Victoria Whale Watching Report: Humpback Whales & Sea Lions!
October 7, 2019
The wet west coast was really living up to its name this morning as the rain came down over the Salish Sea! Good thing whales are already wet and could not care less about the water coming from the sky! Despite the rainy conditions, we were still able to spot the cloudy puff of air exploding from the giant nostrils of a humpback whale!
We did get some great shots of the underside of its tail, bit this humpback is new to our area because we do not have it in our local ID guide. Humpbacks are finishing the feeding season and are looking quite rotund these days, they are almost ready to start their long migration to Mexico, Costa Rica, or Hawaii.
The clouds, rain, and slivers of sunshine made for really beautiful, moody images of the Olympic Mountain Range. The Olympic Mountains provide some protection from the rain in Victoria as wet weather systems dump 170 inches of rain annually on the western slopes of the mountains.
These systems are not so powerful as they glide over Victoria, so we get a bit less wet! The Olympic Mountains are not a tall range with Mount Olympus reaching 7,980 feet. Because of all this rain, the mountains are covered in huge temperate rain forests.
We made our way over to Race Rocks Lighthouse to see how the sea lions and seals were fairing in the downpour. Like the whales, the seals and sea lions don’t seem to mind the rain. They continue to sleep, wrestle and swim just the same.
The Steller Sea Lions are about 2.5 times larger than the California Sea Lions, so they are easy to pick out despite everyone’s dark, wet fur. The air temperature is often warmer than the cold waters, so they spend much of their day saving precious body heat by hauling out on the islands. We cruised back to Victoria to dry ourselves out in the sun that started to blanket the city!