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Victoria Whale Watching Report: A Fantastic Week of Our Favourite Ocean Dwelling Creatures!

August 24, 2021

Written by: Lori, Naturalist – Week of August 16th, 2021

It is hard to believe that August is nearly coming to an end. They say time flies when you’re having fun, and this week has certainly flown by! We have had a fantastic week here at Orca Spirit filled with many different sightings of our favourite ocean dwelling creatures. From breaching transient killer whales to deep-diving common murres, it is always a lovely experience to head out to sea and experience all of what nature has to offer us.

We were delighted to kick off this week with an incredible encounter with the T018’s! We have been seeing this family fairly consistently over the past few weeks, and we were fortunate enough to see them breach several times not far from Discovery Island. The large male, Galiano (T019B), is easy to identify with his exceptionally tall and broad dorsal fin.

While transient killer whales and humpback whales are our two most commonly sighted cetaceans, we were fortunate to spend some time with an elusive minke whale this week! Minke whales are the second smallest baleen whale in the world, only growing to be about 7.8-9 metres long. Minkes are built for speed, and they have streamlined bodies that allow them to reach speeds of nearly 25mph! This can help them evade predators like transient killer whales which don’t have the stamina to maintain high speeds for very long.

When we look for minke whales on our trips, we often look for large congregations of birds. Where birds abound, so do bait balls, and an area with an abundance of fish is a great place to find minke whales. We were fortunate to spot a minke whale feeding amongst several dozen common murres! These amazing marine birds are nicknamed “the penguin of the north” due to their similar colouration. They have black backs and a white underside. They are one of my favourite marine birds, largely because of their incredible diving ability. They are capable of diving nearly 600 feet below the surface, making them one of the deepest-diving birds in the world!

We are extremely fortunate to have had so many incredible wildlife encounters this week, and we eagerly await our next adventure on the Orca Mist!



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