Captain’s Blog

Victoria Whale Watching Report: Comorants on Mandarte Island and More!

July 16, 2020

Thursday, July 16th, 2020 – 10am Covered Vessel Tour

We were expecting a cloudy morning but were greeted by sunshine and warm temperatures this morning. A diverse group of guests from different parts of Canada joined us on the Pacific Explorer as we set out on the Juan de Fuca Strait, heading east towards Haro Strait. We decided to search the western shoreline of San Juan Island because J-pod had be in the area the day before. We cruised past the historic Lime Kiln State Park Lighthouse where thousands of people flock each year to try and see whales from land as they pass by.  Hydrophones also capture any whale vocalizations in this area.

We continued our search north with the San Juan Islands on our right and the Gulf Islands to our left. The geography of the Pacific Northwest offers stunning views of steep cliffs and beautiful forests. We spent some time checking out the huge nesting colony of cormorants on Mandarte Island. Their grass nests are massive and are attached precariously to the sheer walls of the island. Bright red feet gave away the Pigeon Guillemots that were swimming in the waters all around our boat. These little champs are super fast fliers and excellent at catching small fish in the depths of the strait.

Unfortunately, time ran out for our tour before we could locate whales. We kept the search going until we reached the harbour because we have seen them both near and far from the city. Strong winds made the last lag of the journey quite adventurous and a bit wet on the top deck, but we had fun riding the waves.  Every trip is a unique adventure!

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