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Humpbacks, Transient Orcas, Sea Otter, Seals & Sea Lions

May 8, 2017

Perfect glass water met us as we exited the harbour this morning on our search for wildlife. We didn’t need to go far before encountering a large group of Transient or mammal-eating Killer Whales! This group was made up of a family of 6 whales called the T100s and 3 whales belonging to the T86A family group. To our delight, there was an adorable calf keeping up with the adults! After a nice long encounter with the killer whales we made our way into Race Rocks Marine Ecological Reserve. Here we heard the loud barking of some California Sea Lions, the growling of our Steller Sea Lions and saw the light coloured face of Oli the Sea Otter popping out of the kelp. Some male and female Northern Elephant Seals were also using the marine reserve to haul out, all set against the bright, clear backdrop of the Olympic Mountains. As we made our way back towards the harbour a call came through the radio that two humpback whales had made their way over our direction to forage. What a surprise! We are welcoming our humpback whales back to the Salish Sea after their long voyage from Hawaii or Mexico. These are hungry whales! After watching these two humpbacks do some synchronous dives into the water column we headed home. One last surprise awaited us during our short drive back though, a male elephant seal popped his head up close by to take a recovery breath after a hunting dive. We could see his giant nose and proboscis sticking out of the water as he took some long breaths prepping for another dive. You never know what you will see on a wildlife watching adventure out on the Salish Sea!

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