Victoria Whale Watching Report: Triple Humpback Whale Tour!
October 18, 2019
The Juan de Fuca Strait has been a haven for whale sightings all season and today was no different. Within 20 minutes of leaving the dock, we were spotting whales! This morning it was humpbacks that caught our eye and they were fantastic!
They must not be having to dive down very deep for food because they were not doing long dives below the surface- always a bonus when whale watching! Naturalist Taylor captured some great shots of their flukes and identified three of the many whales we saw as MMY0102 (no common name yet), MMZ 0041 (Gerkin) and BCX 1251 (Orion). The underside of a humpback’s tail is like a giant fingerprint that allows us to ID and track them over their lives.
We were super excited to see some feeding at the surface. We got to see inside a humpback’s mouth! We could see its long, pink tongue and its baleen sheets hanging down from the roof of its mouth. With the ability to open their 30-foot long mouths almost 90 degrees, you can really get a good idea of how big their mouths really are!
After seeing several humpbacks and getting our fill of flukes in the sky, we headed to Race Rocks Lighthouse Ecological Reserve. Here you can find several small islets that are home to the furry and feathered creatures of the sea. Steller Sea Lions are massive and sport golden brown fur, while the smaller California Sea Lions are a dark, chocolate brown. They co-exist but are not always friendly.
Maybe the awful smell makes them grouchy! We also got to check out a very regal Bald Eagle perched on top of the western-most island. Bald Eagles are excellent at seeing into the water, allowing them to utilize the sea for food. We headed back to Victoria to get our own lunch after a successful morning on the water!