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Captain’s Blog

Victoria Sightings Report: Brown Pelicans, Whales, Ollie the Sea Otter, and Much More!

July 22, 2021

Weekly Sightings Summary July 12th to 18th

As we approach the middle of summer, sightings of wildlife continue to be diverse and abundant here in the Salish Sea! This week was full of experiences with creatures who depend on the salty waters that surround south Vancouver Island, including rare species like Brown Pelicans, mammal hunting orcas, our famous sea otter named Ollie and many different individual humpbacks. Here’s a look back on our adventures this past week!


We started the week with tons of excitement within the whale watching community with numerous sightings of Brown Pelicans!  These giant birds are a very rare sighting in our waters, and when we have seen them, it is usually just one at Race Rocks Lighthouse for a day or two. But this week we had reports of Brown Pelicans from right across the Salish Sea in numbers as big as 50!  We captured some great shots of these modern-day giants of the sky.

The first killer whales of the week were the T60’s, a family of four Bigg’s (mammal-hunting) orcas. Pantera (T60) is the matriarch of this family and was given her common name by our vary own marine naturalist- Talia Goodyear! Pantera was born around 1980 and has had seven babies in her lifetime! Travelling with her was her son Yelnats (T60C), her daughter Tigris (T60F), and her two year old calf T60G who does not yet have a common name. We watched as they stocked the shorelines looking for Harbour Seals.

And the largest of the whales we see- the humpbacks- were around in full force this week as well! We got to see some of our favourites including Scratchy, Frankenstein, Hemlock, and Barracuda just to name a few! It was amazing to watch two humpbacks roll in the Bull Kelp and later in the week, guests witnessed humpbacks breaching. Humpbacks are graceful yet powerful as they cruise the depths and crash down on the surface after a big jump.

What will the next half of July have in store?  That’s the beauty of nature- we never know who or what we will see but we are bound to be amazed as nature never disappoints!  Be sure to check out all our photos by visiting our tour albums on Flickr! Join us on a tour to experience your own wildlife adventure.





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