Captain’s Blog

Victoria Whale Watching Report: Humpback Whales & Ollie the Sea Otter – Our Last Summer Tour For 2019!

October 31, 2019

10am TOUR!

Today was our final covered vessel tour of the season and we really went out with a bang!  It was a beautiful day with sunshine and no wind, perfect conditions to be on the Salish Sea at the end of October. As we headed out, Captain Mick was also doing a zodiac trip!

We barely left the harbour when we spotted huge blows in the distance!We slowly approached two humpback whales. Once we spotted these two, we could see more exhales in all directions!

There were at least 10-12 whales around us!Humpback whales are a baleen species, meaning they have baleen in their mouths for filtering food from the water rather than teeth. They grace our waters annually, foraging on the rich supplies of krill and small baitfish like herring, sand lance, sardines, and anchovies.

We got to see a mother and her growing calf circling the waters and feasting on tasty seafood. Soon the long migration to warmer waters south will begin, so they need all the calories they can pack on to survive the round trip.

After a great visit with several different humpbacks, we visited Becher Bay before heading to Race Rocks Lighthouse. We were loving the sea lions as they stretched out on the islets, enjoying the sun.

A stunning Bald Eagle was perched on the highest point of one of the islands. We have been seeing them regularly the past few weeks since their return from the inland river systems where they hunt for migrating salmon.We circled around the islands again and discovered we missed a particularly cute furball resting on the Bull Kelp bed- Ollie the Sea Otter!

Ollie has been melting the hearts of guests and crew alike for five years now.  He is the only Sea Otter in our region, so he is kind of a big, furry deal!  We snapped some great pics of him rolling in the kelp.

After leaving Race Rocks, we had time for one more short visit with the humpbacks.  As we slowly approached, we got to witness them lunge feeding at the surface!  They have HUGE mouths that stretch from their chin to their belly button- that’s about 10 meters long!

When they open their mouths, the pressure from the water causes their stretchy throat pleats to expand.  They can gulp about 1 tonne of food and water in just one mouthful!  It was a spectacular morning on the water and a very special trip to cap off the season!

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