Transient Killer Whales & Race Rocks Ecological Reserve
December 7, 2017
On a grey, wavy November afternoon we left the harbour and headed west towards Race Rocks because we had been having success finding whales in that area quite recently. Before we could even get to Race Rocks, a sharp black dorsal fin cut through air. At first glance the captain was not sure what he had seen, as many porpoise frequent the area as well. Sure enough, up came a second black body with the vibrant white eye patch of a Killer Whale. As we slowly approached, it became apparent we had come across a small pod of Transient (mammal hunting) Killer Whales. The whales appeared to be circling, a behaviour often associated with hunting or feeding. What happened next blew us away. The whales momentarily disappeared beneath the cold, dark water. As we patiently sat there, engines off, something vibrantly white became visible beneath the water. Two of the whales appeared, holding a large chunk of meaty flesh and blubber from a Harbour seal. The Adult passed off the chunk to the juvenile, who almost began to taunt the birds, or us, with his lunch. It was something our Captain had not seen in six years working here. The whales continued to inquisitively feed and socialize before ultimately travelling out west into the Juan de Fuca Strait. We finished the tour off by checking out the Race Rocks ecological reserve. The sun had begun to cut through portions of the clouds, giving it an almost magical appearance as the numerous Sea Lions howled into the cold November wind.