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

Captain’s Blog

Victoria Whale Watching Report: Lunge Feeding Humpbacks, Race Rocks, Ollie the Sea Otter, and So Much More!

October 8, 2021

Written by Lori, Naturalist – The week of September 27th

September has come to an end and as we usher in the month of October it is nice to take a moment to reflect on the incredible wildlife encounters we have experienced this past week. Each day that we enter into the Salish Sea we are astounded by the diversity of wildlife that abounds just outside of our home in Victoria.

The Juan de Fuca Strait has been the perfect place to find Humpback whales this week, and we have been fortunate to have many encounters with these incredible animals. Humpback whales are often called the “gentle giants” of our oceans, because they are one of the largest animals on our planet, but they feed off some of our world’s smallest creatures. The diet of the humpback whale consists primarily of herring and krill, which they trap behind their large baleen plates when they take in large mouthfuls of water and prey.

We were incredibly fortunate this week to witness a humpback whale lunge feeding! A large congregation of seabirds on the surface of the water indicated to us that we were in an area with a lot of small schooling fish, and as we know, birds like to gather where the food is! We were astounded to see a large humpback whale lunge through the surface of the water with it’s mouth wide open. Lunge feeding is a feeding technique that humpback whales use to engulf entire patches of krill and small schooling fish. It is humbling to observe as you truly get a feeling for just how large these animals are.

Heading over to Race Rocks Ecological Reserve we managed to spot a very familiar furry face hidden amongst the bull kelp. It was Ollie! Ollie is our resident sea otter that we can occasionally spot on our tours. Sea Otters are not very common in the waters surrounding Victoria, so he is a real treat for our guests and crew to see. Sea otters boast the densest fur coat of any animal in the animal kingdom! They have approximately 1,000,000 hairs per square inch of skin. Unlike other marine mammals, sea otters don’t have blubber, and Ollie depends on his thick fur to stay warm.

The end of September has been incredible for wildlife-viewing, and we can’t wait for our next opportunity to get out on the water! Each tour is completely unique, and we never know just what we’ll see when we leave the harbour. Fortunately, we’re always pleasantly surprised!



aboriginal peopleAboriginal People BCalbino orcaaquariumsBald EagleBamfieldBC west coastBC whale watchingbe a touristbehaviourbirdsBlackberryBlackfishbreedingBritish Columbia Whale Watchingcalifornia sea lionscaptivitycareerscoast salishCorey VinkCorkycruise adventuresCruiser whale watching toursDall's porpoiseDawn Brancheaudealsdivingdolphinsecholocationfalse 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 PodLuna the WhaleMickMick Millermigration patternsminke whalenatural habitatnaturalistNootka SoundNorthern Elephant Sealnorwegian cruise lineoldest killer whale on earthOrcaOrca Adventuresorca attacks sharkorca communicationorca encountersorca familiesorca feeding habitsorca historyorca languageorca lessonsOrca Spirit Naturalistsorca whaleorca whale encountersOrca whale fightOrca Whale Toursorca whalesorcas and humansorcas and peopleorcas in captivityorcas in whytecliff parkorcas of j-podPacific Salmon Press releasepinnipedPorpoises Vs. DolphinsRace Rocks LighthouseRachael MerrettRaptorresident j-pod orcasresident orcasResident orcas of J-Podresident whalesresidentsresidents orcassalmonscholarshipsea otterssealsealsSeaWorldSeaworld OrlandoSeaworld San DiegoSheenah DuclosSightingsSpringerstaff profilesstellar sea lionssteller sea lionsTilikumTillikumtransient orcastransientsTumboUlises Killer WhaleUniversity of AlbertaVacation IdeasVancouverVictoriaVictoria Whale WatchingVictoria whale whatchingWest Coastwest vancouverwhale evolutionWhale Watcher's ScholarshipWhale Watchers Scholarship 2018 Contestwhale watchingwhale watching experienceWhale Watching Victoriawhaleswhytecliff parkworld's oldest orcaZodiac ToursZodiac whale watching tours
Show more tags

Leaders in responsible Eco-Tourism

Close Menu Book Tour