Book your Port Renfrew summer getaway today. Tour dates filling up fast!

Captain’s Blog

Remarkably Close Encounters with Orca in 2021!

November 24, 2021

Written by: Lori, Naturalist

There are few experiences in life that compare to seeing an orca in the wild. There is something about their unique colouration, intelligence, and obvious power that makes experiences with them absolutely unforgettable. People from all over the world travel to Victoria and book whale watching tours with the hope of witnessing these magnificent creatures in the wild.

While hopping on a boat certainly offers us the best chance at bridging the gap between human and orca – there have been rare times this year where orcas have bridged the gap themselves and have come remarkably close to human beings.

In this article I am hoping to highlight just a few of the incredible encounters some very lucky folks have been able to experience with orcas this year!

Orcas at Harbour Air Seaplanes

This was a once in a lifetime encounter that surely nobody could predict! At 5:30 p.m, a pair of orcas were spotted swimming next to the Harbour Air’s Coal Harbour seaplane terminal.

The orca were first seen swimming under the nose of the plane, and in the video you can see them break the surface of the water right next to the docks.

What an incredible experience this must have been for those working on the docks that day! Seeing Orcas so close really gives you an appreciation for their large size – the six-foot dorsal fin on a fully-grown male certainly looks tall when you’re standing right next to it!

Check out the encounter with Global News!


Orcas Close to Shore at Bowen Island

It is no wonder that this encounter with orcas went viral this year. It is an encounter that most people dream of having when they stand close to shore and look out on the water. In the video, a group of orca are seen swimming leisurely several metres from the shoreline on Bowen Island, much to the thrill of onlookers. In the video, you can clearly hear their exhales and experience this moment through the video lens of a completely enthralled viewer.

Check out the encounter on Vancouver Is Awesome!

Orcas off Clover Point!

Now here’s an encounter that hits close to home! On August 11th, 2021, beachgoers were delighted to see a whopping 13 orcas swimming a short distance from shore. The orcas were identified as Transient Killer Whales, and the whales included the T018’s, T041’s, and T109C’s. To make matters even more beautiful, the killer whales were spotted right at sunset.

The video is featured here at Chek News!

Keep Your Eyes Peeled!

While these incredibly close encounters with Orca are rare, they are always possible. In the early 1970’s, seals and sea lions were killed under the belief that they were eating too many salmon. Now that their numbers have recovered, many Transient killer whales are coming closer and closer to shore looking for some of their favourite prey sources. I have been fortunate enough to see killer whales from shore near Dallas Road as well as Ogden Point this summer, and I encourage people to keep their eyes peeled when down at the beach. You just never know what you’ll see!



aboriginal peopleAboriginal People BCalbino orcaaquariumsBald EagleBamfieldBC west coastBC whale watchingbe a touristbear watchingbehaviourbigg's killer whalesbirdsblack bearBlackberryBlackfishbreedingBritish Columbia Whale Watchingcalifornia sea lionscalvescanada daycaptivitycareerscoast salishCorey VinkCorkycruise adventuresCruiser TourCruiser whale watching toursDall's porpoiseDawn Brancheaudealsdivingdolphinsecholocationelephant sealsfalse killer whaleFamous Killer Whalesfamous orcafeedingfeeding & foragingfirst nationsfirst whale watchingfood chainGlobal Ghost Geargrannygray whalegreat white sharksgrey whaleHarbour AirHarbour porpoiseHarbour Sealhuman encounters with killer whaleshumans and orcashumpback whalehumpback whalesIkaikiinteresting sh!*InvisibiliaJ PodJ-2J-Pod namesJ-Pod resident orcasJim DarlingK PodKasatkakiller whale factskiller whale vs great white sharkskiller whaleskiller whales huntingkiller whales in the wildL Podl pod orcaslpod orcasLuna the Whalelunge feedingMickMick Millermigration patternsminke whalenatural habitatnaturalistNootka SoundNorthern Elephant Sealnorwegian cruise lineoldest killer whale on earthOrcaOrca Adventuresorca attacks sharkorca communicationorca encountersorca familiesorca feeding habitsorca historyorca kayak videoorca languageorca lessonsOrca photographyOrca SpiritOrca Spirit Naturalistsorca whaleorca whale encountersOrca whale fightOrca Whale Toursorca whalesorcasorcas and humansorcas and peopleorcas in captivityorcas in whytecliff parkorcas of j-podPacific Salmon Press releasepinnipedPorpoises Vs. Dolphinsport renfrewrace rocksrace rocks ecological reserveRace Rocks LighthouseRachael MerrettRaptorresident j-pod orcasresident orcasResident orcas of J-Podresident whalesresidentsresidents orcassalmonscholarshipsea ottersea otterssealsealionsealsSeaWorldSeaworld OrlandoSeaworld San DiegoSheenah DuclosSightingssouthern resident killer whalesSpringerstaff profilesstellar sea lionssteller sea lionsSummer Whale Watching VictoriasuperpodTaylor ChapdelaineTilikumTillikumtransient orcastransientsTumboUlises Killer WhaleUniversity of AlbertaVacation IdeasVancouverVictoriaVictoria Whale WatchingVictoria whale whatchingWest Coastwest vancouverwhalewhale evolutionWhale Watcher's ScholarshipWhale Watchers Scholarship 2018 Contestwhale watchingwhale watching experienceWhale Watching VancouverWhale Watching Victoriawhaleswhytecliff parkwild renfrewworld's oldest orcaZodiac TourZodiac ToursZodiac whale watching tours
Show more tags

Leaders in responsible Eco-Tourism

Close Menu Book Tour