual migration. Pregnant females also need extra energy to nurse their soon-to-be-born babies!
Humpbacks give birth in Mexico, Hawaii or Costa Rica and the calves drink approximately 500 litres of milk each day. The hungry tots gain about 100 lbs every day! In the spring, they will follow beside their mothers as the entire population moves north, eager to get to the cold waters where food will greet them upon their return.
Today we spotted Aerie, Stitch, Titan, Elf and the mystery humpback!
Most of the humpbacks we saw are found in our ID guide, but one is not there, so we call this one our mystery whale! The underside of the humpback tail is unique to every individual, allowing researchers, whale watchers, and environmental organizations to track them over their lives. Every fluke above the surface was an exciting site and we got many great photos of them!
Not to be outdone by the whales, were the characters that live at Race Rocks Lighthouse.
This group of islands is home to hundreds of Steller Sea Lions, California Sea Lions, Harbour Seals, Elephant Seals, one Sea Otter, Bald Eagles and hundreds of other marine birds. The Steller Sea Lions weigh up to 2500 pounds, while the California species top off at 900 lbs!
It was fun to see them relaxing on the rocks, with some grouchy members fighting over the best spot! Another great afternoon on the Salish Sea was in the books!